January 09, 2017

Jess, Chunk, and the Road Trip to Infinity by Kristin Elizabeth Clark #BookReview

The last time Jess saw her father, she was a boy named Jeremy. Now she’s a high school graduate, soon to be on her way to art school. But first, Jess has some unfinished business with her dad. So she’s driving halfway across the country to his wedding. He happens to be marrying her mom’s ex-best friend. It’s not like Jess wasn’t invited; she was. She just told them she wasn’t coming. Surprise! 

Luckily, Jess isn’t making this trip alone. Her best friend, Christophe—nicknamed Chunk—is joining her. Chunk has always been there for Jess, and he’s been especially supportive of her transition, which has recently been jump-started with hormone therapy.

Along the way from California to Chicago, Jess and Chunk will visit roadside attractions, make a new friend or two, and learn a few things about themselves—and each other—that call their true feelings about their relationship into question.

Kristin Elizabeth Clark is also the author of Freakboy, which received three starred reviews, was a YALSA Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults title, a Project Reading Rainbow List Top Ten title, and a Bank Street Best Book of the Year. She lives and writes in Northern California.

It took me awhile to get hooked into this story but once I met the character of Chunk and they started the road tip I got a tad more invested. The story also included flashbacks inspired by paintings and it took me a couple of those to get use to that story telling device.

I liked the setting it was told through especially the road trip through various states and the feelings those states have about trans people. But the world felt very natural to me and also the various real places I liked learning about.

The pacing of this book was made choppy by the flashbacks and I thought that it made me fall out of the story and not really be in. So that was a downside for the pacing but I loved the pacing of the road trip story.

I really enjoyed the character of Chunk but had trouble liking jess throughout the novel. It was mostly because of all the issues Chuck saw in Jess, I saw as well. I grew to like Jess more but there were times that I did not like him.

The conflict was a slow burn and both focused on the internal struggle of jess and also his changing relationships with chunk and his dad. It was more about self -acceptance and coming of an age story with a lot of emotional heart. 

The ending was a little bit abrupt and I wanted a little but more from the story rather then a quick closure.

Book in a Pinch
Simon vs the Homosapien Agenda meets Paper town 
 Go Into This One Knowing 
It is a trans story and is the primary focus of the novel.

"All opinions are 100% honest and my own." 

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