Wild meets Endless Love in this multilayered story of love, survival, and self-discovery.
McKenna Berney is a lucky girl. She has a loving family and has been accepted to college for the fall. But McKenna has a different goal in mind: much to the chagrin of her parents, she defers her college acceptance to hike the Appalachian Trail from Maine to Georgia with her best friend. And when her friend backs out, McKenna is determined to go through with the dangerous trip on her own. While on the Trail, she meets Sam. Having skipped out on an abusive dad and quit school, Sam has found a brief respite on the Trail, where everyone’s a drifter, at least temporarily.
Despite lives headed in opposite directions, McKenna and Sam fall in love on an emotionally charged journey of dizzying highs and devastating lows. When their punch-drunk love leads them off the trail, McKenna has to persevere in a way she never thought possible to beat the odds or risk both their lives.
I was so happy to have received The Distance From Me to You by Marina Gessner. I read the synopsis and had to read it. Although it came down to the last couple of hours, I did read it.
I really enjoyed this book. McKenna is a great female protagonist. One of my favorites so far this year. She is independent, goal driven, and very relate-able. When she decided to continue on with her dream of hiking the Appalachian Trail, when her best friend backs out for a boy, I wanted to give her a high five and wish her luck personally. I was scared for her safety but I knew that she had everything under her control.
Until she meets Sam. It wasn’t an insta-love, which I was happy about, but a slow learning of what love could really be. I loved Sam’s character and just like McKenna, he is very strong and independent. As she is safety conscience, Sam is more easy going and spontaneous.
Their love slowly grows and warms my heart. I did however feel like I was waiting the whole time for something to go wrong. McKenna did run into a bear but that was one of the only scary things to happen in the book. It just feels like maybe the AT isn’t as wild as it sounds. Until Sam decides to go off trail in search of a mythical waterfall. As they loose their way in the woods and have to find their way back to the trail, that is when the danger that McKenna was worried about the whole time comes to fruition. She doesn’t give up until herself and Sam are both safe.
McKenna goes through some amazing character development in this story. She starts out as just a high school graduate with a dream but ends up being a strong woman that knows what she wants out of life. I loved how it ended and its not the way that most YA fiction does.
I gave it a 3.5/5 stars only because it isn’t the type of book I would normally pick up but I would love to have this on my bookshelf!!