Review: The Road To You by Marilyn Brant ★★★★1/2

The Road To You by Marilyn Brant
Genre: YA Mystery
Publication Date: September 29th 2013
ISBN: 9780989316040
Page Count: 299
Rating: ★★★★1/2
Review Copy: ARC
Reviewed by: Janice
Synopsis: Sometimes the only road to the one you’ve never taken.

Until I found Gideon’s journal in the tool shed — locked in the cedar box where I’d once hidden my old diary — I’d been led to believe my brother was dead. But the contents of his journal changed all that.

The Road to Discovery...
Two years ago, Aurora Gray’s world turned upside down when her big brother Gideon and his best friend Jeremy disappeared. Now, during the summer of her 18th birthday, she unexpectedly finds her brother’s journal and sees that it’s been written in again. Recently. By him.

The Road to Danger...
There are secret messages coded within the journal’s pages. Aurora, who’s unusually perceptive and a natural puzzle solver, is hell bent on following where they lead, no matter what the cost. She confides in the only person she feels can help her interpret the clues: Donovan McCafferty, Jeremy’s older brother and a guy she’s always been drawn to — even against her better judgment.

The Road to You...
Reluctantly, Donovan agrees to go with her and, together, they set out on a road trip of discovery and danger, hoping to find their lost brothers and the answers to questions they’ve never dared to ask aloud.

In that expectant space between silence and melody, our trip began...


Mystery Solved

What a surprise this book was! Set in the late 1970's, before the advent of computers, cell phones, and all the modern gadgetry we can't live without, The Road To You is a YA mystery novel filled with twists and turns, coded clues, and well-laid breadcrumb trails that may (or may not) lead to the ultimate prize -- the truth about the disappearance of two young men from a small town in Minnesota.

I confess, I don't read many mysteries. I mean, I've read some, sure, but it's not the genre I usually gravitate toward when I'm hunting for a new book to read. Which is why, I think, The Road To You was such a huge hit for me. It was different and really forced me out of my comfortable reading box.

The driving force behind this book is Aurora, the younger sister of one of the missing boys. She's an interesting YA heroine, because she's brilliant and awkward all at once - very much an old soul in a young body, not really fitting in with kids her age and too young to be part of the adult crowd. Her knack for problem- and puzzle-solving, her ability to notice things other people don't, sets her apart. I confess, I was skeptical about her deductive powers at first, cynically thinking to myself, "Yeah right, she's just a kid, she can't possibly be all that." Here's the thing, though. SHE IS, and she proves it over and over throughout the book, digging up clues and connecting dots I never would have thought of connecting. It's almost scary, how impressive she is, and yet Aurora never came across as lofty or inaccessible. I had no trouble at all relating to her, and I especially enjoyed all the "normal" moments the author wove in. Times when the mystery took a temporary backseat and we get to see Aurora be just a girl - such as when she's crushing on Donovan McCafferty, the older brother of her brother's best friend.

Speaking of Donovan, he was, for me, almost as fascinating as the mystery he and Aurora were trying to solve. He comes off a bit reluctant at first, dragging his feet and giving the impression that he's simply along for the ride...and yet he wants to find out the truth as much as Aurora does. He's just afraid of getting his hopes up. I can respect that. In his situation, I'd probably react the same way. What I love most about him, though, is that he really, truly gets Aurora, in a way few people do. Who she is, how her mind operates - he sees the whole package, and he likes it. He really is a fabulous character, and I heart him. Aurora couldn't have made this journey without him.

There are romantic elements in The Road To You, but don't expect a love and smooch fest, because that's not what this book is about. While I wouldn't have minded more romance (more is always better!), the lack of hot-and-heavy action every other page or chapter didn't in any way detract from my overall enjoyment of the story itself. If anything, it made those romantic moments that much more powerful.

As for the big mystery....sorry, no spoilers here. if you want to know what Aurora and Donovan discover, what really happened to their brothers, READ THE BOOK!

The Road To You is a thoughtful, well-crafted and intelligently-written read, and I enjoyed every page of it. It's definitely a book I'd recommend.

4.5 Stars ★★★★1/2
ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.


  1. Thank you for this lovely review, Janice!!
    I appreciate it so much, and I'm thrilled you enjoyed the new novel.
    That you were fascinated by Donovan and liked his character and his relationship with Aurora absolutely made my day! And, for the record, he hearts you back ;).
    All the best!

  2. It was my pleasure, believe me! And YES, totally loved Donovan. He hearts me back, you say? SWOON! :)

    Looking forward to your next fabulous book, whatever it might be.

    Take care & happy writing! :)



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