Thou Shalt Not Road Trip
Title: Thou Shalt Not Road Trip
Author: Antony John
Publisher: Dial/Penguin Group
Number of Pages: 336 (hardcover)
Advertised Age Level: Ages 12 and up
Age and Grade of Main Character(s): 16 years/Junior
Language: no profanity, use of the word hell
Sex: kissing, vague and very veiled references to masturbation
Drug/Alcohol Use: one character drinks a lot
Violence: none, although one character attempts to pierce her own ear
Social Issues: dealing with success, friendship, first love, social ostracism, parental disapproval
Suggested Movie Grade: PG
When Luke Dorsey wrote a book of parables for the youth of his church, he never in a million years dreamed that one day it would be published and that it would be a smashing success and become an inspiration to people all over the country. He certainly couldn’t imagine the crazy and chaotic book tour that reunites him with his irresponsible brother and the girl Luke was once in love with. Nor could he imagine the lengths people would go to to tear him down, nor the crisis of personal faith that he must struggle through. But all of this happens in the course of one week, when Luke travels from Los Angeles back to his home town of St. Louis, following Rt. 66 on a crazy journey of self-doubt, self-reflection, and self discovery.
When Luke’s best friend and the girl he was in love with, Fran, suddenly and without explanation changed from a clean cut, church-going good girl into a purple-haired, multiple-piercings goth chick, Luke couldn’t hide his disappointment or his aversion to her new appearance. But when he’s forced to travel half way across the country with her, he begins to realize that maybe he was the one who disappointed her when she most needed him. That although her outward appearance may have changed dramatically, inside she was still the girl he’d once loved.
Potential Points of Concern
Fran drinks frequently and gets drunk once.
Fran sticks a needle through her earlobe in attempt to add another piercing.
Luke’s brother, Matt, and Matt’s girlfriend, Alex, share a hotel room. That the two are having sex is implied but never openly discussed.
Paparazzi stalk Luke and a bitter, unbalanced young woman tries to seduce him in order to get incriminating pictures to sell to tabloids. They only kiss in a restaurant.
Luke and Fran kiss and spend a night together in an outside park although nothing happens between them.
Luke is publicly badgered and humiliated about the book he wrote, forced to defend it and explain that it was a fictional work rather than autobiographical which many people believed. Crowds are openly hostile towards him, and he is chased by paparazzi.
Matt’s brother is irresponsible, and it is revealed that he cheated on his girlfriend, Alex.
Age Appropriateness: 12 +