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Your Destination Is on the Left

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4.03  ·  Rating details ·  106 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
Dessa Rhodes is a modern day nomad. Her family travels in an RV, their lives defined by state lines, exit signs, and the small communal caravan they call home. Among them is Cyrus, her best friend and long-time crush, whom she knows she can never be with. When your families are perpetually linked, it’s too dangerous to take a risk on romance.

Instead, Dessa looks to the fu
...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published June 26th 2018 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
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C.G. Drews
I'm like 99% sure the moral of this story is artists are underappreciated and wE DoN'T WANNA BE. [sobs into a paint can and a singular grain of rice which is all we can afford] Ahem. So I really liked what this book had to say on artists! And as an artist myself (wRITER, YA) who's been struggling with fear and that's blocked me a lot...it was so meaningful. 😭💛

"You're afraid of failure, of not being good enough, of letting your family down. Right? But that's the problem -- you're letting your fea
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Cait • A Page with a View
Dessa's family lives in an RV and travels around the country with a few other families (one has a son she's in love with). She's been rejected from every art school but just wants to go to college and put down roots somewhere for a time. Her family and the guy she likes all feel like she's abandoning them, though, so Dessa feels torn between them and her plans for her future.

There were a lot of fun scenes in the story and individual elements I liked, like the RV caravan, and how the family had r
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Lauren
Feb 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-debuts
Well it's official: I have a new favorite 2018 debut and its none other than Lauren Spieller's Your Destination Is on the Left.

I never planned on reading this book in February given its June release date; however, in a moment of weakness, or as I like to call it curiosity, I read the first chapter. Before I knew it the first chapter turned into the fifth, and by the end of the night I had read it from start-to-finish in one sitting.

Do I have any regrets? No and yes.

No, because Your Destinatio
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Dahlia
I liked this so much that I said so officially!

“Dessa and her story sparkle with fierce, creative passion. This is a journey I would happily take over and over again.” —Dahlia Adler, author of Just Visiting

I really think this is a book fans of Just Visiting would really enjoy. It's full of art and travel and a girl gently but fiercely fighting for her independence against everything and everyone she knows. And as you can see, I read it pretty damn quickly, too! (Which used to be a given for me,
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Ashley Poston
Dec 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Full disclosure: I read this book a long time ago, and I just recently read the finished version and I am just as awestruck then as I am now. I fell in love with Dessa's passion for art and her plight to find out who she is -- both artistically and as a person.

And can we just talk about Cyrus for a moment? Because S-W-O-O-N.

I loved it. If I could give it a thousand stars, I would.
Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
Probably around 3.5*?

So this was quite cute! While I wasn't exactly blown away with novelty, it was certainly enjoyable enough. I am a sucker for a road trip, and I loved how much Dessa was able explore not only her relationships with others, but what she wanted out of life too.

There's a huge focus on family, which is nice, and it definitely is an interesting look into a more nomadic lifestyle than most of us are used to. Honestly, I cannot imagine living with my entire family in an RV now, ce
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Shealea
Dessa Rhodes, a meticulous perfectionist craving for normalcy, stability, and independence, was easily a protagonist I could not only relate to, but also actively root for right from the get-go. Her character was a wonderfully delightful mix of determined and frightened.

The plot itself wasn’t very complex, which is not a significant issue because this novel was heavily steered by its characters rather than by its plot. I thought it was a fitting approach because in doing so, Your Destination Is
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Brian Kennedy
Jul 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya
Full of heart, art, and the funny specifics on what life is like when your home is an RV that you share with three other family members. Not only was YOUR DESTINATION IS ON THE LEFT an entertaining read, one that wraps you up in the characters and their journey, but it's also the type of story that speaks to larger themes. It's an important read for anyone who feels to call to create, and in doing so, is faced with rejection and failure--which Dessa, the main character in this well-written novel ...more
Diana Urban
Feb 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book so much, and so easily connected with Dessa — her voice, her struggle to figure out what to do with her life, and the dilemmas she faced were all so relatable. I also love that she's so passionate about art, so her internship was fun to read about. It was also fascinating for me to learn more about RV culture, of which I previously knew so little. And of course, there's Cyrus — the romantic tension was palpable. So well done! I highly recommend this one.
Kelly Brigid
“All that matters is that I when I’m with Cy, I know who I am and I know what I want. When I’m with Cy, I’m home.”

Your Destination Is on The Left is such a charming novel about discovering one’s self and pursuing your goals no matter what obstacles lie ahead. The importance of family is a recurring theme throughout the story, and the friendships between the protagonist, Dessa and her friends, Cyrus and Tarryn, were simply beautiful. I flew through this novel in two sittings, and absolutely a
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Vicky Who Reads
Jun 23, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

In the technical sense, Lauren Spieller is a wonderful writer and I love how easily Dessa's voice flowed. But I wish there was more emphasis on the plot and in building the emotional stakes. Full review to come tomorrow!
Perry Alexander
Jun 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was the first time I’d read a book written by a friend. That was incredible. Her way with words is simple and poetic, and her characters are real and dimensional! The plot was excellent and was a positive story of how important confidence is in aspiring to be your best.
Allison Ziegler
Apr 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book has art. It has RVs. It has a boy who rides a motorcycle. And it has one of the most charming little miscreant brothers the world has ever known. (Love you forever, Rodney).

Your Destination is on the Left also has an abundance of that most addictive of YA contemporary feelings -- you know that thing where your heart hurts while you're reading because you've felt all those feelings before and you've made all those decisions before? And maybe you still don't actually know what the right
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Rachel Solomon
Mar 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the most unique contemporary YA premises I've read! This is a fresh, lovely story about self-discovery, independence, and growing up.
Samantha (WLABB)
The family motto was "never stop moving". Though they meant it terms of physical location, it applied to Dessa with respect to her emotional and personal growth.

Dessa's family had been living a nomadic life for the past five years, but Dessa had plans of her own. She aspired and worked towards the goal of going to art school and becoming an artist. She yearned for some independence, and not having all her life choices decided by a group vote. However, after countless college rejections, she beli
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Kath (Read Forevermore)
An arc of this book was sent to me by Simon Teen in exchange for a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Rating: 3.5 / 5

The Destination Is on the Left is a beautiful story of growing up, letting go, and being brave. I loved the idea of this story, and the plot was wonderful! The setting and the character development was just a great addition. Dessa is a girl that is gently, but fiercely, fighting her struggles to get to her end goal of studying art. I fell in love with her passion for art
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Estelle
Jul 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars.

I really liked this! The family caravan foundation made for a unique set-up. Dessa's internal dilemma of disappointing her parents by not wanting to adopt their lifestyle was relatable; I felt the frustration right alongside her. I did want more development -- to better get to know D's family, especially her grandmother. I had some questions about the internship, and Cy -- lots to unpack here. I might be watching too much Dawson's Creek lately but Dessa totally reminded me of a Joey Po
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dearlittledeer
Jul 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
This was a cool read because it's not your typical YA situation. The MC's home is the RV she travels in with her parents and little brother, alongside a couple other families. She just finished high school (via online courses) and wants to go to art college. But her parents are reluctant to see her leave the traveling life, and did I mention there's a boy she might just be in love with?
Cassy
Jun 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was not expecting to like this book as much as I did.

Your Destination Is on the Left is about 17-year-old Dessa and her path to finding her muse again. All through middle and high school, YA contemporary was my jam, but the genre slowly started to wear on me, and when Twilight kicked off the YA fantasy phenomenon, I didn't read much more contemporary aside from the fun, kitschy reads, only diving deeper into the world of fantasy. But then this book came along, and it not only surprised me, but
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Roxie
Jul 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Dessa and her family travel in an RV caravan that is really a loving, supportive, rolling semi-communal home inhabited mostly by we-missed-the-60's-hippies. But with Dessa's adulthood bearing down on her, she is conflicted. She was raised to believe in family unity as one of the highest values, but does she really believe that commitment to a family should compel you to abandon your own individual potential? Dessa and the rest of the cast are finely drawn, her lifestyle fascinating, the romance ...more
Erica  Waters
Jun 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
YOUR DESTINATION IS ON THE LEFT is about something we don't see much of in YA lit--failure. Our YA protagonists always seem to accomplish their goals and achieve their dreams--they get into the Ivy League school, win the competition, get the girl. But what about when all our plans fall through and we have to figure out a new path and make hard choices? That's what this book is about, and Lauren Spieller carries it out so well.

It's a book that's hard to put down, full of characters you can't help
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Michelle
Jun 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-portage
A unique story with lots of relatable moments. Loved it!
Vicky Skinner
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I've never read a book quite like this one. I was rooting for Dessa from page one and then rooting HARDER for her by the end. I loved how quiet it was and how sweet and inspiring. Beautiful and heartbreaking.
Juliana Brandt
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Full disclosure here in that I was extremely privileged to read Your Destination Is on the Left in its infancy and also in this final form of completion, with this published version being a beautifully refined version of the one I first read.

Dessa's story is one that pulled me in and has stuck with me over the months since I first read it. I'm a sucker for sibling stories, and the relationship between Dessa and her little brother, Rodney, is one I fully believed existed in real life. This goes f
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Lauren the Book Slayer
Jun 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
A distinctive setting. Dessa and her family are modern day nomads. For the last five years they’ve traveled around the US in a tiny RV with a small caravan of other families. I’ve never traveled cross-country. Heck, I’ve never even traveled more than 6 hours in either direction of my house. So I had a hard time imagining what it would be like to constantly travel, never settling down in one place for more than a few weeks. Your Destination Is on the Left helped me gain a better understanding of ...more
Emma
Jun 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Grade: B-
An e-galley was provided by HarperCollins via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: It's been over a week since I finished Your Destination Is on the Left, and I'm left unsure how to write this review. Lauren Spieller's debut was definitely one of my most anticipated books of 2018, but I feel kind of...let down.
YDIotL was not a terrible book by any means. I didn't feel myself dragging my heels to finish it, and the story was interesting. But I didn'
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Michelle (Firstbooklove)
(I received a free eARC from the Fantastic Flying Book Club in exchange for an honest review)

Book review: Your destination is on the left by Lauren Spieller (4 stars)

“Going after what you want in life doesn’t make you selfish. It makes you brave.”

Your destination is on the left by Lauren Spieller
Genre: YA, Romance, Contemporary
Format: eARC
Rating: 4/5 stars


(Review)
(DISCLAIMER: This review is based on my opinion only.)

Dessa is a nomad and lives with her family who constantly move around, along wi
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Niki
May 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
NOTE: I received an ARC of Your Destination is on the Left via a reading group in exchange for a my honest review.

Your Destination is on the Left is a great coming-of-age and finding-yourself novel. Dessa Rhodes is an aspiring artist, whose family leads a nomad lifestyle, travelling constantly through the United States as part of a caravan. The characters are well-developed, including Cyrus, Dessa's longtime friend, but also her repressed crush. Dessa has her heart set on going to art college ne
...more
Lauren R.
That was fine? I really hated most of the characters in their family/caravan. I understand having to keep people together and make group decisions, but it just felt like they were forcing each other into things. Dessa knew what was right for her and no one wanted to let her do it. Cyrus was an okay love interest sometimes but I wasn’t really sold on the ship... which is weird, because friends-to-more is my jam usually. There were some really bad transitions between scenes at times, like two char ...more
Cold Brew Reads
Jun 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was moving, unique and rich with complicated questions. First, the unique: one real high point was the vivid, effortlessly realistic rendering of the modern-nomadic lifestyle. Reading the particulars of Dessa’s life felt like a journal, not a Wikipedia entry. Then, the moving: eschewing conventions and expectations, the ending comes together with the wrenching feeling everyone knows if they’ve ever left home or chosen the hard path. Finally, the complicated questions: Dessa’s choices and jo ...more
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Lauren Spieller is a literary agent who lives in New York with her husband. When she isn’t writing, she can be found drinking lattes, pining for every dog she sees, or visiting her native California. YOUR DESTINATION IS ON THE LEFT is her debut novel. Follow her on Twitter @laurenspieller.
More about Lauren Spieller