Verdict: In a must-read book a target audience of teenage girls will coast through, the hilarious yet drama-fueled book THE TRAIL RULES follows one girl’s adventure into self-discovery and security, leading to a goose bump-inducing conclusion that will inspire young adults to take worthy risks in their own lives that could reap a handsome reward.
On the winding, picturesque trails of Louisville, Colorado, the road is anything but smooth for 16-year-old Mikayla Westin. Plagued with anxiety about going into her junior year at Monarch High School, Mikayla, who her friends lovingly call Mike, has a lot to map out before graduation. In between taking slack from her parents about not picking a career path (which they think is hindered by spending too much time with her hunky boyfriend Evan) she faces – in ethics class – her ex-bestie Brianna, a mean girl and “Snow Bunny” who she previously ditched to salvage her relationship with Evan who unapologetically made her choose between them.
It’s not that Mike liked being “turned into a heartless bitch” with the rest of the bunnies, but she’s starting to feel wistful about those morning latte runs and daily outfit coordination with Bri. Though Evan is every bit the doting boyfriend and Mike’s relationship with him is seemingly very promising, (they’re already using the L word) she realizes toxicity in their exclusivity. Despite the palpability of their physical chemistry, (hot and heavy make-out seshs on his couch remain PG thanks to the family dog prancing in the room) Mike feels smothered in more ways than one when Evan’s dependent behavior on her to fill the void of his recently deceased best friend becomes too much to shoulder, not to mention his love more conditional than not.
In between going to school and mountain biking, Mike finds solace navigating the trail – a metaphor for her life journey – upon which she learns to make difficult decisions that she at times second-guesses and struggles to trust, though made initially in good faith. When her relationship with Evan is on the rocks, Mike meets a down-to-earth new romantic prospect on the trail and questions the foundation of her bond with bae.
Though bumps and bruises along the way, battling a fragile ego and her need for acceptance like any teen’s, Mike wittingly chooses between following her heart and her gut and learns to take the high road, even if that includes making the less practical and popular choice. On this journey where a coming-of-ager seeks direction, does she go where there is no path and leaves a trail a la Ralph Waldo Emerson, or does she grudgingly stay the course? In a goose bump-inducing conclusion, young adults will be inspired to boldly take worthy risks in their own lives that could potentially reap a handsome reward.
In a must-read book a target audience of teenage girls will coast through, author Melanie Hooyenga’s hilarious yet drama-fueled book THE TRAIL RULES follows one girl’s adventure into self-discovery and security, leading to a goose bump-inducing conclusion that will inspire young adults to take worthy risks in their own lives that could reap a handsome reward.
~Lianna Albrizio for IndieReader