Destination Anywhere by Sara Barnard

Peyton King is 17 years old and after years of being bullied at school, she thinks she has finally found her place in the world at college, until the ‘friends’ and boyfriend she has built her entire year around let her down in a big way. She feels trapped by her parents expectations and her own inability to be happy so does what we all have dreamed about doing when times are tough, she gets a one way ticket to Canada.

The story is told in two timelines ‘then’ and ‘now’. Now being when she is Canada and the people she is surrounding herself with and the identity she is discovering. Then is her year at college where she forced herself to be happy and to conform to her group of friends scared she would end up alone again.

I actually thought this story was very relatable and relevant. I think most teenage girls; and probably boys too, experience some form of bullying throughout school and have that desire just to effortlessly fit in. And the peer pressure that Peyton experiences is probably more realistic than it is usually depicted; in a way that nobody is actually pressuring her but herself in her desperation to fit in. Although Peyton was very annoying at times, I felt a sense of pride in her for sticking to her own values in her modern day version of events.

A great story for any teenager to read to remind themselves that there is a place in the world for them somewhere and they can be true to themselves because if people don’t love who that person is they don’t deserve them! But a reminder than flying across the world isn’t a necessity to find that peace…

I would add some trigger warnings around bullying, drug use and consent.

I was sent an advanced copy of this book through NetGalley but pre-order your copy here now for its release on the 15th April!

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