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100 Sideways Miles

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September 15, 2014  
 
4.7 (2)
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100 Sideways Miles

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Publish Date:
ISBN:
9781442444959
Pages:
288pp
Reading Age:
Featured Date
November 24, 2014
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Overview

Destiny takes a detour in this heartbreakingly hilarious novel from the acclaimed author of Winger, which Kirkus Reviews called “smart” and “wickedly funny.”

Finn Easton sees the world through miles instead of minutes. It’s how he makes sense of the world, and how he tries to convince himself that he’s a real boy and not just a character in his father’s bestselling cult-classic book. Finn has two things going for him: his best friend, the possibly-insane-but-definitely-excellent Cade Hernandez, and Julia Bishop, the first girl he’s ever loved.

Then Julia moves away, and Finn is heartbroken. Feeling restless and trapped in the book, Finn embarks on a road trip with Cade to visit their college of choice in Oklahoma. When an unexpected accident happens and the boys become unlikely heroes, they take an eye-opening detour away from everything they thought they had planned—and learn how to write their own destiny.

User reviews

2 reviews

Overall rating 
 
4.7
Story held my interest 
 
4.8  (2)
Writing style 
 
4.5  (2)
Characters 
 
4.8  (2)
Ratings (the higher the better)
Story held my interest
Writing style
Characters
User Review
Discuss the setting and the role it played. Describe when and where the story takes place.
Who are the main characters? What problems or conflicts does each character face in the book? Briefly describe each character.
What are the good points of this book? What did the author do well? Tell why you liked the book.
What, if any, were the bad points in the book? What did you feel the author did poorly? Tell why you didn't like the book.
This is where you give a brief summary of the book. Tell about at least two events that took place in the story. Don't give away the ending but give a 20 second synopsis that describes the story.
Without giving away the ending tell whether or not the ending was satisfying. Did the end fit the story?
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Story held my interest 
 
4.5
Writing style 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.5

100 Sideways Miles

User Review

Setting
Finn Easton is a tall, athletic sixteen year old boy who is epileptic, and he doesn’t count time the same way we do. He counts in miles, not minutes, but it feels just the same. He lives in San Fracisquito Canyon, and goes to Burnt Mill Creek High School. His best friend Cade helps him when he “does his thing”, but isn’t overly protective. Finn is a very independent child, but is still being watched ever since the accident that left him with an inspiring scar on his back, and killed his mother. His father is a famous author who wrote a book called the Lazarus Door, and put his son into his book as a main character. His father took the scar from Finn’s back and created a new world of aliens who enjoy eating Christians flesh. Although Finn is proud of his dad, he feels like he’s trapped in his dad’s book, and it reminds him of the story that killed his mother. A life changing experience, but he was too young to remember. A dead horse was being transported and as it being hauled over a bridge it fell over, and landed on his mother and Finn. It was very life changing. Since that accident he became epileptic and hates that fact that he might not grow out of it. Though throughout the book he falls in love with Julia, but is heartbroken when she moves back to Chicago. Because of Julia he learns to see things in a new way as well, and begins to think that he’s not just a character in his father’s book. As Cade and Finn go to Dunston University in Arizona, they were caught in heavy rain and witness a van go off the side of the road into a river. They save the old man in the driver’s seat, and the young boy but Finn winds up at a dog hospital. It changes it them, makes Finn realize that he can write his own destiny, his own story.
The book mainly takes place in in San Fracisquito Canyon, a fictional place based in California. It’s pleasant, and Finn’s family is well off because of his father. The majority of the time Finn is at his home, or in Burnt Mill Creek High where he spends time with his best friend Cade. Well he watches him harass his history teacher, but it’s always one of his favorite classes. While in Burnt Mill Creek he feels confined, but at the same time he is comforted knowing that there was a place where he was not known for being his father’s son. The second place where a major event happened is Arizona. Finn has never let the state because of the fact that he can black out at any moment. He feels trapped and imprisoned, until he goes on his little unexpected adventure. On their way to Dunston University an accident occurs, and it turns them into heroes, but also matures them. It has Finn grow into a more mature young man, and he has an epiphany. He realizes that he has the power to make his own choices, and break free from his father’s book.
Characters
Cade Hernandez is Finn’s best friend. They look alike, and play equally as well in different positions in baseball. Cade brings the wild, and comfort to Finn’s life. He’s easily there for Finn but not overbearing like his father. He pushes Finn to be more independent and live for himself. It’s a quality only a best friend can give because of the fact that they are just friends. Cade isn't exactly tame, he drinks, smokes, and the occasional random sex. Though with the spontaneous, he is always support Finn, even if it isn't too open.
Julia Bishop also enters Finn’s life at the most unexpected moment. She is witty, outgoing, and loves to tease to Finn. She at first doesn't talk about her past until she sees Finn laying naked in his doorway. Since then she hasn't pitied him, but grown closer. She brings out the more emotional side of Finn, and allows him to feel like he isn't just a character. She’s supporting, funny, and enjoys teasing Finn to the point of slight confusion. Julia brings out a drive in Finn that he hasn’t felt before, and he becomes more confident in his ability to create his own life. She brings qualities and confidence that only a love interests can.
Finn and his dog Laika are close, but have a tough love bond. Laika is obedient but does enjoy causing a bit of trouble for Finn. She enjoys rolling around in dead things, and doesn't mind hugging Finn when she does. He needs the randomness of Laika because he often times doesn't feel like he’s in control. She takes his mind off of things when left alone at his home. They’re close but not overly close, just enough so Finn feels normal. Though he would really enjoy it if she didn’t roll around in dead coyotes, birds and other carcasses. Though she’s gotten help when he blacks out and “does his thing”, so he can’t be too mad.
Good Points
I enjoyed how open the author was to swearing to an extent. It’s relatable, and ironically draws me more into the book. The writing style was informal, close to vulgar, and it wasn't too graphic either which was comforting. The author enjoys having mysteries and imagery details, which only helps paints an even more vivid picture in my head. Finn tells the story from his perspective and it really allows the reader to be absorbed. It allowed me to see how it feels like to have epilepsy, and how protective people can be when you have a slight disability.
Bad Points
Even though I did enjoy the swearing, it did swear often. I wanted it relatable, but not obscene. I do wish the author could have focused more on home life as well, and have Finn be more responsive to other’s emotions. I especially didn't like how random paragraphs had the random scar mark on his back. It took me away from the story, and made me try looking for a special meaning even though nothing was there. It was rather irritating, but manageable. Also how the author made the book rather confusing, and how the summary of the book is misleading. They could have clarified things better so that readers wouldn't be confused until midway into the book.
Plot Summary
Finn Easton is a tall, athletic sixteen year old boy who is epileptic, and he doesn't count time the same way we do. He counts in miles, not minutes, but it feels just the same. He lives in San Fracisquito Canyon, and goes to Burnt Mill Creek High School. His best friend Cade helps him when he “does his thing”, but isn't overly protective. Finn is a very independent child, but is still being watched ever since the accident that left him with an inspiring scar on his back, and killed his mother. His father is a famous author who wrote a book called the Lazarus Door, and put his son into his book as a main character. His father took the scar from Finn’s back and created a new world of aliens who enjoy eating Christians flesh. Although Finn is proud of his dad, he feels like he’s trapped in his dad’s book, and it reminds him of the story that killed his mother. A life changing experience, but he was too young to remember. A dead horse was being transported and as it being hauled over a bridge it fell over, and landed on his mother and Finn. It was very life changing. Since that accident he became epileptic and hates that fact that he might not grow out of it. He goes on an unexpected adventure that shows his growth, and helps him realize the importance of being free.
Ending
The end was far from satisfying. Not because Finny didn’t grow, but because it left a mystery yet to be solved. They drive away from it and it makes me want a second book to see if it will be developed more. Personally, I learned that you always have control over your life no matter what your circumstance. This book taught me to enjoy high school more, no matter how much is left. I believe that the author was trying to convey to his readers that a disability doesn't stop you from living your life. That no matter what there is always some control that you have, and you can always enjoy small things that help you along the way until you can take control. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this book, I highly recommend it to readers who don’t mind profanity.
Do you recommend this book?
Yes
Language
R
Sexual Content
PG-13
Violence
PG
Drug and Alcohol Use
R
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Story held my interest 
 
5.0
Writing style 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0

100 Sideways Miles

User Review

Setting
The book is set in San Francisquito Canyon in southern California, where Finn, Cade, and Julia live, and at Burnt Mill Creek High School, which they all attend. The story takes place in modern times. The setting in the story serves not only as Finn’s home, but as a place he reflects on and thinks about: There was a dam in San Francisquito Canyon long ago that broke and killed thousands of people, and Finn reflects on this disaster. It doesn’t really affect Finn’s story so much, but it is continuously mentioned. The school is a minor part of the setting- some key events take place here, (like Finn meeting Julia) but most take place elsewhere.
Characters
All major and minor characters in the story are developed effectively. Background information is given, and they are all relatable. I found Finn to be very relatable- A lot of background information is given about him, he is awkward, he has quirks and flaws, and his thoughts and actions are described very well with a lot of details. His internal and external conflicts and relationships are well illustrated. Cade Hernandez, Finn’s best friend, is a very relatable character as well. His personality is well defined, and his interactions with Finn are both funny and realistic. He also exhibits his own personal set of flaws and quirks, and I thought he was both likeable and hilarious.
Good Points
I liked how relatable the characters and conflicts were, and the story overall. This is very possibly the most relatable book I’ve ever read. The chapters alternate between Finn reflecting, thinking, and/ or giving background information about what is going on in the story, the setting, and things that have happened to him in his life, and the actual story. I liked this structure, and I feel that it allows the reader to understand and relate to Finn and his conflicts very well. All of the interactions between the characters were realistic, and complete with the emotions and awkwardness of adolescence.
Plot Summary
100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith is the story of Finn Easton, an epileptic 11th grader at Burnt Mill Creek High School. His father, Mike Easton, is an author, and his mother died in an accident when he was a child. (The accident is what caused Finn’s epilepsy). At the end of the school year, he meets Julia Bishop, a new student at Burnt Mill Creek High School, who he soon falls in love with. As he struggles with the awkwardness of being in love for the first time, he also struggles to “get out” of his father’s book. Finn is crushed when Julia moves away at the end of the summer, and he goes on a trip to a college in Oklahoma with his best friend Cade soon after that they will never forget.
Ending
I thought the ending was satisfying. The end did fit the story, and was just as realistic as the rest of the book. I think Andrew Smith was trying to say that we may feel like we are stuck in a story with a predetermined outcome, but if we venture outside ourselves and our comfort zones, we realize that we are the ones who write our own stories, and this is what I took from the novel.
Do you recommend this book?
Yes
Language
PG-13
Sexual Content
PG-13
Violence
G
Drug and Alcohol Use
PG-13
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