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Review for "The Long Ride Home" by Tawni Waters

July 4, 2017



Rating: 4/5 cross country road trips.


Harley's story was so real for me. Finding a book that was a good read and still so straight forward and honest about loss was so refreshing. Losing a parent is brutal. No matter if you watch it happen with cancer or have it happen suddenly as in an accident and having this story be so honest about the feelings of denial, grief, sadness, and acceptance I feel is really important. There are many books out there that touch on this subject and can be really strong but I haven't really come across one that deals with it like this one does. Also making a point that you never know when it will be the last time that you see or speak to someone before they are gone so you should make every moment count rings so true to me and no matter how many times I've seen it, I feel it's always relevant to point out.


I loved that reading this story felt like having a conversation with Harley about her life. That blunt, no secrets type of conversation of a best friend or even a sister.  The way that Harley jumps forward in the story and then back tracks a bit while calling attention to the jumping around made it feel more relaxed and honest as well. Normally the jumping would bother me a bit but the way this story was structured made it almost necessary. Also can we mention how cool it is to have a main female character that is down for riding a motorcycle cross county by herself? Even if she had Dean for a bit there, the fact that she had the confidence that she could and the ability is still pretty cool.


There were a few loose ends in my opinion. For instance I do wish that there was more about Harley and her father's relationship after she found him. It almost felt like he was brought in as an after thought, that I guess could be argued as being vital to Harley's coping and decision making about her baby's future, but I still wish there was more. Also, the ending seemed a bit rushed in contrast with the rest of the story. I felt there could have been a whole extra story line to accompany the ride back to California and the months leading up to the epilogue. The part where Harley released her mother's ashes was also a bit rushed but still really beautiful. Also Harley's stop by the statue of Mary was heart wrenching and wonderful. I must admit I certainly wasn't expecting the ending. Honestly, I probably should have but it is what it is. All in all though I couldn't put this one down and I feel like I'll be thinking of Harley for some time.


Thank you to NetGalley, Sourcebooks Fire, and Tawni Waters for giving me this free ARC in exchange for an honest review.




After the loss of her mother, Harley can barely handle her grief. But the start of summer marks new beginnings, and Harley leaves for a cross-country road trip to scatter her mother's ashes with Dean, her friend (with benefits). The two ride by motorcycle, reconnecting with people who knew her mother along the way.

But it's not long before Harley realizes she's pregnant…with Dean's child. And as Harley learns that her mother faced similar choices during her own pregnancy, Harley must come to terms with her mother's past to make a difficult decision about her own future.


~~~~~~~~~~Book Information~~~~~~~~~




Expected to be Published on 08/05/2017 by Sourcebooks Fire.


Page Count: 256


Genre: YA, Contemporary, Self Discovery.


To purchase visit:


Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Books-a-Million / Target


~~~~~~~~~~About the Author~~~~~~~~~~




Tawni Waters’s debut novel, Beauty of the Broken, was released by Simon and Schuster in 2014. In addition to winning the prestigious International Literacy Association’s Award for Young Adult Literature, it won the Housatonic Book Award, was named an exceptional book of 2015 by the Children’s Book Council, was shortlisted for the Reading the West Book Award, and was included on the Kansas State Reading Circle List. Her second novel, The Long Ride Home, will be released by Sourcebooks Fire in Summer 2017. Her first poetry book, Siren Song, was released by Burlesque Press in 2014. Her work was featured in Best Travel Writing 2010 and has been published in myriad journals and magazines. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of New Orleans and teaches creative writing at various universities and writers retreats throughout the U.S., Europe, and Mexico. In her spare time she talks to angels, humanely evicts spiders from her floorboards, and plays Magdalene to a minor rock god. To see more from her visit her blog by clicking the image above.

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