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A funny, uplifting debut about running, romance—and dealing with college rejection and other hurdlesOn New Year’s Day, Alice Davis goes for a run. Her first ever. It’s painful and embarrassing, but so was getting denied by the only college she cares about. Alice knows she has to stop sitting around and complaining to her best friend, Jenni, and her pet rat, Walter, about wA funny, uplifting debut about running, romance—and dealing with college rejection and other hurdlesOn New Year’s Day, Alice Davis goes for a run. Her first ever. It’s painful and embarrassing, but so was getting denied by the only college she cares about. Alice knows she has to stop sitting around and complaining to her best friend, Jenni, and her pet rat, Walter, about what a loser she is. But what doesn’t know is that by taking those first steps out the door, she is setting off down a road filled with new challenges—including vicious side stitches, chafing in unmentionable places, and race-paced first love—and strengthening herself to endure when the going suddenly gets tougher than she ever imagined....

Title : On the Road to Find Out
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780374300142
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 320 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

On the Road to Find Out Reviews

  • Melissa Carpenter
    2019-05-14 22:46

    Overall, I liked On The Road To Find Out... at least by the end of it. Throughout most of the book I found Alice to be fairly annoying with her negativity and anti-socialness, and her relationship with her rat, Walter, was really uncomfortable, but in the end I felt like Alice redeemed herself for the most part. It's good to see a character work through a difficult time, in this case that she didn't get into Yale when that was all she'd ever wanted in life, which she does through discovering running. It's also good to se a character wake up and realize what a complete ass they've been to their family and friends throughout that difficult time, which Alice does through a few events in the book. It's just weird, though, that she would have been so completely focused on Yale but wouldn't have done anything throughout high school to realize she needed more than good grades to get in. It left me wondering about her parents, her teachers, and her firends... and also why her best friend, Jenni, would have stuck by her.

  • Ms. Yingling
    2019-05-16 21:02

    Alice is a pampered teen (both parents are high powered and wealthy; she describes her posh room in great detail) who does well in school but just can't be bothered to do extra curriculars. She does decide, rather randomly, to start running on New Year's Day, and keeps it up. After running for a while, she asks her mother to take her to get shoes that fit, and she ends up at a running store owned by Joan. Joan asks Alice to help out with a race, and while there, Alice meets the very cute Miles. Alice continues to run and hang out with her friend Jenni, whose mother died of cancer, and her pet rat, Walter, who is the most important "person" in her life. When Alice's dream school, Yale, rejects her, she spirals into depression. She and Miles meet up a time or two, and she keeps running and working at the store, where she gets in with a group of runners and is encouraged. When things go further south in her life, it's hard for her to run, but eventually she breaks out of her depression to notice that other people in her life are cutting her a lot of slack, and if she really wants to accomplish anything, she needs to get her act together.Strengths: This had a lot of good information about running, and Alice's progress is enviable. Other reviewers asked if teens could really go from not running to a half marathon in the course of several months... unfortunately, I think they can! The college application experience is somewhat interesting, and the supporting characters are well developed. I liked Joan and Jenni a lot, and thought that Alice's mother was actually fairly awesome and supportive.Weaknesses: Alice had a very high slappage factor. She was totally self absorbed and not likeable. It was amazing to me that Jenni stuck with her and that Miles was interested at all. Her relationship with Walter the rat, as well as family friend Walter the Man, seemed a bit odd to me. I'm debating whether this is more of a high school book, with the interest in college applications. Debating.

  • Tiffany
    2019-04-27 19:47

    On The Road To Find Out is about Alice Davis, a senior in high school that just got rejected from her dream college YALE and believes her world is over. Alice spends most of her time now being Debby-downer calling herself a failure, shutting out the ones that mean the most to her, also loosing a loved one, but overcomes her negativity by running. Jenni, Alices best friend suggests she finds a new hobby that focuses her mind on something she likes and stays positive in. At fist not knowing what she was getting herself into Alice meets lots of new people from running and learns new tips for running, along with learning herself and what running really means to her. I suggest this book to someone that is going through a hard time thinking nothing is ever going to turn out right for them, and finding a new way to make your mind positive and find new ways to succeed.

  • Abigail
    2019-05-19 18:01

    2.5 stars. I got pulled into this book because I run. I subsequently learned that I am not actually a "runner," as a "runner" is someone who runs 13 or more miles every day and is snobbishly disdainful of anyone who runs casually and is not obsessed with how fast they go or is not sufficiently prideful of their bloody toenails. I am sad to say that the only likable character in this book is Joan, someone who has experienced personal tragedy, has still learned how to make running pleasurable for herself, and brings a community of runners together through her running store and the races she organizes. This same community routinely talks trash behind her back because she messed up her Olympic trial run 20 years prior, and looks down upon her for not treating her running seriously anymore.Anyway, this concludes my rant about the overall theme of superiority that runs rampant through this book. Actually I'm not done, since I haven't mentioned Alice, the main character, who is a sad slice of humanity- criticizing everyone around her, harsh and caustic to everyone she loves, and completely clueless about her effect on people and her place in the world. Her outlook and prospects improve over the course of the book, but I can't say I was really cheering for her at that point. In many ways, things came too easy to her- parents and friends willing to tolerate her vile attitude, able to run with elite runners after just a few weeks (is couch to 20K a normal ability for teenagers?), gets a nice normal boyfriend who doesn't seem to mind her insecurities, awkwardness, or lack of personality, and so on. Just not believable enough. Still, there were some witty lines and good philosophical digressions, so this book had enough going for it that it wasn't hard for me to finish.

  • Maggie
    2019-04-29 22:51

    DNFThis was one of my most anticipated reads of 2014 and as much as I want to say I want to eventually give it another chance I just don’t think it’s going to happen. The first chapter starts out with the main character running, but then running seemed to take a backseat. The main character is devastated because she didn’t get in to Yale, but from what I learned in the 15-20% I read, I wasn’t clear why she even expected to get into Yale in the first place. Most of what I read, in chapters that read more like short vignettes, was about a spoiled, bratty main character bragging about how rich her family is, how much her mother loves Botox, and how badly she treats her best friend. Oh and how much she loves her pet rat. I’ll admit that rats aren’t really my animal, but her obsession with her rat was insanely creepy. My anticipation makes me want to revisit this one, but common sense tells me it’s probably better not to torture myself any further.I received an electronic review copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. I tried to finish it, but sadly it didn't happen. All opinions are (obviously) my own.

  • Helen Dunn
    2019-04-27 23:43

    Read this after hearing Rachel Toor on Another Mother Runner podcast and about her again through a favorite company of mine, Skirt Sports. She sounded like a cool lady and I wanted to read her book.I enjoyed her writing about the experience of learning how to run. I found some of the exposition about running tedious but that's because I've been running for a dozen years, non-runners would need to exposition, I think. The information about Walter the Rat was both interesting and strange. I understand how it contributed to the story of Alice but I still found it a bit irritating. Must be my anti-rat bias! The lessons about learning to be wrong and choosing a college wisely are good lessons as is the one about paying more attention to the people you love although delivered in a somewhat heavy handed manner. Overall it was enjoyable but not spectacular. I might share it with my friend's daughter who recently started to run cross country in high school.

  • Nancy
    2019-04-23 19:44

    Uber competitive academically, but highly introverted, Alice stews over being rejected at her first college of choice, Yale. Her closest confidantes are her best friend, Jenni, and her pet rat, Walter. It is upon Jenni's advice that she take up running as a New Year's resolution. Alice finds she really likes the sport, and soon lands a job in Joan's running store. As Alice discovers a kindered spirit in Miles, homeschool student and fellow runner, something happens that upsets Alice's world. Her family and friends, most notably Joan, who once tried out for the Olympics, help Alice eventually realize that she may be focusing on the wrong things and to think about what really matters in life. Found this book to be introspective; not a heavy-handed romance per se but Alice's relationship with Miles was very charming.

  • April
    2019-05-06 23:56

    This book frustrated me to no end. The main character was insufferable and had no redeeming qualities. She was a bad friend and daughter, and while she improved a little bit at the end, it didn't feel like the natural character development she so badly needed. She felt like a caricature of a bland, overachieving student who finds out that there are a million others like her. She's over dramatic, a know it all and she looks down on the people in her life. The SAT word definitions throughout the book irked me, as did the general narrative voice. I knew from the start that this book would have to do a lot to redeem itself, but aside from a good supporting cast, this falls into the category of books I love to hate.

  • Renee Doucette
    2019-05-08 22:34

    This book is so different from other YA titles. It's part coming of age, reacting to loss, and love story. The narrator Alice attempts to bounce back after being rejected by Yale... Oh, and she tries to become a runner. As someone who also randomly decided to become a runner, I could relate to Alice's frustrations and successes in her journey. There's also a powerful message in this story about how we bounce back from rejection and the pressures that our society puts on college admissions. I truly enjoyed this book, and I'm so grateful that it was recommended to me by a fabulous librarian!

  • Susan
    2019-05-09 16:55

    The story is about a high school student focused on attending Yale and how her life is turned upside down by her rejected application. The book is about finding yourself and finding what makes you happy. Helped me relate to the main character that she was happy spending time with her pet, reading books, and running. I read this book too fast. It is an easy read and before I knew it I had read 245 pages. While it is written as a YA book, that is only because of the age of the main character. The themes of loss and self-discovery can be applied no matter what your age.

  • Nancy
    2019-05-01 20:40

    I didn't even want to rate or give any attention to this, but then I saw I had already added it to GoodReads when it arrived from the library. I want to be clear about it so none of my friends will waste time on it or think I'm recommending it in any. Not too much terrible content (though there's a bit of that, for example, talking about how great it is vets can euthanize a pet in pain, but isn't it terrible we can't do that to humans---aargh). But just ... not great.

  • Sam
    2019-05-15 19:00

    DNF 24%I couldn't get into this book at all. Alice is insufferable, irritating, and whiny. She's nasty at times to her bestfriend Jenni, and yet it's more like she just can't seem to control her jealousy (which I get, and I think it's a neat angle). I want to give the story more of a chance, but I am struggling to deal with Alice and her holier than thou attitide. Those are the type of girls I cannot stand, so for now, I'm putting this down.

  • Victor Lau
    2019-04-25 22:40

    It's a pretty good book overall, only if you enjoy running! ;)

  • Yohoni Torres
    2019-04-21 23:36

    "On the Road to Find Out" by Rachel Toor is a marvelous book., I can totally relate to Alice (the main character). This book basically is about her senior year of high school, family & friends, a cute boy, pet, the thought of the future, and many other things. Basically it's about life and how the ups and downs affect her. So it starts off with her talking about her first run ever because her New Year's resolution was to start running. I myself am a runner and it's a marvelous sport, the author does a great job with how she involves the sport as a stress reliever, describes the challenges of the sport and much more! So we have Alice a teenage girl on a mission, but also you can say she is somewhat a little self-centered. Not going to lie, I also at times get caught up with my own problems I forget that it's not just about me. Alice faces a lot of issues, issues that really bring her down and make her have doubts of herself along with the future she wants. She meets new people, all runners, she forms a new family. She trains, runs, and towards the end she finally finds herself. But we can't forget about Miles! Miles is the cute boy she falls for, basically it's the second boy she ever gets in contact with. But trust me, this a marvelous book if you're into some good motivational, and happy ending books.

  • Shelby
    2019-04-24 17:44

    I picked up this novel because I needed some fluff to fill in the gaps between my required reading. And while, yes, this book is definitely fluff, I found myself enjoying it more and more with each page turn.The heroine, Alice, is self-centred, annoying rich girl, and Toor still finds a way to make her sympathetic. That in of itself can be considered a feat. Alice's dynamic character growth throughout the novel because she deals with failure, death, and hardships, makes her into someone who, at the end, you wouldn't be ashamed to call a friend. Also, the romance in the novel is so down to earth, it's like a breath of fresh air. There's no love triangle, and the corniness is not soul consuming. It is light, fun, and even includes a couple of farts. All in all, a very pleasant surprise. 4/5 stars.

  • Kayla (Kayla's Book Nook)
    2019-04-26 21:56

    Like many contemporaries, what ultimately drew me to this book was its cover. I just love the colours and how fluffy it looked, so after reading its synopsis and deciding that it would be a good fit, I borrowed it from my library.On the Road to Find Out definitely met my expectations for a light, happy read. I enjoyed it quite a lot, but to be fair, it did have its tiny flaws to be fixed in order for it to deserve a full star rating.This book is basically about a high schooler named Alice, who was turned down by her dream college. To feel better, she starts going on runs around her neighbourhood. The runs turn out to not only boost her up, but to also leave her with many new experiences and skills, such as running marathons, improving her endurance, and maybe even a new love.Alice, I have to say, wasn’t particularly the most likeable character. I found her to be very close-minded and fixated on getting into that one college that declined her, not opening her eyes to other schools that could be better for her. She also complained a ton and was quite self-absorbed, which I also disliked. I do think that these traits improved by the end of the book once she realizes that it wasn’t worth it for her to fret over her issues- albeit only a tiny bit.Aside from the bothersome character that Alice was, I really appreciated the morals that this book held. I think I can absolutely say that this story is full of them, from being able to take chances, being able to accept failure and move on, trying new things and seeing what’s out there, and even more!This story was plotted nicely and smoothly and I was able to follow it with ease. I liked the ending as well, and even though it could be considered as being open-ended, in this case, it worked very well!All in all, On the Road to Find Out was a great story which I believe deserves much more love- it’s both under-read and under-hyped. Sure, the topic isn’t one we haven’t seen before, but the way it is delivered in this book is amazing! So, anyone wanting a light, fast read with cute romance and coming-of-age morals should definitely get on the road now and drive right to their local bookstore or library, pick this one up, and devour it!

  • Kerstin Daynes
    2019-04-23 22:42

    I don't know if it is because I am a runner, but I loved this book. I loved relating to Alice and her experiences with running. I loved the wisdom she gains over time and the people who shape her life and encourage her. Such a realistic experience! Fun story!!

  • Kristin
    2019-04-20 00:56

    4.25 stars.Alice Davis’ life has crumbled right before her eyes. She’s been top of her class and aiming for the Ivy League her whole life, so when her early acceptance application to Yale is denied, she plummets into a downward spiral that leads her to, of all things, running.I can’t believe I was getting (view spoiler)[choked up (hide spoiler)] over a freaking rat. But the relationship Allie has with Walter is so sweet, they’re just adorable together and it really comes across how much they mean to each other. That said, though I have more respect for them after reading Rats and have no problem with someone wanting one as a companion animal, I think I’ve seen one too many of the little buggers running around the subway to feel that I’d really like to get up close and personal with one.I also loved Walter-the-Man. And I loved that at a certain point she realizes it’s a little weird to call someone this, even though she did it partly to differentiate between her rat and the family friend, partly out of habit and, I think, partly to annoy Walter-the-Man. He’s hilariously inappropriate and her relationship with him is funny and touching, especially when he goes off on a tirade when she’s moping,I loved reading about Allie learning about running. Though I always say I’m not a runner because I haven’t entered a race seriously in years (though before a recent injury, maybe the cause of said injury, I did start upping my mileage to train for a half-marathon) and don’t get all excited about all things running like serious runners do, I was familiar with everything Allie was experiencing and learning about and some of it had me cracking up. One note. There is absolutely no need for, and it grosses me out to even type this, snot rockets. In the winter, most jackets have pockets. For the summer, buy shorts with pockets. And for the love of all that is holy and unholy, put tissues in them.I think the book would have resonated with me more if Allie had come off as older. She’s almost eighteen but at times she just came across as a bit young. Then again, at other times she definitely came across as older, and I liked this side of her better. While her family and best friend had a harder time with Allie’s self-centeredness regarding her attempt to gain early acceptance to Yale and finally her rejection, though they dealt with it and didn’t give her grief about it, I had a harder time when she showed a complete lack of consideration for her mother regarding her birthday, particularly when her parents do and buy absolutely everything for her, and with her lack of interest in what was going on with Jenni’s life. On the other hand, while she may have seriously dropped the ball this time around and been very insensitive to boot (not sure if she’s always like this or it’s a one-time thing), I thought Allie should have been pissed at her mom for doting so much on Jenni and treating her with more affection and more like a daughter than she did her own daughter.Miles was cute, sweet and funny but was just lacking in a little something for me. I kind of want to say depth, but we find out about the relationship he has with his grandmother, which is really sweet and definitely out of the norm for teenage guys nowadays (or maybe any time). I guess I didn’t really get a sense of his thoughts and feelings, maybe having a chapter or two from his point of view would’ve helped with that. But overall, he was a wonderful character and really helped Allie take a better look at her world and how she was acting, as did, I think, running and Joan, the woman who ran a local running store and was friend’s with Allie’s mother. And what he said right before he kissed her? Soooooo cute!This was a really sweet, fun and at times moving read that should resonate with most people; runners, those with companion animals, people who have dealt with rejection and more, I highly recommend it!

  • Liralen
    2019-05-16 20:35

    The author has previously written nonfiction about college admissions, running, and pets. So naturally her first foray into fiction involves the aftermath of the admissions process, a protagonist who cares more about her pet rat than she does about her family and friend, and a lesson about how running is a way of life.It's a better book than I'm making it sound -- I appreciated, for one thing, that the romance (while obvious) wasn't the be all and end all of the book; it was one part of Alice's journey, and not the most important one. Alice is a reasonably complex character, with flaws aplenty, and it takes her most of the book to gain a bit of self-awareness (not to mention awareness of the people around her). She's never terribly likable (spoiled and thinks it's okay to be a brat because she doesn't care that much about some of the specific things that make her spoiled), but she's realistic.Walter: Walter, and rats in general, is a big enough deal in this book that I almost shelved it as 'animals' (I didn't largely because Alice's preference for Walter over just about every human in the book drove me nuts). Don't have much more to say about him.Alice and the Tao of running: It's funny -- I haven't actually read that many YA books with protagonists who run (and in which running is a big part of the story). There are some out there, of course, but I'd like to read more. It gets a little preachy here at times, but it's nice to see Alice improve gradually, over the course of the book, and not be into it for competition or better times or weight loss. Really nice to see that, actually. Although Alice is way more negative about her appearance than I think it warranted for someone who disses other girls for self-deprecating comments, little is made of her appearance throughout the book, which is less common to YA lit than I wish it were -- her journey's more internal than external.I would have liked more surprises to the book, but that's often true of YA for me. So I'll leave it with this: sounds like Alice's factoid about the Vanderbilt room may be inaccurate?

  • Laura Hauer
    2019-04-26 16:49

    On the Road to Find Out by Rachel Toor is an excellent novel written to give the reader a real life experience as Alice, the main character, who has had her whole life planned for as long as she can remember. Alice had planned to attend Yale in the following fall after she graduated from high school. All her plans took a turn for the worst when she got rejected from almost every college she applied for; most importantly she had gotten rejected by Yale. Rachel Toor explained throughout her novel that when something does not go as planned that most of the time it is for the best and there is a better opportunity right ahead of you. Alice had set a new year’s resolution to start to run, she went running almost every day, after she got rejected form Yale she got a job at the running store where she met Miles, the love of her life, and Joan, a star running who almost made it to the Olympics. Miles and Joan along with Jenni, Alice’s best friend, help her through everything that comes her way. They help her realize that what seems difficult now works out for the best in the end.The theme of On the Road to Find Out is to always peruse your dreams and when they don’t work out to try harder. Alice and Miles first saw each other when they were on a run, they don’t know it yet but they would end up falling in love. Miles is the one who encourages Alice to continue to run after she endures some hard trials; he also shows Alice a whole new world of opportunities. Joan signs Alice up for her very first race, a half marathon, which pusher her to work harder than she ever had before. Jenni encourages Alice to try new things and step outside her comfort zone.On the Road to Find Out was written in Narration form. I came to this conclusion because the story is told through a list of event in chronological order that lead to the end of the novel. This book is one of the best books I have every read; I could never just stop set the book down. I enjoyed how the author always clarified things through different perspectives. However, I did not like how the book ended, it left me wondering what had happened to not just Alice, but everyone she had come in contact with throughout the novel. I would defiantly change the ending and explain in more detail what happened to Alice after she finished her first race. What she was thinking? How did she do? Would she do it again? On the Road to Find Out is not like any other book I have ever read. I would definitely love to read more books like this one.

  • Brenna
    2019-04-24 22:52

    On the Road to Find Out involves a main character who has received some devastating news and it depicts the story of how she comes to terms with life when it doesn't go the way she planned it. It's an important lesson, but this book lacked the emotional depth I anticipated.Reasons to Read:1. Alice is startlingly real:We all know someone like Alice. Many of us (me included) likely share traits and experiences in common with her. She's fairly self-absorbed at times (aren't we all?), spoiled, and introverted. On the Road to Find Out chronicles a crisis period in Alice's life, a period of time where we get to see her grow up. She learns that life won't always go the way she plans, which is so true and a key life lesson for everyone.2. A heartwarming running community:Alice doesn't intentionally join the running community, instead she halfheartedly stumbles into it. She finds a supportive, strong group of people among the local runners including friendly, warm Joan (who has her own remarkable story to share) and a competitive, cute athlete named Miles. I know there are going to be some readers who are bothered by Alice and won't enjoy the book for that reason. But it is beneficial for us to read about flawed characters, for many reasons. An important reason is because we are flawed ourselves, even if we don't care to admit it. Additionally it is important because there are certain stories that are best told with a flawed character. Alice's growth in this book wouldn't be half as remarkable if she was easy to like and mature from the get-go. In some ways, this book was not as fully developed as I would have liked. Alice's voice and sense of humour seemed distant at times, and by that I mean that it seemed she wasn't taking her own situation seriously. Her attitude towards this set-back was exaggerated and lacked the sincerity I would have expected from someone in her situation. Alice also has a very sarcastic, cynical attitude which really comes out in her sense of humour. I can see how only certain readers might be able to appreciate that aspect of her character and enjoy reading about it. On the Road to Find Out is an enjoyable little story, with a very important lesson behind it which I believe is particularly relevant to teenagers and young adults. ARC received from Raincoast Books for review; no other compensation was received.

  • Claire
    2019-05-19 00:35

    While the story of this book wasn't all that bad, I was not a fan of the writing. I've read books with medals that were written like this and while the medals indicate others liking them, I do not like the type of writing. The book has a story woven throughout it, however it tells many memories and the beginning of the book was almost all about remembrances. These memories were each about something needed for the story; people, pets, places etc. I thought this was a lazy way of getting information across. Instead of fitting it in the story, the way most authors can, she basically told you everything straight up. Later in the book, if she forgot to write something in the beginning, Toor would add more chapters o memories and I didn't think that was a good thing to do. It was a poor way of writing.Another part of her writing that I didn't like, was how she had chapters on just a topic she found interesting. Some would be on rats, some on colleges, and so on. I didn't think these chapters were necessary and they only provided boredom to me.The story itself was good. I liked how Toor had the first person narrator accused of being self absorbed and then owning up to it. Many authors refuse to make their narrators have mistakes within traits, but Toor did, and she did the job well.During the story, Toor would mention a character having red eyes, or a smudge of mascara on her cheek. However, these descriptions were one-liners and she never came back to them later. Either Toor put them in for no reason, or forgot to come back to them. For this, I was not a fan.The running aspect of the story was captured very well. Rachel Toor is an ultra-marathon runner and has coached runners in the past. Because of this, she knew just the way to describe running. It can be wonderful and painful at the same time, and Toor used her words to represent this feeling perfectly.Overall, I think the writing ruined the book for me. Since the running part was wonderful, and a there were a few snide remarks, I will give this a 2. Some May like this type of reading, so I'm not saying not to read it as books written the same way have won medals, but I'm not a fan and personally I just give this two stars.

  • Sarah
    2019-04-24 16:54

    So, story time.I hate running. HATE IT. I mean, I do it anyway, even though my shins hurt and I start to wheeze and my hips are like "lady you are too old for this". I quit my regular gym and joined one of those super-intense CrossFit gyms instead, once I realized how much I hated running but liked other kinds of working out. And despite feeling totally out of my league (on the first day of training, we went around the room and everyone said what their previous athletic/sport experience was; everyone else said totally normal things like football, swimming, baseball. I said marching band.) I slowly fell in love with wacky things like rowing and being able to deadlift close to my body weight and most of all LIMITED AMOUNTS OF RUNNING.While I never fell into that zen place that Alice does with her running, I definitely identify with the "my body feels like crying but this is also changing my life" thought process that you see Alice go through.I really connected with Alice on that, and I identified with her in other ways, too -- being a perfectionist (who cried when she got her first B? this girl), being kind of a weirdo loner, being completely unprepared for failure. So there was a lot that I liked and found familiar about Alice.There was a lot that made her completely insufferable, too. She's completely self-absorbed, though she'd never admit it, because it's not in the stuck-up, snotty way you think of. No, she's so wrapped up in her own problems and angst so much that she doesn't see when other people are hurting, or when other people are trying to help her. The journey to self awareness is the whole point of the book, but, man, did it make for hard reading when I just wanted to reach through the pages and shake Alice to make her see how, honestly, horrible of a person she's being.So while I liked this book, I liked it despite Alice and her terrible attitude. I enjoyed it for the lessons she learned, for the way she slowly opened herself up to new experiences, for the way she had to learn the hard way to let herself be vulnerable and flawed and imperfect.The book's not always an easy ride, but the journey's an interesting one anyway, as long as you can be patient for the payoff in Alice's growth at the end.

  • Katie Fitzgerald
    2019-05-16 16:46

    Wealthy high school senior Alice Davis’s life has entered a time of painful transition. She has just been rejected from her first-choice college (Yale), and now feels as though the only good things left in her life are her best friend, Jenni and her pet rat, Walter. When she makes a New Year’s resolution to start running, however, she begins to meet people whose opinions of failure and whose methods for dealing with adversity are quite different from her own. As she becomes better at running, she also slowly becomes better at facing her failures and moving on.Several facets of this book cause it to stand out among this year’s YA titles. First is the main character’s voice. Much of the story is told in exposition rather than in scenes or episodes, but this is not a problem because Alice’s voice is so distinct. The author clearly knows this character inside and out, and her every quirk and trait comes across to the reader very well. Alice causes the reader to both pity and admire her mother, to worry and care for Jenni, and to fall head over heels in love with her rat. Second is the subject matter. Running marathons has become a popular hobby in American culture in recent years, and this book is right in step with it. The reader is introduced to the vocabulary, footwear, clothing and personal goals of runners, and to the running culture as a whole. Scenes where Alice describes her fellow runners are among the best-written in the entire novel.This book explores a much-neglected topic in YA fiction: What happens if a smart girl doesn’t get into any of the fancy colleges to which she applies? Any student facing this challenge will feel great empathy for Alice and might also ultimately learn from her how to manage the grief. While the ending of this book feels rushed, and the ultimate resolution of the plot might be a bit easy after all of Alice’s anguish, it is still so satisfying to see how Alice ultimately triumphs, and how she also meets a nice guy in the process.Read-alikes for On the Road to Find Out include 45 Pounds (More or Less), Along for the Ride, Stupid Fast, and This Song Will Save Your Life.

  • Rebecca
    2019-05-20 22:01

    At seventeen, Alice has led a sheltered and privileged life, and has no passions other than getting good grades and playing with her rat, Walter. She has only one friend, Jenni, but she’s the best friend ever even if Alice doesn’t understand why she enjoys being a cheerleader and going out with jocks. Alice’s first big comeuppance is a rejection from her university of choice, Yale. It’s the first time she hasn’t gotten what she wanted. As a New Year’s resolution, and to start actually doing something, she starts running. It’s difficult at first, but she soon comes to enjoy it, particularly when she meets the handsome Miles and gets a job at a running store. She still doesn’t know what she wants from her life, though, and through the last months of high school, comes to learn a lot about herself--a lot of it not so good—-and about loss and passion.I really enjoyed this, even if I couldn’t stand Alice some of the time—-so self-absorbed and entitled (even at the end, her valedictory speech was entirely about herself-—I wouldn’t want to hear a speech about the self-actualization of someone I didn’t know even slightly—-so arrogant!). I did love her voice, though, and as a former rat owner, I loved Walter. My brother and I had a rat, and I was the one who had to take him to the vet to have him put down, so I know how much a rat can mean to a person! Anyway, I thought all the characters were really well-constructed and interesting, with lots of flaws and unanswered questions and backstories. In many ways Alice reminded me of my fairly shy and unprepared self at that age, so I could sympathize with not knowing what the hell to do with your life. I question, though, whether this will appeal to even thirteen-year-olds. Alice’s privileged situation may ring true for many of the middle school kids I see, but her concerns are college and life; a bit beyond what a regular 8th grader would be worried about. There’s nothing here inappropriate for 8th grade, and Alice’s lack of experience with boys means she’s more at their level on that field, but still—-not a book I would put in my MS collection.

  • Jessica
    2019-04-21 18:53

    My review can also be found here: http://www.thebawdybookblog.com/arc-r...On the Road to Find Out by Rachel Toor first grabbed my attention because it was about running. More specifically, it’s about Alice, an overachiever who has just been rejected from her one and only choice of a college – Yale – and feels like her life is over. She initially starts to run as a New Year’s resolution made at her best friend’s insistence. Even though running is hard and there are days when she hates it, she sticks with it and slowly not only makes progress, but she finds community, a lot of clarity, and even a love interest.I could totally relate to being a newbie runner – feeling like you can’t breathe and thinking that you must look really ridiculous, and then slowly it becomes something that you love, something that challenges you and becomes a part of who you are. I really liked all the positivity and encouragement found in these pages – it was clear that the author loves and believes in what she’s writing about.In the beginning, I thought Alice was completely self-centered, inconsiderate, and rather whiny. I found her lists to be a little annoying, and the way she treated her BFF Jenni and her mom made me cringe. The one thing that really started making her more likeable was her love for her pet rat, Walter. What’s that you say? Ewwww, a rat? No way! Walter is a sweet and cuddly little guy, and his character is written so lovingly that, for me at least, he was a highlight of the book.Somewhere along Alice’s personal journey, I began to like her, and I was really invested in the second half of the book. It even made me cry. Twice. I really liked several of the secondary characters – Joan, the owner of a local running store, and Walter-the-Man, both of whom became sort of mentors to Alice. I also really liked the theme of taking something that is perceived as a huge personal failure and turning into something positive. I thought the ending was perfect, and if you’re a runner – beginner or experienced – I think you’ll enjoy this.

  • Sandie, Teen Lit Rocks
    2019-05-09 22:34

    This was a solid YA debut from an author who has written a running memoir and is clearly a lover of the sport. I've read several books about accomplished/veteran runners, but this is the first YA novel I've read that explores the whole couch-to-runner phenomenon. The running passages were the best part of the book.Alice is a wealthy valedictorian candidate who isn't used to failure -- until she's rejected ("not even deferred!") Early Action from her college of choice -- Yale. So on New Year's Eve her best friend Jenni convinces her to make a New Year's resolution, and she decides to try running. Alice isn't the most likable character. She's self-absorbed with only two friends: Jenni and her pet rat Walter. Yes, you read that correctly, her pet RAT. The thing is, while I'm never going to get a pet rat myself, Walter humanized judgmental Alice, so I totally bought the kinship between them (even though I secretly wanted to go "eewww!").I enjoyed how Alice transformed as she grew into a runner. It took her a while to see others for who they really were instead of whatever misconceptions she had about them (including her mother). The romance is what I call light and sweet. Alice has zero experience with boys and predictably starts falling for Miles, a quirky (he's homeschooled by hippie off-the-grid parents), runner who's more than willing to slow his pace to help her run longer distances. The romance (and the book itself) is fine for younger YA readers, but those used to steamy and intense romance may not be as into it.The book definitely makes me want to download the Couch-to-5K app and start running. Maybe I'll never be a marathon runner, but I'd love to try and find that sense of accomplishment and "guts" that Alice, Miles, and Joan refer to!

  • Robin
    2019-04-20 19:48

    Alice is focused. She knows what she wants, knows what her goals are, and knows how to get there. She makes straight As, loves to study, and intends to go to Yale. Until she doesn't get in.This book started out slowly, with a little too much chatty character description, and I began to wonder why I had thought I wanted to read it so much. And then - wow - Alice and her world become much more interesting. This book is about recovering from disappointment, experiencing grief, learning to be a real friend, and about taking a little time to think things through and re-group and re-direct. And it surprised me by making me cry in two places: once, when the college interviewer asks Alice who from history she would invite to dinner and I immediately thought of my two grandmothers, who I miss so so much. (And Gloria Steinem and Nelson Mandela.) The second time, at the end, which I won't give away.Though the first quarter of the book is dull, the last 3/4s are excellent. I suspect this is the kind of book many moms will want their college-leaning daughters to read. (It feels a little directed at that parent audience, despite being YA and having BFF issues and first boyfriend fun.) I was one of those Alice kids, afraid to do an internship or take a semester abroad because, (other than not having the money), I just knew horrible things would happen to me if I never took that second semester of high school chemistry. Um. Yeah. We want our kids to have happy, fulfilling lives and be able to pay their bills. Who knows which paths they'll take to get there?

  • Priyanka
    2019-05-08 17:50

    Rating: 4.8 out of 5 starsGenre: FictionAge Recommended: 13 and upThis book is all about the sorrow that comes with rejection and how one can face rejection.On the road to find out—————————————-Alice has been rejected from Yale. For as long as she can remember, Alice has wanted to go to Yale and when she gets rejected, she doesn’t know how to cope. Her best friend recommends new hobbies but none of them seem to suit her. Finally, on New Year’s Day, Alice tries running and seems to enjoy the sense of accomplishment when she finished a run, but also the pain that follows.Alice keeps her running a secret for a while, but when she tells her parents, they seem relieved that some activity suits her. Her mother buys her some running equipment and Alice meets several other runners at the store. The owner, Joan, also recommends volunteering at a run just so Alice can meet new people with the same hobby.When Alice is volunteering, she meets a guy named Miles who is cute, funny, and loves to run. The two of them run together with Miles’ dog. However, Alice is rejected from seven other colleges and she goes back into her shell much like she did when she got rejected from Yale. Her parents and best friend are worried about her, but Alice couldn’t care less.Will Alice eventually learn to cope with rejection?

  • Hilary
    2019-05-08 20:37

    When Alice made a New Year’s resolution to take up running, she had no idea that running would become her therapy, escape, and salvation. Running did not start auspiciously. Her first run was eight minutes long and ended abruptly when a jogger in a Yale sweatshirt passes her and she is unexpectedly reminded of her failure to gain admittance at the university.Alice is a privileged teen. Her folks are rich. She has a whole floor in her house that belongs to her (the suite even offers a jacuzzi!). At the top of her senior class, Alice believes she is entitled to success, which until now has been heaped upon her, and doesn’t handle failure well at all. Fortunately, Alice has her best friend Jenni. She also has Joan, the owner of the running store where Alice works, and Miles, a homeschooled co-worker who becomes Alice’s boyrfirend. Together they help Alice come to the realization that she is focusing on the wrong things and to focus on what really matters in life. Teens will be able to relate to overachieving Alice and will find her tribulations realistic. Though initially Alice is not very likeable, by the end of the book we develop empathy for her, may even shed some tears for her, and cheer for her when she makes her valedictorian speech