Release Date: 12/8/2015
The Synopsis: “It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey. . . .
With her trusty baton and six insanely organized clipboards, drum major Liza Sanders is about to take Destiny by storm—the boat, that is. When Liza discovered that her beloved band was losing funding, she found Destiny, a luxury cruise ship complete with pools, midnight chocolate buffets, and a $25,000 spring break talent show prize.
Liza can’t imagine senior year without the band, and nothing will distract her from achieving victory. She’s therefore not interested when her old camp crush, Lenny, shows up on board, looking shockingly hipster-hot. And she’s especially not interested in Russ, the probably-as-dumb-as-he-is-cute prankster jock whose ex, Demi, happens be Liza’s ex–best friend and leader of the Athenas, a show choir that’s the band’s greatest competition.
But it’s not going to be smooth sailing. After the Destiny breaks down, all of Liza’s best-laid plans start to go awry. Liza likes to think of herself as an expert at almost everything, but when it comes to love, she’s about to find herself lost at sea.”
The Review: I received an ARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. When I first stumbled upon this book, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to understand any high school band jargon. Luckily, I soon realized that Lauren Morrill explained everything in terms that I could understand. I was easily pulled into Liza’s world as a drum major (which essentially, I learned, means the leader) of her high school band from the very first chapter. Honestly, my feelings for Liza as a main character were not positive ones at first. She came off as a high strung and somewhat snobby perfectionist who was kind of judgmental of everyone around her. Don’t worry, my faithful little nerdlings, she had redeemed herself in my eyes by the end of the book. Liza was just overly stressed at the thought of her school band being cut by the school district. That was something that I found a little unbelievable, you know…that a school district would not only cut a band but that there would also be a cruise ship program that offered $25,000 to the winning high school performing team. It seemed a little far fetched to me, but I decided to drop my apprehension at the credibility of the storyline and it actually ended up being quite enjoyable. The rivalry between Liza and her ex best friend Demi stressed me out quite a bit. Whenever you have two teenage girls with a rivalry, its pretty much guaranteed that there will be some catty situations. Expect a good amount of feminine rivalry in this book, because Liza and Demi not only compete for 1st place in the ship talent show, they also compete for boys. Yep, there is plenty of awkwardness around boys in this book. You’ve got Lenny, who Liza has a small history with. You’ve also got Russ, the jock who got stuck helping the band out as a form of punishment. It gets interesting in the ‘boy department’. My favorite part of this book by far was the focus on friendship. Cheesy, wonderful friendship. Right from the start, we meet Liza’s friends and they provide tons of support throughout the whole book. There are even new friendships forged along the way. I think Huck, Liza’s best friend, is a great example of the type of friend I’d want by my side through any bad situation. This one was worth reading, if not just to restore faith in the power of faithful friendship that we don’t see too often in the YA world these days.
The Conclusion: Read this if you’re into: Good friends, characters who fight for what they believe in, and happy endings.
Don’t read this if you can’t stand: Female rivalry, ‘boy-craziness’, or stuck up and hot tempered characters.
The Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars because this was a pleasant read. I really did like the theme of friendship and living life to the fullest. The only reason that I didn’t rate higher is because it wasn’t anything mind blowing or extraordinary. Just a good, easy read.
Author’s Goodreads Page: Lauren Morrill Goodreads