Jess, Chunk and the Road Trip to Infinity - Kristin Elizabeth Clark | ARC Review

Pages: 263, Paperback
Publication date: November 8, 2016
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
How I got the copy: Received a copy from Raincoast Books
Rating: 3/5 Stars


The last time Jess saw her father, she was a boy named Jeremy. Now she’s a high school graduate, soon to be on her way to art school. But first, Jess has some unfinished business with her dad. So she’s driving halfway across the country to his wedding. He happens to be marrying her mom’s ex-best friend. It’s not like Jess wasn’t invited; she was. She just told them she wasn’t coming. Surprise! 

Luckily, Jess isn’t making this trip alone. Her best friend, Christophe—nicknamed Chunk—is joining her. Chunk has always been there for Jess, and he’s been especially supportive of her transition, which has recently been jump-started with hormone therapy.

Along the way from California to Chicago, Jess and Chunk will visit roadside attractions, make a new friend or two, and learn a few things about themselves—and each other—that call their true feelings about their relationship into question.

I wanted to like this book so much more than I actually did. I think it's great that there are more books being written about LGBTQAI+ characters but that doesn't mean I have to love the way this book and story was written.

I decided to choose this book from the list I received from Raincoast Books and thought it'd be an interesting story. I don't think I've read a book about a transgender character before this but I don't think it was the best portrayal of a transgender character (but what do I know). The main reason I don't feel this book accurately portrayed a transgender character is because Jess, the main character, was one of the most annoying characters I've read this year. She's also selfish, ignorant, judgmental and self-centered. Everything would circle back around to how it would affect her and all the problems she's facing. Jess does grow as a character but not until the end of the book, which made me want to know if she actually changed or only changed for that one moment.

The story was a bit predictable, I guessed what was going on throughout the middle of the story but I loved how the book ended and the direction the author went with the story.

Kristen Elizabeth Clark writes from experience, I believe in the "dear reader" section (at least in the ARC I received) she explains that her child is transgender, which may have been why I expected a more realistic main character as well.

If you're already interested in reading this book I would say go for it. It's not bad but be warned the main character is a piece of work.


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