Book Review: 100 Sideways Miles By Andrew Smith


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.

Rating : ★★

Can I just say that I love the cover? And the title? It’s too bad that the inside didn’t match the outside 😥

This book is one of those books that you kinda enjoy while reading but once you put it down you just don’t feel like picking it up again. I reached 64% only after forcing myself to read it before bed for a few nights but I ended up DNFing it.

One of the main problems I had with this was the repeatedness of the word “knackery”. It started out as a nice inside joke of sorts, then it just kept getting on my nerves.

Fact: It was repeated 31 times.

Now, usually the synopsis is supposed to mention the most important parts in the story, right? WRONG.

Take note of the second half of the synopsis.

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.

I reached 64% and this hadn’t happened yet. I felt like I was waiting for the turning point of the story, where the actual plot is, to happen and it just wasn’t.

Now it will happen…*reads a couple chapters* … okay kinda has to happen now… *reads a few more* Now!…No no, now!!!…*reads some more chapters* Noww…LIKE ANY MINUTE, GOD DAMN IT, NOOOOOWW!!!

(this really happened no joke)

The aforementioned 64% (how many times did I mention 64% in this review?) was mostly filled with Finn having seizures and pissing himself while he was unconscious because of said seizures. It was also filled with Cade talking about/having sex, but I’ll come back to that in a minute.

I think that if I hadn’t read the synopsis, I would have enjoyed the book. Like, you should go into this without knowing anything about it.

Now. Cade. I absolutely HATED him. I didn’t find him charming. I found him to be an asshole. I found him to be a heartless kid who liked to annoy his poor teacher, who had an aneurysm because of him and died by the way, just for his own enjoyment. Are there teens truly this shitty in real life? If there are, I don’t want to meet them. I also think his goal in life is to have sex with as many people as possible. He even slept with the substitute teacher. Seriously? Come on.

I noticed that this has become a trend in YA books, especially those coming of age ones: one of the characters is absolutely sex obsessed. (see here for another book like that). Did someone inform authors that they have to include a character like that? Is it some sort of requirement so you can sell your manuscript? Yes, I do know that most books include a sex reference or a scene and I’m totally okay with that. But mentioning it on every other page? That’s when it gets completely ridiculous and stupid.

I only enjoyed one thing in this sorry book and that was Finn’s way of thinking and measuring time. He thinks in such a poetic way and it’s believable. Usually when a character words things in a poetic way in their head, it sounds weird. But not Finn. I had to stop reading more than once just to think about his beautiful train of thought.


“If you think about it, the universe is nothing but this vast knackery of churning black holes and exploding stars, constantly freeing atoms that collect together and become something else, and something else again.”

another one:

“My atoms have been on this Finn trip for almost eleven billion miles.”

Finn measures time in miles. The velocity (Alert! The science nerd in me is showing!) of the earth is about twenty miles per second. So, for example, instead of saying “1 second”, he says “twenty miles”. I loved when this happened. It made me smile. So darn cute.

Bottom Line

Everyone and their mother loved this book. I disliked it. I gave up before the whole trip thing happened. I hated Cade. I liked Finn’s thoughts. I don’t know why I’m writing like this.


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