Adventures on the Road to Me

Young Adult - Romance
340 Pages
Reviewed on 08/23/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Adventures on the Road to Me is a work of fiction in the romance genre. It is aimed at young adults and was penned by K.D. Van Brunt. The book follows teenage con artist West as she travels with her mother, searching for new targets to swindle out of their money. After they are recruited to a major scam, West finds herself tasked with befriending Tanner Cardwell. He should be a dream mark, trusting easily and honest to a fault, but when the time comes to make her move, she realizes that she may be developing feelings for the one person she can’t afford to care about.

Adventures on the Road to Me is a book in the romance and young adult genres that follows West as she is faced with the most formidable job of her life and with difficult decisions that will change things forever. I particularly enjoyed how imaginative and unique the plot was, setting itself apart from other books in the same genre despite keeping the core concepts. All the characters felt well thought out, and I found it easy to understand and invest in the central cast of characters, and the vivid extras who jump in and out when needed. Author K.D. Van Brunt does a fantastic job of developing flawed characters who are likable despite their mistakes and pasts. Tanner was a fascinating character to follow, and I enjoyed the contrast between him and other characters in the story. The world was crafted beautifully and was easy to envision, making you feel at times like you were part of the story yourself. Adventures on the Road to Me delivered a story full of twists and turns and a plot that will get your heart racing. I would not hesitate to recommend this novel to fans of the crime and romance genres and those looking for a character-driven story.

Lisa McCombs

Westlyn may look like a normal teenager and dream like a normal teenager, but Westlyn is anything but normal. She’s a machine and a well-versed criminal. What she lacks in academic ranking doesn't matter when her street smarts rival any tenured degree. Westlyn is just plain smart and a con artist. Under her mother’s tutelage, West can turn emotions off and on at will. At least until she meets her new “mark,” Tanner. Initially, it feels like any other job, but feelings become real, and Westlyn finds herself in the battle of her life. Can she fight the urge to be that typical teenager she so desires to be sometimes? Is it worth it in the end? Author K. D. Van Brunt will have you flipping pages to find out.

Adventures on the Road to Me is a fun, witty, and fast-paced novel destined for award-winning status and dozens of great reviews. K.D. Van Brunt knows the target audience and plays directly to it. With believable characters and realistic settings, this story deserves higher praise than this reviewer can give. The main character Westlyn hides beneath a disguise of bravado while struggling to fit in with everyone else. While playing her part as a successful con artist, her authentic coming of age struggles remain a predominant theme in this young adult masterpiece that is told in two separate timelines. K. D. Van Brunt is excellent and I'd gladly read more stories from this talented writer. Adventures on the Road to Me is my number one choice of best summer reads to date.

Stephanie Chapman

Lacking empathy and not getting attached are qualities that most con artists possess. In Adventures On The Road To Me, K.D. Van Brunt writes the story from the con artist’s point of view. Seventeen-year-old Westlyn has been working with her mother, stealing jewelry to sell to high-paying individuals. When West’s Uncle Peter contacts the duo, he needs West to help with his con. Peter has become the power of attorney of a mansion and vineyard that he intends to sell while the owners are on a long vacation in Europe. West has been taught to never become attached to the people she is supposed to con, but she has started having an issue doing so. Falling out of her mother’s favor, West became attached to a pair of elderly ladies with a jewelry shop. After a few weeks, she felt at home with the women and didn’t want to steal their livelihood. After this issue, West has been constantly reminded by her mother of her failure to follow through. This time, she has to convince Tanner Cardwell to agree to buy the vineyard. Tanner shows a personal interest in West, and she also feels drawn to him. Can she ignore her feelings and close the deal? Will she ever be able to live a normal life?

K.D. Van Brunt excelled at bringing West to life with the first person narration that reveals her thoughts and feelings. I enjoyed her dialogue and witty remarks. In Adventures On The Road To Me, I saw how West grew as a person morally and started to second guess how she was living. When she realizes the emotional devastation her marks would go through, West starts to feel guilty. I felt that West’s mother would never be satisfied, and she would eventually try to use her daughter as the fall guy if necessary. Tanner challenged West’s mind by being her equal intellectually. It was refreshing to find that the story focused on the emotional instead of the physical aspects of a young relationship. The ending was perfect with the revelations that were revealed to West. “Follow the sun. I go where it leads.” If you are looking for an emotional book that hooks you in, this 5-star story is outstanding. The characters are well-developed and realistic. There are no explicit scenes, despite a budding romance, some mild profanity, and I would recommend this to anyone high school age and above.

Amy Powers

In Adventures on the Road to Me by K.D. Van Brunt, seventeen-year-old West Banica doesn’t even know what everyday life looks like. She lives on the road with her mother as a professional con artist. Although their cons are typically limited to quick jobs, such as shoplifting and jewelry theft, West’s uncle reaches out for help with his latest long-term scam. If West can close the deal, they will get millions of dollars, allowing them to settle down somewhere for once. All she has to do is gain the interest and trust of her mark, Tanner. She quickly learns that Tanner’s situation is more complicated than anticipated. As she gets to know him, he becomes more than just her mark, and he might be worth a lot more than just his family’s money. She certainly never expected to fall for him.

I spent every free moment of my weekend binge-reading Adventures on the Road to Me, and I have absolutely no regrets. With flawless writing, a smoothly flowing story, fun characters, and witty dialogue, K.D. Van Brunt managed to immerse me in a world that I never wanted to leave. West is a complex, realistic character who is easy to love despite her flaws and questionable background. The relationships that she experiences between her family and Tanner develop and change as she grows, creating a perfectly relatable narrative filled with laughter, innocent romance, suspense, and anger. Young adults seeking an unforgettable romantic adventure should not hesitate to pick up Adventures on the Road to Me.

Samantha Gregory

Adventures on the Road To Me by K. D. Van Brunt is the story of a young woman called West, who works as a con artist along with her mom. They steal items like jewelry, using distraction and disguises to get what they want. Though West feels some guilt over what she does, it is a way of life for her until she meets Tanner. Their latest grift is going to require her to be heartless, but she cares about Tanner and that could ruin everything. Being torn between her mother and the boy she loves is not an easy place for West to find herself, but she has to make a choice.

K. D. Van Brunt has written an entertaining book with Adventures on the Road To Me. I really enjoyed the story. I think West is a great character; she is likable despite what she does and she really struggles with her dilemma. From the first page, I was hooked. I love reading stories like this with people running cons because I always find it fascinating how they get away with it. The narrative is well-written, witty and it kept me turning the pages to find out what happened next. I think this could do well with teens, especially in the 14-17-year-old age range as the protagonist would appeal to them and I think they would find her relatable. The story moves at a good pace and West really does go on a journey to find herself and grows from everything she does. In the end, I think she does the right thing. I would definitely recommend this book.