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Reviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers' Favorite
Roam by Erik Therme is a young adult novel that explores the themes of young adult angst, social awkwardness and the ever-present threat of violence and danger. Sarah is celebrating her twenty-first birthday with her boyfriend Matt. It was supposed to be the perfect day for her, but when Matt gets horribly drunk and their car breaks down on a deserted road, Matt's lowered inhibitions bring out the latent violence inside him, which scares Sarah deeply. Deciding to walk the ten miles back to town, she is picked up by two teenagers, who seem nice but still, she is worried about her safety. In a fit of anger with her mother, Sarah decides to seek her childhood friend, Scotty, in a nearby town for solace. Things are about to get ugly for Sarah, her new, shy, socially inept friend Kevin and all those around her. Will Sarah make twenty-one years and one day and will her life be forever changed by this chance encounter?
I found Roam to be an extremely readable and comfortable story. Author Erik Therme has brought us characters we can all identify with as readers; the 'beautiful without realizing it' Sarah, the overbearing, possessive, drunken and entitled boyfriend, the lost soul who doesn't really know what he wants from life, and the shy teenage boy whose greatest desire is just to get out of this hick town and make his name as a writer. I enjoyed the story and the subtle plot twists from time to time. The author gave me many "aha" moments as I remembered my own troubled and angst-ridden young adult years from long ago. This is a character-driven story more than anything and the author has done a great job at developing them. The ending was a little predictable but that didn't detract from my overall enjoyment. In summary, a good, solid exploration of young persons' psyche.