Night Road

Book Review — Night Road by Kristin Hannah

It's a dangerous, explosive season of drinking, driving, parties, and kids who want to let loose. And then on a hot summer's night, one bad decision is made. In the blink of an eye, the Farraday family will be torn apart and Lexi will lose everything. In the years that follow, each must face the consequences of that single night and find a way to forget…or the courage to forgive.

Vivid, universal, and emotionally complex, Night Road raises profound questions about motherhood, identity, love, and forgiveness. It is a luminous, heartbreaking novel that captures both the exquisite pain of loss and the stunning power of hope. This is Kristin Hannah at her very best, telling an unforgettable story about the longing for family, the resilience of the human heart, and the courage it takes to forgive the people we love.

The total impact of the book will stay with you for days to come after it is finished. Hardcover , pages. Pine Island, Washington United States. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Night Road , please sign up. Is this book considered young adult fiction? Stephanie Tischler I want my 15 almost 16 year old to read this book just because it feels so real when I am reading it.

Would you like it after I am finished? I would like it. See all 7 questions about Night Road…. Lists with This Book. Sep 25, Aestas Book Blog rated it it was amazing Shelves: My heart is racing. I feel out of breath. There are tears in my eyes. Kristin Hannah however, writes deeply emotional fiction novels that are more widely focused on all kinds of Kristin Hannah however, writes deeply emotional fiction novels that are more widely focused on all kinds of relationships, but not solely romantic ones.

Today, I was in the mood for two things: My God, such an intensely heart-wrenching love story. And oh boy, did it ever make me feel everything!!!! Then we have Jude — mother of teenage twins Mia and Zach — who was the well-to-do wife of a surgeon. Some women might be overwhelmed by the noise and mayhem, but not Jude. She wanted the kids to hang out here. But she knew where her children were and she knew they were safe.

Lexi and Zach met on the first day of school and although they instantly connected, Lexi also met Mia and they quickly bonded into best friends. The girl who had nothing and the girl who had everything. Complete opposites yet kindred spirits. And because of her friendship with Mia, Zach kept his distance from Lexi, not wanting to do anything that would compromise the one friend his beloved sister had finally made. I was pretty much rendered speechless. The unfairness of it all tore my heart out!!!

I just needed to get that out. But this went WAY above and beyond what I could ever have imagined. Did not see that coming! In his eyes, she saw both a fragile youth and a terrible maturity. I never even tried not to. The way she describes characters and relationship dynamics is downright brilliant. She just GETS people and their relationships with each other on such a deep level. I can read a page romance book in hours, but if I try to read most fiction books, it usually takes me like two weeks to get through the first half.

I just love it. You may find yourself hating someone you loved at first and then loving someone you hated. But you may also find yourself forgiving things you never thought you would. And I promise that even though the journey throughout the book is often painful and heart-wrenching, the ending is worth it. View all 38 comments. This is definitely a book I will be recommending to friends for a long time. Surprisingly, I hadn't heard anything about this book until I went to vote on the Goodreads polls a few months ago.

This book was nominated for best book of , and the cover instantly stood out to me, and I think it's very beautiful. I read the synopsis, and at first was hesitant, because the title, and synopsis seemed to give me the impression that the book would be very predictable. Definitely not the case. Ju This is definitely a book I will be recommending to friends for a long time. Jude lives in a small town raising her twins Mia and Zack. Along with her husband Miles, they seem to live the perfect life in their perfect little community. Zach is very popular, but Mia is quite reserved.

One day at school Mia meets a girl named Lexi when she discovers her reading a book she likes. She warns Lexi that being her friend is social suicide, but Lexi doesn't care. Lexi was from a from a foster home, and has a dark past, but Jude welcomes her daughter's new friend. Eventually she becomes like one of the family, as they all get along so well.

When I first started reading I loved the writing style. I enjoyed the fact that it changed POV between a teen and a mom. I thought that was kind of unique. The characters were great. Lexi was one of the most wonderfully written characters I have ever read about. The way she grows as a person in this book is simply astonishing. Jude was another well developed character that I could really relate to as a mom. She was over the top at times, in terms of her overbearing methods, but her heart was always in the right place.

Every character in this story loves completely with all their heart. The supporting characters shined as well. This book has so many twists, and some are so major you wonder if you are still reading the same book. Hannah will take your emotions all over the place. One minute you will be laughing along with the family, one minute in tears, and another minute feeling angry about things that are going on. You will never be bored for a second reading this book, and I actually read it in one sitting, because I just had to know what would happen next.

I feel like this book sends lots of great messages about love, loss, forgiveness, acceptance and much more,and I feel she can send her messages in a positive way without ever sounding preachy.

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Night Road is an emotionally complex book, and it's truly unforgettable. This is my first book of Hannah's, and I will definitely be checking out more of her books! I really think this is a book that can be enjoyed by teens and adults alike, but I do feel us moms can truly appreciate it the most.

View all 12 comments. This book has made me speechless. I'm repeating myself because that's who exactly I feel this book has pulled my heartstrings. I love Zach, Lexi and Grace. At first I definitely have mixed feelings about Jude, like she was the mother who revolved her life around her kids, wanted the best for her children which all parents want but than I hated her for charging charges against Lexi. I hated how everyone thought of themselves that time.

My heart felt for Lexi when she had to give her baby away, she carried her baby for nine months only for her to be taken away and than again she was left with the pain and loss of losing everything. Once again Mia takes the spotlight. Zach had it so hard I wished he fought a little harder though, I know after losing his sister it was very hard for him but he only tried to keep his mother happy when all she did was neglect him.

One would think that after you lost one child you would keep the other in front of your eyes and shower them with lots of love, she didn't instead she wallowed in her own pain and didn't care for Miles pain, he lost his daughter too, Zach lost his sister too but he is holding it together.

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Jude has it all, a perfect family, a perfect house, a perfect life. All may be read as standalones. Lexi has lived her life in and out of foster homes based on the ability of her drug addict mother to properly care for her between prison sentences and stints in rehab facilities. Yeah, I can be a cruel bitch. The way she grows as a person in this book is simply astonishing.

Lexi lost her best friend, she has to carry the burden of being the driver, that girl had enough grief in life and she was blamed for her death. Ughh, I wanted to punch her in the face! Can't you see that poor girl heart broken. Miles and Eve are the best. I loved them both, they were the pillars for Zach and Lexi.

It's really hard to find such emotional books that are written so well and beautifully. This book made me think of so many things. We are human and we tend to make so many mistakes it takes a lot to own up to them and learn from them. I think many times what if Lexi didn't plead guilty would her sentence have been shorten would she have gone to prison.

Maybe because of the way it went it was because it would have been easier on Lexi to move on, for her to have her happy ending? View all 23 comments.

I know I probably didn't give this enough of a chance. Maybe it would have gotten better. But the other audiobook I was waiting for came in, so it is without any regret whatsoever that I bid this one adieu. The first thing I noticed about this book was how overwritten it was. Way, way too many adjectives. Kristin Hannah seems to have graduated the Babysitter's Club school of overdescription and ham-fisted characterization.

You know how in the Babysitter's Club books the author tells you what they were all wearing, because your sixth grade heart is fascinated by their outfits which, of course, offer deep insight into the characters' complex personalities? So of course, the two parents in this book are beautiful with a honeymoonesque marriage and live in a gorgeous house.

Jude, the mother, loves tending her orderly garden because of the predictability -- gee, do you think she might be a control freak? I dunno; maybe I need to be hit over the head just a little more with these obvious metaphors. Well, no problem -- conveniently, Jude and her husband get into a discussion right away about Jude's overparenting where Jude's husband decides to list off all the things Jude does for her children on a daily basis.

Yup, just like the kind of conversation my husband and I have all the time. Don't worry, readers, we characters don't know you're there -- we just feel this compelling need to recount our everyday behaviors in this spontaneous discussion. And then there's Lexie, the teenage foster child who's been traumatized repeatedly and just wants someone to love her. She's instantly lovable, of course, no limit-testing or risk-taking or attitude or other difficult behaviors foster children frequently present with perfectly understandable in the context of what they've been through, just not so easy to live with.

But lovable Lexie wouldn't do anything like that, because the reader is meant to have her heartstrings pulled and Lexie's acting difficult might add unwanted complexity. Lexie's aging great-aunt who recently learned of her existence is similarly lovable and loving -- oh, sure, she always wanted a child and is immediately prepared to sacrifice everything for Lexie's sake.

No resentment or even ambivalence at this unexpected disruption of her old age and drain on her finances. This may be the fault of the audiobook reader, but the teenager -- Mia? I suppose it's not Kristin Hannah's fault that the audiobook reader decided to read all of Mia's lines in a squeaky, ditzy, Minnie Mouse voice but it just emphasized Mia's over-the-top neediness and insecurity.

I could go on.

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I did get further in the book, but I think I've pretty much given you a taste of why I'm stopping. This writing style is incredibly off-putting to me, and although it's possible the book gets better, I really don't have the patience if there's something with hopefully more potential for me to read. Kristin Hannah and I are just not meant to be, it seems. View all 50 comments. Apr 20, Nancy rated it it was ok. It's an engaging premise: But Hannah piles on layers of irritating detail: How critical it is to get into the right college, and how your life is essentially over if you don't have the money to go to a good college a fact that is presented without context as just the way life is Ehnnn How critical it is to get into the right college, and how your life is essentially over if you don't have the money to go to a good college a fact that is presented without context as just the way life is.

Teen-age drinking as inevitable. Teenage sex as inevitable. Quite obviously, the person readers are supposed to relate to, to feel sorry for, is Jude, the ever-hovering Helicopter Mom. But nobody in this story feels real, with the possible exception of poor Lexi, who gets punished, big-time, for trying to hang out with the advantaged kids. Her reward, which comes in the last 4 or 5 pages of the book defies reality.

It's as if Hannah can't decide how to end a complex, layered plot, so pours on a bottle of emotional syrup. Is everybody happy now? Not the reader, who's been jerked around enough. The worst part of the book the place where I start skimming is when a friend visits Jude after a horrible funeral, wearing Juicy Couture sweats. Perhaps this is what Hannah and her set does--notices who's wearing expensive designer brands, even in the midst of grief. View all 10 comments. Aug 23, Maureen rated it really liked it. I did not expect to love this as much as I did.

Or become as addicted. The story was pretty predictable but so good. It made me cry, it made me smile, it did so many things in between. I really loved the characters and loved seeing their growth and change and heartbreak and AH it was just so good y'all. This one started off a little slow. Plus, I really wanted to kill the mother. OK, we are all invested in our children's lives but, c'mon, she was just OTT!!! Even when they were older, Jude was just so much in their business.

You have to cut the apron strings at some stage. Saying that, I will be the one who will be a miserable wreck sending my youngest off to college next September. It was sort of obvious what was going to happen It did take a little turn that I did not really se This one started off a little slow. It did take a little turn that I did not really see coming. Even so, throughout most of the book, I did not like Jude at all. If I was Miles, I would have told her to get a grip or fuck off!!

Yeah, I can be a cruel bitch. Midnight upon the journey of our life I found myself within a forest dark, For the straightforward pathway had been lost I really felt for Lexi. She had a shitty upbringing and then for THAT to happen. But she took it on the chin. I read the synopsis but not any reviews. I really did not want spoilers. It was no wonder that emotion ran so high in these first golden days of summer In the end, I still could not really warm to Jude. And I thought it ended up a tad too quickly and nicely. Wrapped with a lovely pink bow It was quite an emotional read.

I did shed a few tears. Actually when Himself saw me this morning, he said "You look absolutely wrecked! I had to explain that my book was a little emotional. Of course, I got the eye roll View all 21 comments. Nov 18, Brenda - Traveling Sister rated it it was amazing Shelves: Higher than a 5 from me.

I couldn't put this down. Night road made me feel, think, ask myself questions and want to talk about it. Unforgettable and one I will think of often. Feb 12, Regina rated it it was ok.

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I almost gave this book one star, but since I at least finished reading it, I figured it had a little merit. Overall, I found the characters unrealistic, shallow, and almost caricatures. I'm not one to speak ill of the dead, but since it's a fictional character I will. Mia is an over-privileged, over indulged self-centered poor little rich girl with no coping skills.

We find out out deeply into the book that someone called her "pizza face" in 8th grade so that's why she's frail and needy for the I almost gave this book one star, but since I at least finished reading it, I figured it had a little merit. We find out out deeply into the book that someone called her "pizza face" in 8th grade so that's why she's frail and needy for the rest of her life.

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Night Road has ratings and reviews. Aestas Book Blog said FULL REVIEW NOW POSTED 5 STARS!!!!!!!!!!! Holy wow, after finishing thi. Reading Night Road was a bit of a departure from my usual choice in books because, for the most part, I'm a hard-core romance reader. Kristin.

She's blond, beautiful and rich with an extremely handsome and popular twin brother, and she has enough acting chops to get into USC, but she's so fragile. She doesn't even consider that her twin brother might have different college aspirations, much less other life ambitions. She can't go alone. So too, the other characters are extremely exagerrated versions of good and evil.

Miles the father is always wise and good. The grandmother, Jude's mother, is always cold and harsh. As for the story itself, you know from the book jacket that there's going to be an accident and you're just waiting to find out who dies. Too much of the first half of the book is just very repetitive character portrayals of fragile Mia, strong Lexi, and handsome Zach.

The second half of the story, from the accident and forward, it moves on, but by then it's built on unbelievable characters, so it lacks the ability to evoke pathos from the reader. Curiousity to see how it all comes to closure brings the reader to the end, but not with empathy. Overall, this was a disappointment from Kristen Hannah.

I have higher hopes for Home Front. View all 4 comments. Dec 20, Erin rated it it was amazing. This book is set in Washington State, like most of Kristin Hannah's books are. It starts with the story of Lexi Baill who is a perpetual foster child who has finally found her 'forever home' with an elderly aunt. Thanks to the help of her social worker she is enrolled in a prestigious and wealthy communities high school and befriends Mia who is a social outcast compared to her popular, jock brother.

For several years everything is wonderful for them until a sudden tragedy changes the course of This book is set in Washington State, like most of Kristin Hannah's books are. For several years everything is wonderful for them until a sudden tragedy changes the course of both families lives forever. This was a rare 5-star book for me. It also really made me think and become somewhat terrified of my kids growing up and all the challenges that come with parenting teenagers.

When you have little ones you always think 'This will be easier when they have a life of their own'. But, this was a stark reminder that it never really gets easier when you have the unconditional love that a parent provides. This book invoked tears, and that is something I very rarely find. Night Road follows a woman named Jude, who is a mother to two twins Zach and Mia and Lexi a former foster child with a dark past. Lexi quickly befriends Mia and the two become inseparable even when later, Zach and Lexi fall in love. Jude is helicopter mother. She does everything she can to keep her twins safe and she makes sure that they are both on track for college.

One night when the twins attend a high school party right before their graduation, Zach — who is suppose to be the DD ends up being Night Road follows a woman named Jude, who is a mother to two twins Zach and Mia and Lexi a former foster child with a dark past. When it came down to going home, they had to make a decision between calling their mother, or driving the one mile towards home.

Last time the twins got drunk and called for their mother to pick them up, Jude reacted poorly and punished them, despite the fact that they did the right thing. This was my first Kristin Hannah book and I honestly have no idea how to feel. I had a hard time putting it down, it was engrossing, the plot was super interesting, it was emotional. This is one of those books that really takes you for a ride.

I got to see them as young kids heading towards a future and for some reason books like these can be way harder to read over books that start with the tragedy because of that attachment. But the problem for me ended up being that after the tragedy that occurs, I found that the emotion that was most prominent was anger. I found myself angry for the rest of the book. Angry at the way Jude reacted towards Lexi when there was so many factors and people at fault for the accident. I felt like both Jude, Lexi, Zach and Mia were all at fault one way or another here, but the poor girl with the dark background is the one that gets the short end of the stick.

Lexi is unable to take what she had done and ends up pleading guilty and going to prison as MADD was already trying to make an example out of her and Jude had decided to press charges for Vehicular homicide. No that is not it, I do believe it is realistic. I spend a lot of the book being angry, and the book was a bit on the long side, so I spent a lot of time just trying to get through it. It just felt so emotionally draining that at times I just had a hard time with the book. It feels like one of those books where the author chooses one character who already has a short end of the stick and keeps throwing punches at that character through the book, to me that is just seriously exhausting.

Thought the book was well written and the story was interesting and compelling, I felt like it was also a little too long and it just felt like a little too much? I just had a hard time with Jude at the end, her anger blended with my anger, but I felt like it was all just so unfair. He was 18 years old, he should have had a voice. But, the book did its job. The writing is emotionally driven, the storytelling was well done and I really enjoyed it. Feb 21, Arah-Lynda rated it it was ok Shelves: It would be easy to say this is a coming of age story but it really is much, more than that.

Yes we have our teenage angst but we also have their parents and all the possibilities of life and how, these things that are possible, these choices we make, how it can all affect us, each and every one. I found the first quarter of this story to be slow and I had a difficult time relating to The Farraday's as a family, really. Lexi, however, did have my full attention from the beginning, she felt real to me, her circumstances more than possible. Overall though, I found the characters to be shallow, contrived somehow, and I never quite made the connection with anyone, as a reader, save Lexi.

In the end I enjoyed the read and the journey this family took, each in their own way. Mar 16, Kerry rated it it was ok Shelves: The premise of this book is straightforward: There, she befriends Mia, the shy, socially awkward twin sister of Zach, the most popular boy in school.

Jude, Mia's and Zach's mother, is overjoyed that Mia has finally found a friend, and adopts Lexi as part of the family. The remainder of the book deals with the fallout and how the characters - primarily Lexi, Zach, and Jude, deal with the consequences. I am really conflicted about this book. On the one hand, I really connected with Lexi and, to a lesser extent, Mia; that connection is what kept me reading the book right up to the end. On the other hand, the book is full of problems and flaws that kept making me want to metaphorically throw it against a wall. In no particular order, here are some of the biggest ones.

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First, and least excusably, the book is poorly edited. A handful of examples: Jude putting on two different pair of jeans within the same paragraph; Lexi not knowing that her "heart could take wing", when it did so twice within two paragraphs a few chapters earlier; two different people being responsible for driving Gracie to kindergarten again, within two consecutive paragraphs.

Much of the book is told through Jude's point of view, but I found her to be one of the most annoying characters I've encountered in a book in ages. Jude is a helicopter parent, but so over-the-top as to range from simply annoying to completely unbelievable even to someone who has dealt with many members of this species.

The way she deals or fails to deal with the book's central tragedy is puzzling at best. A very understandable deep depression with no apparent attempt at therapy , followed by 5 years of dysfunction masked by superficial coping, followed by a one-day epiphany that makes everything better simply didn't ring true. Finally, I became very tired of being hit over the head with the "teenage drinking is bad" message.

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At that point, every single student lives to party, in spite of parental efforts to prevent them. So heavy-handed is the treatment of the topic that teen drinking is practically its own character, one that stumbles in and out of scenes like the proverbial bull in a china shop. In general, Hannah's prose is serviceable, but falls into cliche and awkward metaphor upon occasion.

Again, I think better editing would have fixed a lot of those problems. And, just for the record, glaciers only move forward when they accumulate ice, not when they start to thaw. View all 6 comments. May 04, Jennifer rated it it was amazing Shelves: Night Road is the first book I have read by author Kristin Hannah.

This was an intense book! Up until the fifty percent mark, it appeared to be a coming of age story of sorts. But at that point, everything in these characters' lives went to hell. After one incident of poor judgment, the lives of all the characters involved are changed forever. This story is painfully real.

All of the consequences portrayed in this book are heartbreakingly preventable and knowing this added to the tears I persona Night Road is the first book I have read by author Kristin Hannah. All of the consequences portrayed in this book are heartbreakingly preventable and knowing this added to the tears I personally shed while reading. The grief shared by the characters is profound and has such an impact on the way they move forward with their lives. I loved this book and I just don't know where to start as I begin to praise the amount of talent gifted to Kristin Hannah.

She wrote these characters in such detail; I felt I knew them. Their emotions, struggles, and choices are so understandable. The reader can't help but remain hopeful when all hope seems to be lost. In the end, I had so many possible conclusions flowing through my head. I honestly didn't expect it to end the way it did. I will definitely be reading more of Kristin Hannah. I actually can't wait to read another one of her books! If you enjoy painfully-real contemporary fiction themed with life, loss, and how one choice can change your life, then read Night Road!

The criminal case would be opened back up during a custody battle and it would be determined that Mia's death was caused by the untreated head injury she sustained while drunk at the party and not by the auto accident. Lexi would be exonerated. After Jude's epiphany that Lexi deserves forgiveness and after she decides to be a better grandmother to Grace, Jude is interacting with Grace during a car ride and while glancing back at Grace, Jude accidentally hits Lexi while she's driving and kills her.

Nobody believes that Jude had a change of heart and she is charged with homicide. Wouldn't that just be everybody's luck! I really didn't expect a happy ending but I'm glad it ended the way it did! A way to remember with a smile instead of a sob. View all 8 comments. Jan 06, Melissa rated it it was amazing Shelves: My heart is racing. I feel out of breath. There are tears in my eyes. Today, I was in the mood for two things: Then we have Jude — mother of teenage twins Mia and Zach — who was the well-to-do wife of a surgeon.

Some women might be overwhelmed by the noise and mayhem, but not Jude. She wanted the kids to hang out here. But she knew where her children were and she knew they were safe. Of the twins, Zach was popular and outgoing, while Mia was quiet and had trouble making friends, but even with their differences, they were very close and would do anything for each other. Lexi and Zach met on the first day of school and although they instantly connected, Lexi also met Mia and they quickly bonded into best friends. The girl who had nothing and the girl who had everything. Complete opposites yet kindred spirits.

And because of her friendship with Mia, Zach kept his distance from Lexi, not wanting to do anything that would compromise the one friend his beloved sister had finally made. I was pretty much rendered speechless. I just needed to get that out. But this went WAY above and beyond what I could ever have imagined.

Did not see that coming! He seemed to crumble at that. In his eyes, she saw both a fragile youth and a terrible maturity. I never even tried not to. The way she describes characters and relationship dynamics is downright brilliant.