To Get to You / by Joanne Bischof. 4.5.2017

Mason Jar Books ISBN 9781514637500

HS Grades 9-12 Rating: 5

Eighteen-year-old Riley Kane is desperate to get to the girl who holds his heart and whose family is depending on his arrival during a time of crisis. When his source of transportation fails him and he has no other alternative, Riley must reach out to the last man he wants to see or ever need. To the world, Jake Kane is one of the greatest pro surfers of his time, but to Riley, he is the world’s worst dad, the man who walked away from him and his mom years ago.

Swallowing his hurt and anger for the sake of the girl he loves, Riley accepts his father’s offer to drive him from California to New Mexico. Will they be able to survive the week-long trip or will the roadblocks of hurt, bitterness, and regret be too great to maneuver through?

Worthy of its honor as a 2016 Christy Award finalist, To Get to You by Joanne Bischof is a poignant tale of a father and son who discover second chances and forgiveness on the Pacific Coast Highway in an old Volkswagen van. The story is written from Riley’s perspective, revealing his honest struggles and vulnerability while endearing himself to readers in the process. Riley is a new Christian, complete with mohawk, piercings, skull t-shirt, and a less than perfect past, while Becca, the girl he loves, is a home school graduate with a purity that Riley desires to honor. The contrast in their lives is a beautiful picture of how God looks at the heart rather than the exterior and how His perfect grace is making all things new. The romance between Riley and Becca, which is a secondary focus of the plot, is full of purity, sweetness, and sacrificial love. Holding center stage is Riley and his father’s journey, which is full of painful remorse and lost time that will bring tears but also, in the end, renewed hope for God’s ability to bring healing and restoration.

The overarching theme of this story is surrendered brokenness, held together and made more perfect by the beautiful mystery of grace.

Justina McBride, CLJ