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Thou Shalt Not Road Trip Hardcover – 12 Apr 2012

4 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 329 pages
  • Publisher: Dial Books (12 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803734344
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803734340
  • Product Dimensions: 14.7 x 3.1 x 21.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,143,807 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Thou Shalt Not Road Trip tells the story of 16 year old Luke's trip across America promoting his best-selling book, which started life as a church assignment. Stranger things have happened, and I'm certainly not one to dig on a book for an unlikely premise. I enjoyed the writing style, and the book is really funny in places, especially in excerpts from Luke's book which read like a diary of his life told in bible verse, i.e '..he stood his ground and asked the bully, 'Why do you me bully me, bully?' And the bully spake thus: 'I don't know. It's what bullies do, right?' Joining Luke on his trip are ex-girlfriend Fran, brother Matt and Matt's girlfriend. Unfortunately, as the book goes on, more and more unbelievable circumstances crop up, and not in a farcical manner either. At 300 pages plus, Thou Shalt Not Road Trip doesn't have the necessary zip to breeze past inconsistencies that include, but aren't limited to:

+ Luke's agent sending him on a major book tour, (he's 16, remember), with no professional aid beyond money because he has another engagement. A major publisher, for a best-seller, can't spare ANYONE to go on this trip. Okay.

+ Luke's agent becoming a kind of antagonist, chasing them up each time they spend too much company money, or a book promotion goes wrong, (again; he's 16. He has no training. Why would you think this would go well?)

+ Luke's ex-girlfriend Fran being treated like a freak EVERYWHERE THEY GO because she has an alternative look. As an English person the geographical points don't mean much to me so maybe they just went on a trip through an incredibly intolerant stretch of America, but if that's the case it's never addressed.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Witty, intelligent, with flawed characters that both infuriate and entertain and ultimately discover something about themselves. So, much like Antony John's other books, Busted and Five Flavors of Dumb. Pretty much read them at one sitting due in no small part to his entertaining writing style and yes, ok, it helps that he's a mate. But, hey, no sycophancy here, genuinely great books from this one time music professor, turned stay at home dad, turned novelist (so proud... sniff). Want darker, grittier stuff, try his new fantasy novel, Elemental!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9bc2ed44) out of 5 stars 7 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b605438) out of 5 stars Well written, colorful and rich characters, risky but creative move by Antony John that mostly pays off 12 April 2012
By Christina (Ensconced in Lit) - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Because I loved his first book, Five Flavors of Dumb, I asked the author for an ARC of his new book, Thou Shalt Not Road Trip, and he graciously complied. This does not bias my review.

This book is about a boy named Luke who writes a best-seller Hallelujah at Bible camp, and because of his growing fame, goes on book tour. He's piloted by his older brother Matt, who just happens to bring his girlfriend, Alex, and her sister, Fran. Luke has a complicated history with Fran, and this trip just magnifies how far they've grown apart.

I'll admit I had a love and hate relationship with this book. Antony John's strength lies in developing characters who are real and very flawed. Because of this, they are allowed to grow and change throughout the book. To me, Luke is not a very likeable guy. He's holier-than-thou, whiny, and almost embarrassingly naive. But when I dug into my own soul, I have known teenagers like him. And part of the reason I felt such a strong dislike for him is because I used to be him, once. So I should allow him grow as I have grown. While Luke was not likeable at the beginning, at the end, I could see glimpses of the adult that he might be.

There were other wonderful aspects of this book. Fran was a beautiful character who we learn to love more and more as the story progresses. Another character that I was completely surprised by was Colin, his agent. To me, his conversation near the end with Luke was probably one of the most true and poignant passages in the whole book.

I did have one significant issue with this book. To me, the passages of Luke's book were not that compelling. I couldn't fathom how it became a bestseller. Part of the problem is that the rest of the book is so well written. I feel that dichotomy worked against the story.

Antony John takes a huge risk with this book, which I appreciate. I'm sure he will turn some people off with his host of characters-- a Bible toting teenager who is hailed as the next Messiah may not be everyone's cup of tea. But while I was not as captivated with Road Trip as I was his wonderful Dumb, Road Trip is well worth reading and I encourage everyone to look past its exterior-- after all, isn't that the ultimate message of this story?
HASH(0x9b5c2f00) out of 5 stars Courtesy of ChickLovesLit . com 19 Jun. 2012
By S Day - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Antony John's FIVE FLAVORS OF DUMB was a great, great contemporary, especially because the protagonist was a girl in a unique situation (deaf). Naturally seeing another book by the same author got me excited.

I had a lot of fun reading THOU SHALT NOT ROAD TRIP. It wasn't the same kind of book as FIVE FLAVORS was for me, but I still enjoyed it quite a bit.

Luke has had a book published from journal entries he wrote while at a church camp. This vaults him to instant popularity, as the masses absolutely love his book - so his publicist sends him on a book tour that requires him to drive across the country.

Actually doing the driving is Luke's brother Matt, and the dynamic between the brothers is fun - Matt is the irresponsible type, making Luke late for signings, using the publicists charge card to the max, and inviting his girlfriend on the trip (for obvious personal reasons). And Luke has to try to deal with it. His exasperation was entertaining, and added to the humor Antony John wrote throughout the book.

One of my favorite parts of THOU was the publishing/publicist storyline, probably because I'm interested in that in real life as well. Luke's publicist was a publicist from a distance, communicating via phone, and reading about Luke balancing his publicist and brother was a riot.

Though perhaps not 100% obvious from the title and synopsis, THOU SHALT NOT ROAD TRIP does have a religious slant, as Luke wrote a book about Christianity. I didn't find it to be overpowering, but it is definitely a theme in the book, especially as Luke tries to find himself and what he believes.

A solid book from John, THOU SHALT NOT ROAD TRIP entertained me. It didn't connect with me in the way that FIVE FLAVORS did, but it's still one that I would recommend for fans of road trips, or those who may be amused with the book publishing aspect.
HASH(0x9b4b742c) out of 5 stars Really good! 22 April 2012
By Jude - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
~4/5 (Maybe 4.5/5)
I was hoping, even expecting, to really like this, especially because of how much I enjoyed John's second book, but then I was nervous when I found out that it was religious (which I didn't find out until I read another review, since I completely ignored the title. I was just like, Antony John['s new book]? WANT, and pre-ordered). (Which might not be surprising, if you've read this one review of mine...) I'm not too big on religion, so I was wary, and then I was surprised by how easily I got sucked into the book. Now, after reading it, I'm glad with how much I liked it, and am debating on its rating...
Thou Shalt Not Road Trip is about Luke, a boy who has written and published a book while still in high school, a book that he now, about a year later, feels very disconnected to. The book takes place when Luke goes on the tour for his book, a little over a week, with his brother Matt, his brother's girlfriend Alex, and Luke's old best friend and crush Fran. And during it all, he's kind of trying to find himself and deal with what happened around the time he wrote the book and after it got published.
So, I liked Luke. Mostly. Kind of. Well, he's sweet and I want to give him a hug, but at the same time, he's kind of self-centered and closed-minded and oblivious and I just want to shake him. But he's trying to get over those things, and he's getting better by the end of the book, so I feel that things are looking up for him, and I'm glad. 'cause even when he bothered me, (and probably because of how well-written he was,) I enjoyed being in his head.
We get to know Matt pretty well, and I wasn't a big fan of his. He's kind of a... um, jerk (douche, I feel, is a better word, but I don't like that word, and so am refraining from using it). But maybe he's getting better by the end? He did realize what he did wrong, and was doing some things to make it better, so... maybe, yea?. I don't feel I got to know Alex too well, but maybe she was okay? I did like Fran. I rather liked her a lot, and felt bad for what she was going through and went through and just wanted to be her friend through it all, when everyone else couldn't, and was wondering what she was thinking through all of it.
The road trip was fun. I haven't been to the places he went (at least, that I remember), and so it was fun to experience them with him. And it felt like more time should have gone by, instead of only a little over a week, but each day went by very smoothly; I was a little surprised with how well-done the pace was (which might be because it wasn't a love-at-first-sight story, since they all knew each other previously).
And now the religion part. Luke wrote a religious book, because he's a religious person, and goes to church and all that, but he's still very much a lost teenage boy (not that, ah, he wouldn't be a teenage boy just because he goes to church or anything; I swear, that is not what I am saying. [Maybe that his religion has not taken over his life?] More that, he still has teenage boy thoughts relating to girls; and also, that he gets embarrassed very easily by them, which is very cute and not bad in any way [this was a religious book with some really good romance, which I am very happy about]). And everything he thought about his religion, was very much of his own thoughts, and felt like they had nothing to do with the authors feelings about it all. It wasn't overbearing, and I didn't mind reading the religious parts, at all. Which was nice.
Also I liked the little excerpts of Luke's book, they were nice. And I found it interesting how disconnected he feels from the book, after all the editing and re-thinking, especially since it started as a journal style thing from youth group (or was it that summer camp thing? One of those things, I think?) only written in Bible format. I liked how he felt so different from when he wrote it, and his first interview was a complete blur in his mind, so he was surprised when everyone loved it so much and took it to be completely true and had such big reactions. I liked seeing how surprised he was when people came up to him, and with how many people came to his signings, and how upset they became later. It was really interesting and really well done.
The ending, I'm not so happy with. Mostly because of how things ended with Fran and Luke, but I don't want to spoil it, and so I won't say too much, but I'm not all that happy with it. I was hoping for something more, and while what happened isn't particularly bad, I was hoping for something different. Am a little disappointed, even though I feel that it is good for the characters, and isn't an overall bad thing. But, I guess, I can just imagine that things change later, progress more in the direction I want, or was hoping for? ([Possible Spoiler!] for Fran, to where she is more secure in him, perhaps?)
Aside from that, the book was really interesting and well done, and it kept me (a little surprisingly) interested throughout the whole thing, to where I didn't want to put it down, even as I had other things I wanted (or needed) to focus on, and even while I was trying to savor the experience. It was really good, and I'm really glad, and I'm super excited for his next book to be released (which, you guys, should only be later this year!).
[Taken from my blog.]
HASH(0x9b72815c) out of 5 stars Thou Shalt Not Road Trip 13 April 2012
By TotalBookaholic - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I'm a sucker for a road trip book so when I saw the cover for this one, I knew I had to read it. I think that due to the fact that I was strongly focused on the cover, I wasn't sure exactly what to expect with this book. The summary doesn't tell us a lot so I didn't know how focused it would be on spirituality.

Luke Dorsey is sort of an overnight success. He is very young but is already super famous among book lovers. He has difficulty dealing with this success and is mostly amazed at the way people treat him. Due to his popularity, he is sent on a book tour to promote his story.

Matt, Luke's brother, is supposed to act as his transportation from one signing to another. It's easy to see from the beginning that these brothers are not similar. Matt is a bit irresponsible and not at all prepared for a trip. He is more than willing to use funds from the publisher to take care of whatever is needed for the trip and even with that, they have several missteps along the way.

Soon, they are not only dealing wtih the stresses of travel, but bringing Matt's girlfriend and her sister (who just happens to be Luke's ex-girlfriend) Fran. This creates a bit of drama, but at the same time they learn a lot about themselves and each other.

Luke was a funny character. His writings were hilarious as well. There was just something about him that I liked immediately. He seemed like a typical, awkward young boy. He was funny without meaning to be sometimes just because of how he reacted to his brothers antics. It was a nice touch for this book.

I don't typically read a lot of books with religious topics. Not because I don't like them, but mainly because they can get preachy or, boring..to be honest. This book wasn't at all boring. Antony John's writing really kept the story flowing nicely. But, this book does have a lot of religious talk and internal dialogue. This may be something that most people enjoy, but it brought the book down a bit for me.

Recommended: Road trip fans looking for something funny with a religious meaning.
HASH(0x9b6a7498) out of 5 stars This is a road trip worth taking! 9 July 2012
By K Rez - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
What do you get when you take a trip on The Mother Road with a teen Christian author, a rebellious teenage girl, and a couple facing a crossroads in their relationship? You get another wonderful read by Antony John entitled "Thou Shalt Not Road Trip."

John takes us on a book tour with Luke Dorsey who has just read one of the most recent top selling Christian books - "Hallelujah." Due to a conflict in schedules with Luke's publisher, Luke's brother Matt is put in charge of making sure Luke completes his book tour from LA to St. Louis. What Luke doesn't realize is that Matt has invited two other traveling companions to join them - his girlfriend and her sister (who is in the midst of a classic teenage rebellion...and who used to be Luke's high school crush). Instead of taking interstate highways to each tour stop, Matt is determined to get from place to place on the Historic Route 66.

Luke's strong faith is challenged during his Route 66 trip as his friends, family and fans help him reexamine his positions on just about everything.

While this was written for a young adult audience, I think a much wider audience will enjoy it! There's a sense of nostalgia for those who remember Route 66 or who have ever seen one of the quirky sites along what's left of the legendary road. More importantly, these are interesting characters who challenge each other, as well as the readers.

I highly recommend this book for adults and teens, alike.
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