Reviews

Destination Anywhere, by Sara Barnard

isapop's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional hopeful
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

joannaxo's review

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emotional hopeful inspiring lighthearted reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

farahhananii's review

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5.0

This book is insanely me, I'm so shocked that I didn't ghostwrite it.

Trigger Warning: Bullying, anxiety, abandonment, drugs.

This book is also deeply personal to me, every feeling, thought and journey was as if it was dug from my brain and spilled on paper in a more eloquent form than an abstract feeling in my nerves.

I too, ran away to a different country to escape a crumbled life. I too, felt the desperation in search of a more permanent and unbreakable bond in a friendship that I dreamt and fantasized about my whole life. I too, had the stupid bad luck of just being myself and people not liking me for me. And I too, changed myself to fit in a mold that wouldn't fit.

For the longest time, I've rationalized and beat myself up over the fact that I'm crying over stupid friendships before realizing that my feelings are still valid and I'm allowed to feel the way I do even if nobody understands it.

I didn't think reading about my own (similar) experiences would be hard but it really was. I had to stop about 10% in and read two different books before continuing with this one. What I love the most about this book was that it wasn't anything extraordinarily cruel or brutal or extreme. Peyton's bullying experience was... mundane (it sounds bad/trivial when I put it that way but it really was... small) but the effects of that were huge and scarring and lasts a lifetime. A lot of Peyton's reactions to the friendships that she develops after are knee-jerk reactions and I UNDERSTOOD IT.

"There should be a different word for it," I said. "Bullied. It makes it sound so trivial."
"Because I have no friends and if I don't make friends I will die."
— my EXACT sentiment throughout life.

"A group of friends with their own history, all but impenetrable. It made me anxious, worried there was no room for me." — whenever I make new friends with people that already have their own clique.

"You know what traveling alone actually is? Lonely. Really, really lonely. And honestly, kind of boring too." — when I took that impromptu trip to Damyang for ~self-discovery~ just to have a hellish journey and be bored out of my mind by my own company.


"It was too late to try making new friends at college, but maybe I could just see out the year on my own." — when I had a fallout with one person that made me had a fallout with a WHOLE GROUP so I ended up self-isolating myself.

"There should be a word for friend love. It burns as hard, just in a different way."
"For all people talk about girls needing boyfriends to validate them, no one really talks about how girls needs best friends for the same reason."
— no one ever talks about friendship pains and no one ever talks about how complicated it can get.

Obviously, as a book there's character development for closure, and Peyton's VERY LUCKY to have understanding parents who, while pissed off as fxxk, are still open to conversation and communication. It might not always end that way in real life, but I take small comfort in Peyton's closure hoping I'll get comfortable enough to get to that position one day.

becca_loves_reading's review

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5.0

I enjoyed this book so much

kelliesambooks's review

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5.0

Destination Anywhere is another brilliantly written book by Sara Barnard! It’s the book I needed during this lockdown when we actually can’t go anywhere. The main character Peyton has had enough of her life, being friendless and bullied for most of it, she decides on her own to flee to Canada. Without planning anything she gets on a plane and simply goes!

Told through a “then and now” narrative, Peyton finds herself trying to heal from something which is thousands of miles away. It’s really interesting how the story develops, learning more about the heartbreaking life Peyton had left behind, compared to the travelling and exploring a lot of people could only dream of. Reading how positive Peyton is in Canada (now narrative) compared to how she reads at home (then narrative) really gives you a sense how things have not changed for her because of the one big step that she has made and how important the experience is for her, making her grow and try her best to heal.

Having been bullied myself I know how Peyton felt and sometimes wanting to escape was the only way I thought I could get over it. I did not go to this extreme but I can understand exactly what she was going through to make her do what she did. Such an honest story of what a 17-year-old's life could be like.

I was extremely jealous of the places she got to visit; Sara took me on an adventure through a place that I have never been before, making me want to go even more with the breathtaking background of the adventure of a lifetime for Peyton.

The book makes you feel the complete struggle that Peyton was going through, but then gives you the light and fun side of what she actually achieved and where she grew because of the pain she suffered. It made me laugh and at times really ugly cry. But it was such an uplifting read and really made me miss being able to explore and go somewhere to escape from reality.

Sara Barnard has written another wonderful YA book full of emotion, hard topics, beautiful landscapes, amazing relationships and something to make you smile!

65katies's review

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adventurous lighthearted medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.0

mullemit's review

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4.0

I’m used to being really impressed by Sara Barnard’s work, and I definitely walked away with something and I did enjoy Destination Anywhere, but it felt a little shallow compared to some of her other books.
I think it’s mostly a question of personal taste, I like her more intimate, less plot-oriented books better, and I feel like even though there was plenty for me to identify with in Peyton that the premise™️ sort of got in the way of really connecting with her. 

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kindwordsgoodbooks's review

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5.0

sara barnard does it again, another book i will give a mysterious rare five stars to but barely function to actually review because the book hit so close to home and my own experiences that it would be legit painful to think too much on.

i understand some have knocked stars off for it being too unrealistic, fantastical, etc and i super disagree.
in regards to travel: lots of 17 -almost-18 yrs olds travel like this, and even if not, sometimes logistical things HAVE to be tweaked or fiction would cease to exist, lol
in regards to how Peyton acts and reacts: shes traumatised. insanely lonely and sad and with terrible self esteem. obviously she does stupid things. and if she comes across immature its because she is.. 17. you can be smart enough to know how to travel and get things done but still be emotionally immature. plus she matures in the novel.. which is the point, no?? everyone always wants dynamic and flawed characters until a character is actually dynamic and flawed, especially when its a girl!
and also the plausibility of 17 yr olds taking coke.. maybe this is just very telling about me as a person but when i was that age i would feel like the odd one out for *not* doing hard drugs, in certain circles. this shit is really normalised depending on where you're from. i think american readers are sometimes too used to US centric YA where folk barely even drink, and if they do its an alcohol abuse storyline.. but in the UK the drinking culture is so, so different, especially in scotland for instance. so i have no qualms with the authors choices here. it was incredibly realistic to me and im glad she didnt shy away from the topic.

ultimately i think sara barnard does a grand job at treating teens like the complex, emotional and intelligent people they are. the book is funny and beautiful and heartbreaking and clever and i loved it so so much.

brewtifulfiction's review

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5.0

I just adore Sara.

Her novels never fail to make me laugh, cry, smile and sigh!

I was lucky enough to win an ARC of Destination Anywhere and again it didn't disappoint.

It's a coming of age story with real depth and emotion.

Peyton is a teenager who has grown up friendless (we've all felt this way at times) and like many of us feeling like she is being controlled by her parents.

After a serious incident where she ended up in hospital, she begins to question just what she is doing and where her life is heading.

Left feeling lonely and down trodden, she makes the impulsive decision to get on a plane to Canada to start afresh.

An adventure awaits....

What happens after is inspiring and up-lifting.

Can Peyton find the friendship she craves, or perhaps she'll get something much more meaningful?

I always finish one of Sara's books with a smile on my face, more hope in my heart and a yearning to read more about the characters that she has created.

Destination Anywhere takes you on an exciting exploration of love, life and living. You could say it is a journey of a life time.

han_is_reading's review

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adventurous hopeful inspiring lighthearted reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

3.5