Wish You Were Here by Catherine Clark
This was the first book I've read by Catherine Clark. I was pleasantly surprised by how many times I laughed out loud. 16yr old Ariel Flack is going on summer vacation with her mother and younger sister Zena. Ariel thinks they will do a cross country car trip but her mother has booked them on a bus tour. She believes this would be a good way for the family to bond. Also on the bus are Ariel's grandparents and uncle Jeff. I really enjoyed her grands, especially the grandfather. The grandmother was a quiet type of cool. Uncle Jeff was interesting, fun with a serious fear of squirrels. Seniors made up of the rest of Leisure-Lee bus tour. (which by the way is the most perfect name for the bus tour). The Leisure Lee guides Jenny and Lenny are a fun duo. Also the bus tours namesake Lee makes an appearance. Throughout the trip Ariel sends postcards to her boyfriend, best friend, father and cat. The postcards made for a fun read, I especially liked the tops of them. I will share one of my favorites
The Rainbow Lanes and Motor Lodge. Where every morning is a good morning! Sleep on our deluxe full size mattressses. Enjoy in-room shower and iron
Luckily for Ariel, Andre a boy about her age is on the bus tour with his mother. The two spend a lot of time together. I really enjoyed their back and forth (sarcasm and a quick wit are a necessity when you're on a bus tour with family and seniors.) Though Ariel does make time for family. Along the way she spends quality time with the grands and uncle Jeff. What I love about her family is that they don't pressure Ariel to open up. They just seem happy to have her around. For Ariel's part she is not standoffish to her families openness. That made her a more likeable character to me. Even though Ariel is still coming to terms with her fathers betrayal of the family, she doesn't close up.
Wish You Were Here was a very fun read with a lot of laugh out loud moments. A co worker read this before me. She liked it but wished it was longer. I can understand wanting to spend more time with characters you like. This time though I was more then happy with the amount of time I got to spend with Ariel Flack, her family and the rest of the Leisure Lee crew.
I also love that the main character is 16 yrs old, and the book is appropriate for an 11 yr old. I get a lot of parents who are looking for YA suggestions for their preteen girls. Wish You Were Here is perfect. So I am totally adding it to my preteen repertoire