To say that Ten Miles Past Normal wasn’t what I expected would be a vast understatement. I expected a light, fun read, which I suppose it was. But I found myself enjoying the novel far more than I had anticipated. Janie was a fun protagonist. She was this little animal loving hippy girl, and I’m a sucker for that. She was quirky and just a breath of fresh air. However, adorable or not, she wasn’t my favorite part of the novel. To me, the best parts were the secondary characters and plotlines. To throw this girl in the middle of a bunch of tattooed band members brought back some memories, and I could connect to her in these scenarios through my own experiences. It was refreshing. Another was the elderly people that Janie and her friends interviewed. I feel that too often elders are presented as racist, and we generally accept it and move on because they’re older. They were around when things were different, so it’s almost as if they get a free pass. One thing I loved about Ten Miles Past Normal was that it showed that there are elders who are the exact opposite of that. Some of them were actually against racism, even back then, and were active in their community in the fight against segregation. I loved that these were the kind of people Janie encountered. One of the issues I had with the novel was Janie’s age. Throughout the beginning, with a reference to Saved by the Bell and a relatively mature girl, I wasn’t expecting to find out that she was only fourteen. I also wasn’t expecting this to play a role in the romantic aspect in the story, which brings me to my other issue with the novel. The ending. It was a happy ending, but it wasn’t what I had grown to expect throughout the novel. I felt as if it left numerous loose ends, and for a stand-alone novel, I was let down. It felt incomplete. However, despite the ending, Ten Miles Past Normal was a short, fun read that I would recommend to anyone who enjoys contemporary young adult.