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Changes in Latitudes

Review

Changes in Latitudes

Jen Malone has written many teen romance novels involving travel. She wrote WANDERLOST, which was released in 2016, as well as MAP TO THE STARS and AT YOUR SERVICE. When she is not writing teen novels, she writes middle-grade adventure novels, including FOLLOW YOUR ART. CHANGES IN LATITUDES is Jen Malone’s newest young adult novel, and it takes her usual “road trip” novel out to sea.

Cassie is trying to deal with her parents’ divorce and her dwindling relationship with her mother. CHANGES IN LATITUDES sets Cassie on a sailboat for months with her mother and little brother so that they can begin to repair their relationships. Their goal is to sail the sailboat all the way along the West Coast and return it to its owners in Mexico. Cassie is nowhere near thrilled about living at sea, and she is miserable. When one of the boats in her caravan gets a new deckhand, however, she begins to question exactly what she could glean from this Pacific Ocean trip.

"CHANGES IN LATITUDE is a refreshing read involving family, love and travel. I recommend it to readers with wanderlust and those who want an engaging and impactful story."

CHANGES IN LATITUDES was a family-driven and emotional story. Cassie was an immature teenager a lot of the time, which I think is a side of being a teenager that is not often shown in YA. Sometimes teenagers are immature, but Cassie surely stepped up to the plate when she needed to. She felt as if her life had been ripped from her, and she was not okay with that. Sometimes I appreciated her stubbornness, but other times I wish she would just get over it. Overall, however, Cassie's flawed nature offered readers something that is missing from many young adult books: a realistic teen narrator.

The “road trip at sea” aspect made CHANGES IN LATITUDES quite the unique read. I enjoyed reading about all of the enticing cities that Cassie visited. At the same time, a lot of sarcasm and sailing lingo showed up, and it definitely made me laugh a lot. What truly made this a great read was all of the supporting characters. Jonah was a funny, entertaining and charismatic love interest, and he and Cassie were not afraid to call each other out when either one was being ridiculous. Cassie’s brother, Drew, was an adorable sibling and often possessed the maturity that Cassie did not have. Cassie’s mother and the rest of their sailing caravan were also interesting additions to the story.

Jonah's and Cassie’s relationship and her family's relationship were high points of the story for me. Each member brought something to the table that showcased the many quirks of their family dynamic. I think this book is, at its core, a story about the family we are born with and the family that we create. CHANGES IN LATITUDES screams the lesson that no family is perfect, and I believe that is a useful message for everyone.

CHANGES IN LATITUDE is a refreshing read involving family, love and travel. I recommend it to readers with wanderlust and those who want an engaging and impactful story. This novel will make you ponder your relationships. All teens will be able to relate because we all have problems that sometimes feel like the end of the world.

Reviewed by Grace P., Teen Board Member on July 27, 2017

Changes in Latitudes
by Jen Malone