Reviewed by Joe Walters
Clear your schedules. Break out your coffees and teas. Waypoint is about to take over your week. This breathtaking YA thriller by debut co-authors Deborah Adams and Kimberley Perkins might just have everything you’ve been waiting for:
- Cinematic action
- Warm pretzels?
Young Simon Harper is a gamer. There’s no other way to put it. He buries himself in his parents’ basement, mastering his first-person shooter game along with his only friends in the world. But the world isn’t quite the same.
A switch has been flipped. The electricity is gone, and no one is sure why it’s gone or when it is coming back. As you might have guessed, things have gone a little crazy because of that. Riots. Pain. Death. Things need to change, fast.
One day, a stranger comes hurtling toward Simon, flash drive in hand. The stranger tells Simon that he’s been looking for him—or, the brilliant person Simon plays on the internet. Only “SI-Fighter” can complete the task of restoring the world’s electricity. Moments later? The stranger is shot down by a sniper.
Simon and his twin hunk of a brother West understand that they’ve got to get to Waypoint, 500 miles away from their home. The key to restoring power falls into the brothers’ hands, and the fate of the world hangs in the balance. They set out on their journey, only to be separated mere moments into it. One brother has the real flash drive. Another has a dummy drive. Will they both make it in time, before the people who have been shooting at them finally catch up? Will the girls they befriend on the way prove to be assets—or dangers?
His lifelong streak of unfortunate mishaps struck once more…. Martin’s presumed murderers had not given up their pursuit. Simon could hear them in the distance, drawing closer.
“It won’t matter,” he called [to West] as loudly as he dared, hoping the water would muffle his voice.
“There they are!”
“Sixteen days, West! In sixteen days, we’ll meet at the coffee shop! I promise I’ll be there!” He grabbed his bag, meeting West’s panicked eyes for a fleeting second before bolting in the opposite direction.
A great premise does not make a great book. Not just anyone with an idea can pick up a pen and develop a storyline that both sets the reader up AND follows through on its promises. But lucky for us, Perkins and Adams are exactly the right women for the job.
Thanks to its tantalizing pace, well-established consequences, and complicated character development, this novel is worth writing home about. (That’s why I’m doing it.) I finished reading this thing in three days, clinging to each page with intrigue. I even yelled aloud at pivotal turns in the plot. There’s something special happening in Waypoint.
The authors do an incredible job of stringing the reader along with regular cinematic action and essential details that make each page of a 376-page novel absolutely worth it. In fact, the only gripe I had with Waypoint is that I didn’t feel ready for it to end, and I think that’s saying something.
Unlike most Young Adult fiction, Adams and Perkins go out of their way to ensure that this thriller is dripping with sexual tension. They know a good thriller when they see one, so they added this element to the work regardless of how old their target audience is. In doing so, they acknowledge that sex is a part of young relationships whether adults like it or not, making for an honest read for both adults and teens. On top of that, it’s filled with valuable lessons like honesty between partners in the heat of the moment and well-defined boundaries too.
“I mean—it’s not like I’m completely innocent.”
“What is that supposed to mean?”
“You in my shirt is my new favorite thing. It used to be warm pretzels. But now—pretzels be damned.”
Waypoint is an example of a self-published book gone right. This narrative is perfectly woven with well-earned plot twists, and it is a clear illustration of how much care and attention must go into a successful book. The foreshadowing and early essential details prove that the authors made each decision specifically, helping the reader instill full trust in the storyteller and allowing for the narrative to unfold naturally before their eyes.
As a reader, I was fully immersed in Waypoint. I thrust aside any opportunity for criticism and wore my intrigued hat: Are they going to succeed? Will their relationships last? Can they finally get past the clan of lunatics that don’t want the electricity? Will they save the world?
It doesn’t matter if you’re a fan of YA. It doesn’t even matter if you’re a fan of reading. Once you get a hold of Waypoint, you’re not going to be able to put it down. This novel gets a wholehearted recommendation from IBR, and it might just go down as one of the best books we’ve read all year.
Don’t miss out.