This is in a sense an autobiography, a very detailed one of two early years in the author's life. Elisabeth (Lisa) could be described as having been a "struggling teen" and the book conveys what happened to her when she made some very poor decisions at the age of 13.
The main decision was to risk everything to be with her boyfriend. In rebellion to restrictions and limits on them being together, they decided to run away; they "hit the road" so they could always be together. This book describes their two years drifting across the country and back.
Lisa writes well, and paints pictures with her words that convey what that experience was like. It reads well, and she draws the reader in to where her experiences become the reader's experience, which is what a well written book is supposed to do. After reading it, the reader will feel like they experienced it right along with Lisa and her boyfriend.
She successfully relates some of the joys of being free, accountable to no one, and the spirit of adventure and anticipation of what might be found over the next hill, in the next town, or the next person they meet. Part of what makes this book believable is that the story touches on and explains why a young child would ever want to run away like this. The lure is the promise of full freedom to live a life the child wants rather than having to endure the restrictions the adult society imposes on them through seemingly arbitrary rules and prohibitions. Without specifically stating it, the book balances that dream by the reality of what really can happen when a teen tries to "live on the streets."
Although at times they were befriended by good and kind people, more often than not, the people they met preyed on young people that were on their own. Some used and abused them, others sucked them into drug saturated insanity, and others involved them in crimes that they never would have had anything to do with otherwise. During the two years they drifted, they almost froze to death, were dirty and very uncomfortable, were arrested, tied up and held by mobsters, she was raped and hurt several times, both were beat up, and thought at times they were going to be killed. At other times, they turned on each other.
The dream of freedom had turned into a nightmare of consequences. The author takes you through the whole gauntlet of emotions, including the fear, misery, excitement, contentment and hate.
This book might be very helpful to a child that is considering the life of a runaway. The author does not preach or moralize; she just tells her story in a way that makes the book a page-turner.