Tripping by Heather Waldorf is a fun and touching book about Rainey, a high school student who goes on an 8 week cross country field trip that involves driving in a cramped van with the other student campers and their adult chaperones, and camping in various places across Canada.
The characters are really well written, with great back stories that help you to understand them better. There’s an interesting variety of characters, all with different personalities and identities and they add a lot to the book. Although Rainey is the main character, the other characters have great plot lines that run through the book as well. I really liked Carlos, and how his story unfolded. I also really liked Rainey’s step-mom and thought that she was well written and added an interesting perspective. Although there are many characters in this book and they all have at least something of a plot line the book never feels overly full of plot or characters, and everyone’s stories flow well and mix nicely together.
Although there are some more serious parts to this book overall it has a lighter feel and it’s a pretty quick read. There’s some really funny parts as well-Rainey using her prosthetic leg as a weapon was great! It was nice to have a main character with a physical disability that did not define her nor ruin her life, it’s one part of her life and personality, not her entire identity.
I loved that this book is set in Canada- it was nice to read a book with a variety of Canadian settings. Tripping shows Canada in a positive, non-stereotypical way- it’s a book set in Canada written by a Canadian and doesn’t make it seem like every single Canadian is a lumberjack or lives in an igloo.
If you’re looking for a novel that manages to be light, funny and thoughtful with great characters that will make you smile pick up Tripping by Heather Waldorf, 4/5