The student news site of Highlands High School

The Hilltopper

The student news site of Highlands High School

The Hilltopper

The student news site of Highlands High School

The Hilltopper

Book Review: Four for the Road by K.J. Reilly

The cover of Four for the Road by K. J. Reilly depicts Will, Henry, Sloane, and Asher standing on a stone wall.

I have been an avid reader for as long as I can remember. Whether it is poetry or prose, I can never resist a good book. I’ve enjoyed all kinds of books from The First to Die at the End by Adam Silvera to The Giver by Lowis Lowry. 

Four for the Road by K.J. Reilly was one of those books I could not put down. It made me laugh, gasp, and even cry. The book explores the ideas of love, loss, and recovery, all from the perspective of a teenager. 


The main character, Asher Hunting, is absolutely destroyed after he loses his mother in a car crash caused by a drunk driver ironically, named Jack Daniels. Asher yearns for two things: closure and revenge.

Asher decides to travel to Graceland, Tennessee for two main reasons. The first is to confront Jack Daniels, the man who killed his mother, and the second is to take Jack’s daughter, Grace, (whom he has been talking to online under the fake name Sam Hunt), to prom. Asher steals his father’s car and credit card and begins his journey to Graceland, but he does not go alone.

Asher brings three of his friends he met in a therapy group at the hospital, each of them dealing with their own losses.

Will is 17 years old and is dealing with the loss of his 8-year-old younger brother who died of neuroblastoma. 

Sloane is 16 years old and is struggling with the loss of her father who died of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. 


Henry is an old man, and is trying to cope with the loss of his wife, Evelyn, who he brings with him (in an urn) on the trip. 


As the story progresses, we learn more about the characters, and the characters learn more about each other, as well as themselves. Although on a literal journey to Graceland, each of the characters also makes their way through their own personal journeys of learning to cope with the loss of their loved ones, each in their own ways. 


Four for the Road is full of vivid imagery and extended metaphors about life. The story is exciting and unpredictable, and the writing is repetitive in a way that almost makes the reader feel like they are experiencing deja vu. It is heartfelt and relatable, and there was not a single bland moment. 


As someone who has dealt with the loss of a loved one, this book illustrates perfectly that we are not alone. 


Overall, I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys realistic fiction books with deeper meanings, coming-of-age movies, or road trips. 


** Four for the Road does contain some profanity, as well as topics that may be triggering for some individuals, including (but not limited to): greif, death of a loved one, PTSD & Traumatic flashbacks, violence, and mild gore.** 


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