REVIEW: The Distance from Me to You by Marina Gessner

by - 1:47 PM

“McKenna knew that for the rest of her life, rain on a tent flap would be the sound of falling in love.”

Back of the book blurb:

McKenna Berney is a lucky girl. She has a loving family and has been accepted to college for the fall. But McKenna has a different goal in mind: much to the chagrin of her parents, she defers her college acceptance to hike the Appalachian Trail from Maine to Georgia with her best friend. And when her friend backs out, McKenna is determined to go through with the dangerous trip on her own. While on the Trail, she meets Sam. Having skipped out on an abusive dad and quit school, Sam has found a brief respite on the Trail, where everyone’s a drifter, at least temporarily.
Despite lives headed in opposite directions, McKenna and Sam fall in love on an emotionally charged journey of dizzying highs and devastating lows. When their punch-drunk love leads them off the trail, McKenna has to persevere in a way she never thought possible to beat the odds or risk both their lives.

A message from the cosmos:

Publication Date: October 20, 2015
Publisher: Putnam
Pages: 352
ISBN: 9780399173233

Available for Purchase:

My rating:

Okay, so I guess I’m reviewing this book mainly because I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone talk about this book and so I need to talk about it because it needs to be out there in the world. I’ve never read any of Nina de Gramont’s work. Marina Gessner is Nina’s pen name, by the way. Either way, The Distance from Me to You was absolutely fantastic and actually inspired me, the guy who never exercises at all, to want to hike. Maybe not the Appalachian Trail, because hello, I’m fat, but something easy but still cute. You know, for the aesthetic. Maybe take a nice Instagram picture with a cute hashtag. Something like #inlovewithnature or #natureisbeautiful. So people think I’m a good person.

I really went off track. What happened?

For the first time in her life, she wasn’t trying to accomplish anything. She was just being. Under a clear sky, surrounded by trees, accompanied by a person she’d found in the wilderness, a person she really and truly loved.”

            McKenna was seriously such an inspiring, confident, and ambitious young woman and all-around fantastic protagonist. She had to face so many hardships—right from the beginning, with her best friend abandoning their years of planning and training for a boy—it was truly inspiring to watch as she did the very thing that so many people believed she couldn’t do, which is hike the Appalachian Trail. She got off to a rocky start, but didn’t let that get her down. She was so optimistic and determined. And honestly I was pissed at the universe for giving her such shit, but then it just made me happy how badass she was to get up no matter how many times the universe tried to knock her down.

“He was completely, ridiculously gorgeous. His eyes were the crazy pale blue of a Siberian husky’s. He had an angular face and sharp cheekbones. His legs, sprawled out in front of him, were impossibly long and knotted with muscle, as were his arms. No wonder the girls had invited him to join them.

            I will always argue that it’s possible to be independent and strong even with a man helping you along the way. I think it’s strong to admit that sometimes you do need help, whether it be from any gender. And I just have a soft spot for Sam, the loner hiker and McKenna’s love interest. He’s a former football player turned homeless when he couldn’t take his father’s abuse anymore. Sam and McKenna meet and right away there’s a sort of tension between them. They bond over scary stories and birdsongs. I love how fast they have chemistry. I think instalove is one thing, but to just meet someone who you instantly click with and sometimes butt heads with is seriously so entertaining.

“And then he did what he hadn’t done in a million years, not since his mother had died: he cried. It felt good. It felt purging and healing and very honest. Like these tears had been coming for years, forever, for a lifetime.”

            Like I said, I definitely have a soft spot for Sam. My boss and I were actually talking today about angst in books. She likes more of the physical angst, which you definitely do get in this book, but I like more of the emotional angst that happens. And that definitely happens with Sam and McKenna. There are some phenomenal scenes between Sam and McKenna and god, I wish I could relive them over and over again for the first time. There were so many tears shed, it is unbelievable.

“McKenna pushed herself to her weary feet, picked up her pack, and headed off to face the rest of her life.

            As said as I am about the ending of the book, I’m also happy about it just because anything else would’ve been totally out of character for McKenna. The entire last few chapters had me sobbing. It’s truly an amazing ending an incredible book. I seriously need everyone to go out and buy this book and just read the hell out of it. McKenna and Sam need it! Oh! Hank needs it too—the adorable mutt they meet along the trail! Literally every book is better with a dog in it.

Happy Reading!
The Cosmic Reader

You May Also Like