Your Destination Is On The Left by Lauren Spieller

Seventeen-year-old Dessa Rhodes is torn between leaving her modern nomadic life and pursuing her dreams of becoming an artist in this fun, contemporary debut novel that’s perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen and Morgan Matson.

Dessa Rhodes is a modern day nomad. Her family travels in an RV, their lives defined by state lines, exit signs, and the small communal caravan they call home. Among them is Cyrus, her best friend and long-time crush, whom she knows she can never be with. When your families are perpetually linked, it’s too dangerous to take a risk on romance. 

Instead, Dessa looks to the future. She wants to be a real artist and going to art school is her ticket to success and a new life. There’s just one problem: she hasn’t been accepted…anywhere. Suddenly her future is wide open, and it looks like she’s going to be stuck traveling forever.

Then an unexpected opportunity presents itself: an internship working with a local artist in Santa Fe. Dessa struggles to prove to her boss—and herself—that she belongs there, but just as she finally hits her stride, her family suffers an unexpected blow. Faced with losing everything that she has worked for, Dessa has a difficult decision to make. Will she say goodbye to her nomadic lifestyle and the boy she loves? Or will she choose to never stop moving? 



ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS! You need to pick it up right now…like, right away.

The entire idea of the story to bring an artist’s fear or happiness in the limelight connects so much to me, it’s hard not to relate. Dessa is a teenager who wants her life to be normal, not something most teenagers want but when you’re always on the road and your family are nomads, this is exactly what you want. Especially when you want to become an artist and you want to enter college and you even land an internship under an inspirational artist. 

“You’re afraid of failure, of not being good enough, of letting your family down. Right? But that’s the problem — you’re letting your fear of failure define you. That’s why you can’t pick up the paintbrush. You’re letting fear get in the way of your voice.”


This book is a perfect mixture of characters and plot because it doesn’t let one of them overshadow the other. While I loved the overall story, I even fell in love with Dessa and wanted her to achieve all the happiness in the world right from the start. The best aspect of this book is definitely the emotional tinge that each and every scene has; it makes you feel and there’s no way you can escape the immense happiness or the tears that follow. 

The writing is simple yet gravitating and not only hooks me to the story but also tugs at my heartstrings. Last but not the least, the main idea of this book, i.e., living your own life or living it for the ones you love, is so well interwined with the young adult demographic that it proves to be an important read for the teenagers. The dilemma Dessa faces is not easy yet she takes the necessary steps for her happiness while trying to consider her family’s happiness, and this complexity of both, the situation and the character, wins my heart. 

I received a digital copy of this via Netgalley but that, in no way, influences my rating and/or review of this. Thank you Lauren Spieller and Simon & Schuster!
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4 thoughts on “Your Destination Is On The Left by Lauren Spieller

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