Title: A Trip Down Reality Lane
Author: Ian Thomas Malone
2015 – New Adult – Realistic Fiction
The Story: College can be hard. What’s even harder is realizing that you have absolutely no plans for the future and no idea what you want to do with your life. One easy, short-term solution for this is to just ignore it for a couple of days, which is what our protagonist does. This is the story of a weekend spent taking drugs, going to the museum, and seeing a movie with friends, while trying not to get kicked out of said places.
The Opening Line: Misery. Pure misery. Mixed in with just a dab of hatred for life.
What I Loved: My friends and I never took drugs to deal with the pressures of college and life, but I could definitely see us spending a Saturday hanging out in a museum, seeing a movie, and heading to the pool/hot tub. In fact, my friends and I had what we called “Little Kid Days”, where we would set aside any obligations and revert back to a time when there was no pressure. We would spend the day watching cartoons, playing old-school video games, eating kid’s meals from the local fast food joint, and anything else we could think of to help us relax. So I loved that in essence, A Trip Down Reality Lane is about one of those days, albeit with the added layer of drugs. I also loved the surprisingly heartfelt truths sprinkled throughout, as the main character learns to deal with the future and meet his obstacles head-on.
What I Didn’t Love: I don’t understand how taking drugs ever really helps anyone relax. Maybe this is more of a personal thing than something against the book, but I’ve always thought being under the influence of drugs sounded miserable. Even when reading about positive experiences, I can’t get over the lack of control you have or the way you feel after.
Final Thoughts: This was an extremely quick read. It came at the perfect time for me, as I needed something light and a little random to get me through a busy week when I didn’t exactly have the longest attention span. The college experience was spot-on, and I was really able to relate to the pressures and uncertainties that the friends faced, because I vividly remember having the same thoughts. Heck, I still wonder what I’m going to do with my life. Overall, a fun and surprisingly astute book.