Travel Diaries of the Dead and Delusional
Lauren Nicolle Taylor
Clean Teen Publishing (FEBRUARY) Softcover $10.95 (325pp), 978-1-63422-320-1
Travel Diaries of the Dead and Delusional is a haunting coming-of-age story that follows two lost teenagers as they fight demons from their pasts.
Nineteen-year-old Langley is troubled, but she wants to stay that way. She suffers from hallucinations and traumatic nightmares, including some that feature her dead sister, Sarah, whom she’s not ready to let go of. Meanwhile, Tupper is on a road trip, following his departed mother’s diary like a map and focusing on life’s beauty.
When Tupper sees Langley tumbling down the road, he takes an unplanned detour and decides to offer her a ride. They form a deep connection, accepting each other in their own broken states.
The story follows three points of view, each offering a different piece to the puzzle that connects the characters together. Although they each provide valuable content, the sections are short; in their allotted space, it is difficult to fully grasp each character’s essence.
Langley’s hallucinations are descriptive and written in intense detail. It is easy to accept and believe what she experiences, even though her sister is no longer alive. Langley’s memories convey Sarah’s character with elaborate prose.
Powerful lines are etched throughout the story, and all five senses are utilized to describe scenes and events:
Right there with the dark purple clouds smashing against each other and the moon trying to push against the storm … [the] lightning takes over. Langley and Tupper’s relationship is authentic and sweet, even though it is rapid to form. They are young, plummeting into life full force, and they are happy to go together.
A story of love and loss, adventure, and coming into one’s own, Travel Diaries of the Dead and Delusional is a thoughtful, poignant road trip adventure that delivers hope through its melancholy.