The Never Open Desert Diner, by James Anderson

3 I’m not sure what happened there stars!


This book started out so well.. then well nothing.  I think I lost the plot somewhere, if there ever was one.  It started with these really outlandish characters even though you are only basically following Ben through his truck route on 117 in the desert which everyone else refuses to drive. He delivers to all the locals the die hard people who live off of route 117.  You get to learn all of these cool things he delivers and you get to meet all the characters fairly quick. However Ben as a character was hard to nail down he didn’t have staying power.  He would be kind to one person and cruel to another for no reason.. it was really frustrating.

The one that Ben commonly goes back to is Walt and his diner.  Walt is basically an ahole.. he’s so not friendly.  Then you meet the brothers that live in box cars and the pastor that carries the cross every summer.

About the time the book got exciting with characters and such he meets a woman playing the cello.  He basically tries to stalk her which is not cool, but I guess on this desert road anything goes. Everything was great up until the mystery tried to happen.. I think the story would’ve been fine without the mystery but I am also not an author 😉

I’m not sure I would highly recommend this book. People either seem to love it or hate it.. not really a lot in between.

The characters quirks and personalities were my favorite part, however towards the end they were all over the place.  I’m just not sure on this book that’s why I rated it a 3 star.

Here’s a tidbit from the book, the writing style was cool I just couldn’t connect with it.

“Every woman I’ve ever had in my life has been out of my league one way or another. I’m assuming you mean a good woman?

“I don’t know. Maybe.”

“Then the truth is this: a good man can only aspire to beworthy of a good woman.  She’ll always be out of his league in ways he’ll never understand. But he’ll appreciate what he doesn’t understand-if he’s smart. You got someone in mind?”

Thank you to Blogging for Books for my copy from the publisher for my honest review.

Goodread link here.

book blurb…

Hardcover, 304 pages
Published March 22nd 2016 by Crown (first published February 15th 2015)
1101906529 (ISBN13: 9781101906521)
Ben Jones lives a quiet, hardscrabble life, working as a trucker on Route 117, a little-traveled road in a remote region of the Utah desert which serves as a haven for fugitives and others looking to hide from the world. For many of the desert’s inhabitants, Ben’s visits are their only contact with the outside world, and the only landmark worth noting is a once-famous roadside diner that hasn’t opened in years.

Ben’s routine is turned upside down when he stumbles across a beautiful woman named Claire playing a cello in an abandoned housing development. He can tell that she’s fleeing something in her past — a dark secret that pushed her to the end of the earth — but despite his better judgment he is inexorably drawn to her.

As Ben and Claire fall in love, specters from her past begin to resurface, with serious and life-threatening consequences not only for them both, but for others who have made this desert their sanctuary. Dangerous men come looking for her, and as they turn Route 117 upside down in their search, the long-buried secrets of those who’ve laid claim to this desert come to light, bringing Ben and the other locals into deadly conflict with Claire’s pursuers. Ultimately, the answers they all seek are connected to the desert’s greatest mystery — what reallyhappened all those years ago at the never-open desert diner?

In this unforgettable story of love and loss, Ben learns the enduring truth that some violent crimes renew themselves across generations. At turns funny, heartbreaking and thrilling,The Never-Open Desert Diner powerfully evokes an unforgettable setting and introduces readers to a cast of characters who will linger long after the last page

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