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Robin can't believe it when her boyfriend, Chris, tells her that his parents have enrolled him in a summer program in Rome. It's their last summer together before he goes away to college, and now they won't even have that time together. It feels like the worst thing that's ever happened to her.
Since Chris is leaving, Robin agrees to join her aunt and cousins on a cross-country road trip, in spite of her reservations -- she and her younger cousins have never really gotten along, and since their father's death they've become even more problematic than before.
Soon the four of them are zigzagging through the West on an eye-opening journey. They explore parts of the country Robin never dreamed existed -- and she discovers inner resources she never imagined she had.