I don’t know if I need to say this again and again, but traveling is my favorite thing, right after books, or alongside books…Well, I do love traveling, A LOT. And I live in Europe. And contemporaries are my favorite genre. So many signs that Wanderlost had all of the assets to be a hit for me.
AN EUROPEAN ROAD TRIP KIND OF BOOK
In this story, we are following Aubree, a seventeen -years old teenager as she gets talked into taking her sister’s place as a tour guide across Europe during the summer, in order to save her sister’s future. In a nutshell, this is what you’re in for, and what made me want to read this book. Adventures, road trips, Europe -although WHY do all of these kind of books have to be set in Europe, and not in the USA or Australia or something? As a European, I do dream more of having epic road trips in the Australian desert. Or maybe it’s just me. ANYWAY. One of the strong suit of this story definitely was how fast-paced it was, and how easy it was to fall into the story and read this in one or two sittings. Things are moving, people are changing, drama is happening and there was not really a time to get bored while reading this, which I really enjoyed, because well, we are on a road trip, people! This is something I really appreciated, along with the local explorations of Amsterdam, Barcelona and a whole lot of other cities just as well. If you’re just a tiny bit wanderlust, this book certainly makes you travel a little bit.
A FRUSTRATING, YET INTERESTING MAIN CHARACTER
“But now that I see all this and realize I couldn’t even have dreamed any of it because it was all so far off my radar, I have this weird uncomfortable twinge in my chest. Because . . . what else haven’t I bothered to dream, not thinking things could get any better?”
Aubree never travels, never left her hometown, and is all kinds of clueless about this. Maybe this is because I travel a lot and always have been (I feel very lucky for that, believe me); but I think this is mainly why I had a bit of a hard time with the main character. She was a lot of fun, and all of her struggles were understandable given her situation: having to deal with a car full of seniors, having no idea where to go next or what to talk about on the tour, having no traveling gene or what-so-ever as she begins…Well, her panic is completely understandable. However, at times, she was maybe a bit too clueless about things and I just wanted to shake her and ask her to be a bit more resourceful. If the main character was frustrating, at times, I still enjoyed following her journey and her development as the story goes on, even if some things could have been better handled.
AN EMPHASIS ON SISTERS, AND CUTE ROMANCES
“It’s a free-choice afternoon and I choose you.”
One thing I appreciated in this story, was the sisters relationship. You all know by now I have a weakness for these in stories, because sisters are the best – well, mine is, another thing to feel lucky for – and I am always in to explore these relationships in depth and their struggles. Aubree and her sister are definitely not the closest, and definitely don’t have much in common – their relationship is a bit chaotic all thorough the story and if I found Aubree a bit immature at times about this, I thought that the evolution was ultimately satisfying and made me happy.
On the love interest now… I think this was the shining part of the story: it brought a smile on my face every time, and Sam was just the cutest ever. It was good and refreshing to see their friendship turning into something more as the story goes on, and Aubree’s feelings changing and turning into this something more. Definitely a fluffy kind of romance that will leave a smile on your face.
If Wanderlost has some minor drawbacks, if you enjoy contemporary stories, a bit of traveling and just want to spend an afternoon reading, well I do think that’s the book for you. Filled with good and happy feelings, Wanderlost isn’t the book of the year but I did have a lot of fun while reading it, and this was definitely what I expected when I picked this up.
Final rating: 4 drops!
Do you want to read Wanderlost? Share your thoughts in comments!
Jen Malone, Wanderlost, Published by Harper Teen, May 31st 2016.
Aubree can’t think of a better place to be than in perfectly boring Ohio, and she’s ready for a relaxing summer. But when her older sister, Elizabeth, gets into real trouble, Aubree is talked into taking over Elizabeth’s summer job, leading a group of senior citizens on a bus tour through Europe.
Aubree doesn’t even make it to the first stop in Amsterdam before their perfect plan unravels, leaving her with no phone, no carefully prepared binder full of helpful facts, and an unexpected guest: the tour company owner’s son, Sam. Considering she’s pretending to be Elizabeth, she absolutely shouldn’t fall for him, but she can’t help it, especially with the most romantic European cities as the backdrop for their love story.
But her relationship with Sam is threatening to ruin her relationship with her sister, and she feels like she’s letting both of them down. Aubree knows this trip may show her who she really is—she just hopes she likes where she ends up.