By Jen Malone
Read: January 25 - 27, 2016
Published: May 31, 2016 by HarperTeen
Source: Edelweiss (Thanks, HC)
Category: YA, Contemporary, European travel
Not all those who wander are lost, but Aubree Sadler most definitely is on this novel’s whirlwind trip through Europe. A romantic and charming YA debut perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Jenny Han.
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 begins unraveling, 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.
This book was completely charming and delightful! Anytime a story combines travel with romance, I am all in, and Wanderlost does both of those things very well.
What I Loved -
- European travel - the author knows her places and I felt like I was on a virtual tour. I don't do big group travel, but I was jealous of these seniors and their trip together.
- Sammmmm. I LOVE him.What a great guy he was and a perfect love interest for Aubree.
- The senior tour passengers were so much fun! I loved the secondary characters.
- Aubree's growth was A+++. The way she matures from the start of the book is written so well. This is one of my most favorite aspects of the book.
- The story manages to stay virtually angst & drama free - at least not over the top - despite the premise of Aubree lying about who she is. And the way the revelations and fallout unfold fit well with the the characters, their growth and the story.
What I wish (These were quite small overall) -
- I wish the setup wasn't quite so far fetched - Aubree takes her older sister's place as European tour guide to a group of seniors. She also concocts a story to convince her parents she's actually in Maine during the whole time. I can't see any of this working out for real, but it got Aubrey to Europe, which mattered the most to me.
- (this is a carry over from the first point) One of the senior citizen breaks her arm and then continues her European tour. This just seemed silly to me, especially because this lady really didn't want to be there in the first place. However, this occurrence does set up one of my favorite aspects of this story, so I could let it slide - along with the very swift way this lady's arm seems to heal.
- I wish Aubree's eating habits grew as much as she did - Aubree eats McDonalds at every opportunity despite the amazing local cuisine. This killed me. Really this was the hardest thing about this book for me to deal with. Part of traveling is eating local cuisine!
- I REALLY wanted an epilogue. This story has a sold ending, but (spoiler) having a later scene where Sam and Aubree are together at college would have brought it over the edge of awesome for me. (end spoiler)
Love Triangle Factor: None
Cliffhanger Scale: Standalone