Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Wanderlost by Jen Malone

Title: Wanderlost
Author: Jen Malone
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Source: HarperTeen via Edelweiss

Seventeen-year-old Aubree has always idolized her adventurous older sister, even while utterly content to track Elizabeth’s antics from the cozy comforts of home, in the tender care of doting parents. So when Elizabeth gets herself in "a touch of trouble” and, for the first time ever, actually needs Aubree's help, Bree is flattered but insistent.

There’s no way she can do what Elizabeth is asking. Impersonate her recent-college-grad sis all summer, just so Elizabeth can score the recommendation she needs to land her dream position? Nope, nope, not gonna happen.

ESPECIALLY when Elizabeth’s summer job is leading a bus tour.
A bus tour across Europe.
A senior citizens' bus tour across Europe.

And that's even before Bree finds out that the tour owner’s super-cute son (who is decidedly NOT elderly) will be a last-minute addition.

Bree would have to be crazy. Or would she?
Review by Nara

One of the things that struck me about this book was how unbelievable the basic premise of the story was. I mean, a girl impersonating her "perfect" sister, getting on a plane and running a senior citizen's tour group across Europe- not something that happens often, I'd imagine. On the other hand, considering this was pure chick lit, I wasn't too fussed about a premise like that- it's the kind of craziness that makes a story enjoyable (and probably quite translatable to film).

On the whole, the characters and the plot were a bit typical, and the story was fairly linear. Which, again, is kind of what you expect in a basic contemporary romance. I don't think the story suffered too much from the predictability, but the fact that it was generic does make it somewhat less memorable, and I doubt I'd be able to remember too much from the story in a year's time. If there was a little more substance and unpredictability to the plot I would have likely rated it much higher, since the quality of the writing was quite high.

The focus of the story is balanced between the romance and main character Aubree's development as a character. I feel like the romance was quite well done, with the relationship having the slight quality of a whirlwind summer romance that eventually settles into something deeper. The initial banter between Aubree and the love interest Sam was hilarious, mostly because of Aubree's general awkwardness, which was pretty relateable (who hasn't said something stupid and been like *headdesk*). Aubree as a character did develop, as she because more confident in herself and stopped comparing herself to her sister.

All in all, Wanderlost was a light and enjoyable read that would probably be a great summer read.

Liked it
Overall: 7/10
Plot: 3/5
Romance: 4/5
Writing: 4/5
Characters: 3/5
Cover: 1/5