Published by HarperTeen on 5/31/16
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
My content rating: YA (Nothing more than kissing)
Not all those who wander are lost, but Aubree Sadler most definitely is on this novel’s whirlwind trip through Europe.
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.
Loved this coming of age story about a girl who discovers she’s much more adventurous than she imagined herself to be! With a super adorable love interest and a main character who shows incredible character growth throughout the book, I highly recommend this one!! This is the sort of book that’s all sorts of adorable and just has you constantly either swooning or laughing out loud.
Remember when I asked if an author’s bio ever made you want to read a book? Well, this is one case where a good review swayed me and a look at the Jen Malone’s bio sold me the rest of the way (scroll down and read it!). And, yep, the book was just as much fun as the bio!
What Fed My Addiction:
- Humor! My husband and kids had to keep asking me what was so funny while I was reading this one. There were so many moments that had me laughing out loud – mostly adorable moments between Aubree and Sam!
- Realistic romance. The romance in this book was super sweet but it also felt very real. Aubree and Sam first connected on the phone, and since Aubree was a little flustered because of the problems she’d encountered with her trip, their conversation went quickly awry. In fact, the way the conversation ended was both hilarious and adorable (thinking about it right now makes me laugh and feel all squishy inside). Luckily, Sam was the lighthearted sort, and he saw Aubree’s craziness as an opportunity for banter – adorable, wonderful banter! By the time Sam and Aubree met in person, I completely believed that they would feel a spark for each other just based on the conversations they’d had. But as cute and wonderful as Sam was, Aubree didn’t instantly fall in love – in fact, the l word was avoided in this book (except in the case of a joke that I won’t spoil). Considering the fact that Sam and Aubree only knew each other for less than three weeks, this was really refreshing!
- Expanding horizons. When Aubree started off on her trip, she was afraid of the unknown. She had spent her life in her little Ohio town and was just fine with that – happy with it, in fact. Leading a European trip like this was pretty much terrifying for Aubree. She had no desire to see the world, and she certainly had no idea how to show it to others. So, when Aubree started really enjoying her European vacation, she was kind of amazed. It was liberating for her – both realizing that there were things out there she actually wanted to see AND realizing that she could handle the job – and the pressures involved with it. Aubree ended the book a much stronger person than she was when she began, but she didn’t change her core personality (sometimes it bugs me when an MC seems too transformed).
- Fun elderly folks. The members of the tour group were sweet, fun and hilarious in their own rights. I think I loved them all!
What Left Me Wanting More:
- Lies, lies and more lies. While I certainly knew that this was going to be the case going into this book, I did eventually get frustrated with Aubree lying to Sam. There was one point where she had the perfect opportunity to come clean, and she didn’t. I did understand her reasoning and her fears about what would happen to Elizabeth if she told the truth, though, so it’s not like it ruined the book for me or anything. (And when everything did come out, it was handled realistically, for the most part – all of the problems and consequences didn’t just completely go away). Then there was also just the likelihood that all of the lying would have worked quite as smoothly as it did – it didn’t seem like Aubree hiding her identity while traipsing across the country would be quite as easy as it was made out to be.
This book was like a breath of fresh air (with just a touch of laughing gas piped in). I enjoyed every minute of reading it and devoured it in one day! I easily give this one 4/5 stars and it’s bordering on 4.5 stars!
***Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***
About Jen Malone:
I once spent a year traveling the world solo from Nepal to Romania to Fiji, where I learned 99.9% of humanity is pretty freaking awesome yet somehow doesn’t share my love of ice cubes in a drink. I met my husband on the highway, literally. In fact our meet-cute was SO cute we had a whole story written about it in Ladies Home Journal. My twin boys placed second in the Most Identical contest at the International Festival of Twins. Their little sister placed first in the most adorable contest at the All The People In Our Living Room Festival. I once accompanied a pajama-clad Oprah Winfrey (and her puppies) through the laundry room of the Four Seasons. I have also been in a hotel room alone with a shirtless Mark Wahlberg. In both those instances, it was not what you think. Oh, and I went into early labor while on Stevie Nicks’ tour bus. That is pretty much what you think.