Book Review: Wanderlost by Jen Malone

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Title: Wanderlost

Author: Jen Malone

Published: May 31, 2016

Pages: 352

Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Romance

Amazon / Barnes and Nobles / Goodreads

Goodreads Description: 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.

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I picked Wanderlost up because it seemed like the kind of cheesy, contemporary book I needed to get me out of an almost one month long book slump. For that reason, I appreciated that Malone went straight to the plot and provided necessary information as the story unfolded. 

The main character, Aubree, was admittedly frustrating. Before Aubree goes off to Europe to take her older sister’s, Elizabeth, place as a tour guide, Elizabeth spends two weeks debriefing and organizing a binder with everything Aubree needs to know about the tour. I was able to empathize with Aubree when she loses the binder shortly after landing in Europe because I understood that it was an honest mistake. However, I found it a little hard to believe that Aubree couldn’t remember something as simple as the first hotel she would be staying at or the name of the bus driver for the tour. It makes me wonder what her and Elizabeth were supposedly reviewing for those two weeks. I do have to give Aubree credit for being resourceful throughout the trip and figuring out ways to make the tour successful. While I found Aubree irritating, I thought the love interest, Sam, and the tour group were likeable characters.

I judged Wanderlost by its cover and figured it could be classed as one of those fluffy, summer reads, so I was prepared for the inevitable insta-love in this book. I wasn’t as taken with the romance as I wanted to be, and that’s probably due to the fact that Sam thought Aubree was Elizabeth. It was a bit awkward, to be honest.

Aubree’s conflict with Elizabeth was relatable. Aubree feels that Elizabeth can be condescending, and as someone with older siblings, I feel this at times too.

I think that my dislike of the main character and overall lack of interest of the events in the story were what caused me to skim read the last half of the book. When there was a twist at the end of the story, it didn’t affect me the way it should of. I was too detached from the story and it honestly just confused me because of how unnecessary it seemed.

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The whole traveling around Europe with a love interest sounded like the type of fluffy plot I would enjoy, so I’m disappointed that I didn’t like this book as much as I thought I would.

☆☆

it was okay

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Have you read Wanderlost? What did you think of it?
Also, I attempted a different review style this time around. I usually divide my reviews into two further sections: What I Liked and What I Disliked. It was just easier meshing the two sections for this particular review, so I’m not sure if I’ll continue to review this way. We’ll see 😊.
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