ARC Review: The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Title: The Inexplicable Logic of My Life

Author: Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Published: 07 March 2017 | Clarion Books

Date Read: 13 March 2017

Synopsis:

The first day of senior year:

Everything is about to change. Until this moment, Sal has always been certain of his place with his adoptive gay father and their loving Mexican-American family. But now his own history unexpectedly haunts him, and life-altering events force him and his best friend, Samantha, to confront issues of faith, loss, and grief.

Suddenly Sal is throwing punches, questioning everything, and discovering that he no longer knows who he really is—but if Sal’s not who he thought he was, who is he?

*ARC Kindly provided by HMH Books for Young Readers for review*

My love for Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is unexplainable. I easily fell in love with Ari and Dante and their world. I’m eagerly waiting for Benjamin Alire Saenz’s new work and I consider myself one of the lucky ones to get an ARC of The Inexplicable Logic of my Life.

I’ve finished reading this book for over two weeks now and as I’m writing this review it feels like I just read the book a while ago. The feels and love still feels so new. I loved Sam, Sal, Fito and probably everything about this book.

I can probably say that this book has one of the most memorable set of characters that I have encountered. In the span of 400+ pages I was able read the different life experiences of the characters. It’s so easy to connect to them and in the end so hard to say goodbye as well.

Sal is ready to start is senior year anew but circumstances happened. Salvador is trying to find himself – who he really is amidst the anxiety, sadness, tragedy and loss he’s currently encountering.

Samantha is Sal’s best friend. She’s independent and a “know-it-all” but you can’t help but really like and love her. Her relationship with Sal is so adorable. They are like two peas in a pod but so much different like two sides of a coin, but these differences that they have complement each other that’s why they had a great relationship. I was rooting for them to be romantically involved at the beginning, but as I go on reading, I find myself realizing that these two people are so much more better off as friends because the strong friendship and foundation that they have are all sisterly/brotherly type.

“But see, it’s not where I come from that matters – it’s where I’m going.”

Completing the trio of friends is Fito. The guy from the wrong side of the track that comes from an abusive family. I just want to hug Fito the whole time. He’s fun and happy on the outside but struggling on the inside. I really salute him because even though he comes from an abusive family he supports himself and still has the determination to finish school for him to succeed in life.

Once again, Benjamin Alire Saenz features an LGBT character who is Sal’s father Vicente.  I loved him so much! I’m really amazed by his pure-heartedness. He’s so loving and warm, kind, understandable. He’s just the greatest father material that I’ve read.

Family is one of the main highlight of this book. The familial relationship was made beautifully. The families are far from perfect but reading the good side and the bad side gives the story a realistic feel to it. The topic of loss was also highlighted on the story. It shows how family handles the hardship of losing someone.

  1. Aside from the characters and the topics, the writing style of this book was also quite noticeable. It’s different comparing it to Aristotle and Dante. Each chapter is like Sal’s diary –filled with randomish thoughts. It took me awhile to get used to the world building and the writing itself but when I was in – I can no longer get out. I was hooked with Sal’s story. In all honesty, the story feels like it doesn’t really have an actual plot. You don’t know what to expect and what will/might happen. But a lot happened. Goes to show that Benjamin Alire Saenz is a brilliant writer.

“People died every day. And people lived they lives every day. There were always survivors in the aftermath of all that death. And I was one of those survivors.”

The Inexplicable Logic of my Life is a love story. A love between father and child, mother and child, grandmother and grandson and best friends. This story is so full of different kinds of love. Reading this is like an educational trip to different kinds of love and loss.

Overall, it was a great reading experience. I loved how the story ended (despite all the loss that the characters had), it has closure. The story really captured my heart (it now earned a place on it). I’m so looking forward in hopefully reading more about Sal, Sam and Fito. Who knows? Maybe we’ll be able to get more of them right

ARC Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

aboutthebook

Title: The Hate U Give

Author: Angie Thomas

Published: 28 February 2017 | Balzer + Bray

Date Read: 25 February 2017

Synopsis:

Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, Angie Thomas’s searing debut about an ordinary girl in extraordinary circumstances addresses issues of racism and police violence with intelligence, heart, and unflinching honesty. Soon to be a major motion picture from Fox 2000/Temple Hill Productions.

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

mythoughts

*ARC Kindly provided by Balzer+Bray thru Edelweiss for review*

“Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right.”

The Hate U Give is a story inspired by Black Lives Matter Movement –  a movement made to fight anti-black Racism and the killings of black people.

I admit, I was a bit skeptical before reading this book. Aside from the big hype that surrounds it (especially on twitter) I don’t really know what to expect out of it.

But sometimes, the greatest things come unexpectedly, right?

I know it still might be a bit early to say this but The Hate U Give is one of the greatest book I’ve read this year. I’m honestly having a hard time right now putting into words all the greatness that is this book.

The Hate U Give is a very timely book that is an eye-opener on how several black people were treated. It is pollical, topical and very timely. Grief, anger, sadness and trauma surrounds the book but what I really appreciate was how the issues were handled in the story.

Our lead, Starr is just sixteen but she already witnessed two murders in her life: the first was of a young girl shot in a drive by and the other was her childhood best friend who was shot multiple times by a cop.

Can you even imagine how would you feel if you are in Starr’s place? All the grief and sadness in losing your childhood best friend and the trauma of losing him right before your eyes. Though the situation is very tough, I’m glad that Starr has a great support system – her family.

The portrayal of Starr’s family is perfect. They all are not perfect as person but their lives was made realistically. Her dad was an ex-gang member but is a very cool and loving dad, her mom got pregnant and married young to her dad, her brother Seven is also cool and very protective and Sekani her youngest brother is just is a pain-in-butt cute. The dynamic between their family was created beautifully by the author. Their family feels so warm and loving and accommodating despite what they are all going thru.

There are a whole set of other people present on this book and they were all given great importance and roles on the story. I really appreciate the complexity of not only the main characters but the supporting as well.

Another thing that I just want to share is that Starr have a boyfriend – Chris. And he’s white. Goes to show that skin color is not relevant if you care and understand each other.

“We let people say stuff, and they say it as much that it becomes okay to them and normal for us. What’s the point of having a voice if you’re going to be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?”

Starr is a very engaging story teller. Her voice is clear and distinct. Though Starr was hesitant on the first part of the book to speak out what she’s feeling, it was so good to see her give it all out in the end. At the end of the story, we all learned that our greatest weapon is our voice and we should use it and not let other people put words in our own mouths.

Overall, The Hate U Give is a very influential book about family, the harsh realities of life for black people, being who you are 100% of the time and simply finding your own voice. This is a fictional book with fictional characters but this story has been told over the news and newspapers. Very timely and real. Please do yourselves a big big big favor and don’t miss out on reading this one.

 final-rating

4-starss

ARC Review: #famous by Jilly Gagnon

aboutthebook

Title: #famous

Author: Jilly Gagnon

Published: 14 February 2017 | Katherin Tegen Books

Date Read: 20 February 2017

Synopsis:

In this modern-day love story, Girl likes Boy, Girl takes photo of Boy and posts it online, Boy becomes accidentally insta-famous. And what starts out as an innocent joke spirals into a whirlwind adventure that could change both their lives—and their hearts—forever. But are fame and love worth the price?

Told in alternating points of view, #famous captures the out-of-control thrill ride of falling for someone in front of everyone.

mythoughts

*ARC Kindly provided by Katherine Tegen Books thru Edelweiss for review*

#famous is just the book that you should pick up if you’re looking for a story that boasts a lot of cuteness and adorableness!

In our current world where social media is the “in” thing and being “internet famous” can be achieved in one picture and one post, this book feels so real, relevant and relatable.

I think #famous’ blurb says what mostly this book will be about:

Girl likes Boy, Girl takes photo of Boy and posts it online, Boy becomes accidentally insta-famous.

Being “internet famous” has been a thing for a while now. Pictures of random guys and girls usually went viral on the internet and that anonymous guy or girl suddenly become “internet famous”. Even here in my home country, Philippines – where social media usage was rampant – a lot of guys and girls gets attention because someone posted a picture or a video of them.

But the thing that made #famous’ plot line a bit different from what is happening with the real life is that instead of solely focusing on the guy on the picture that went viral, the story also reached out to the girl who took the picture. And together – Kyle and Rachel – started living the life of the so-called “#famous”

Told in alternating POV’s of Kyle and Rachel, we saw the complete picture on what is happening on in both of our main characters lives especially how the instant fame affects them both.

It’s easy to like Rachel. As Kyle said, she’s 100% herself all the time. Despite her being somewhat different – different looks, likes and social hierarchy – she stands out as her own character.

“If I’d learn anything from the past week, it was that other people could be cruel-needlessly cruel-for no reason at all.”

When the picture she has taken went viral, people starts to send her vicious and hurtful comments. Cyber-bullying is one of the problems we are facing today and Rachel has been a victim of it. Good thing she was in company of great parents and awesome best friend – Mo. Jilly Gagnon did a great job of creating a character with flaws but downright relatable.

Honestly, Kyle pissed me off more than a couple of time throughout the book but he still did capture my heart in the end. He’s naïve and had a hard time making up his mind on the first parts (okay even in the latter parts) of the book. But I’m thinking, he’s a teenager, right? He’s acting like how a teenager should. He got caught up with his fame at first but eventually managed it and soon enough realize how he may have hurt people (ahem Rachel) along the way.

“I know I’m pretty square, but I like weirdos, you know”

It started as a one-sided crush turned into friendship and blossomed into something more. The friendship and romance was slow-burn but worth reading and waiting for.

Overall, #famous was such a fun and adorable read. Very relevant to today’s “internet fame” thing. I really enjoyed how the author conveyed a lot of message about – internet fame, cyber bullying and just being yourself – on the pages of this book.

PS. I don’t think I’ll ever look at an order of French fries the same way again without remembering Kyle and Rachel’s story. *wink*

final-rating

4-starss

ARC Review: By Your Side by Kasie West

aboutthebook

Title: By Your Side

Author: Kasie West

Published: 31 January 2017 | Harper Teen

Date Read: 29 January 2017

Synopsis:

In this irresistible story, Kasie West explores the timeless question of what to do when you fall for the person you least expect. Witty and romantic, this paperback original from a fan favorite is perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Morgan Matson.

When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.

Only he doesn’t come. No one does.

Instead it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending-machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye. As he and Autumn first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn’s old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax’s side?

mythoughts

*ARC Kindly provided by Harper Teen Thru Edelweiss for review*

Let me start this off by saying that I love Kasie West. Whenever I’m in the mood for some fluffy and easy to read romances, her books are always there for me. It made me swoon and smile and feel “kilig” whenever I needed to feel those things.

Any Kasie West book is an auto-read for me and By Your Side’s premise certainly captured my interest.

A girl and a girl got locked up inside the library for the weekend.

Autumn was set to go to a bonfire and cabin with her friends until she finds herself locked up inside the library because of too much Dr. Pepper. Just when she thought she was stranded there all by herself, she finds out that the school’s troublemaker and bad-boy Dax was also locked up inside.

Autumn is your typical girl next-door. She has good grades, good set of friends and a great family life. She’s seems perfect on the outside but she has anxiety disorder that she kept from her friends for the fear of being treated differently. Dax is dark and mysterious. He has a reputation of being a loner and apparently, after his stint at juvie, a troublemaker.

As much as I admire Autumn and Dax, I really had a hard time connecting with them. Both felt flat for me. They both have the potential to give more, to us readers, but they didn’t. Thus, there characters ended up feeling flat.

The budding romance between these two started when they were locked inside the library. Yes, I get giddy at times but since I had a hard time connecting with the characters as individuals, I also had a hard time feeling the connection between these two. The first few parts were cute but the rest felt “meh” for me. Oh, and not to spoil you guys and girls, but there’s a love triangle here. A love triangle that seems a bit forced and just really didn’t convinced me.

By Your Side carries a much serious topic like Autumn’s Anxiety disorder and Dax’s problem with the foster care system. I appreciate how West could convey these serious subjects in a different way. A lighter way avoiding the heavy drama.

Overall, it was just an okay read for me. Not really the best of Kasie West that I’ve read but still okay. I still love Kasie West’s engaging and easy to read writing. I know there’s still a lot more to come from her so I’ll definitely wait for those.

final-rating

2-stars

ARC Review: Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes

Title:  Girl Against the Universe

Author: Paula Stokes

Published by: 17 May 2016 | HarperTeen

Date Read: 12 June 2016

Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Maguire is bad luck.

No matter how many charms she buys off the internet or good luck rituals she performs each morning, horrible things happen when Maguire is around. Like that time the rollercoaster jumped off its tracks. Or the time the house next door caught on fire. Or that time her brother, father, and uncle were all killed in a car crash—and Maguire walked away with barely a scratch.

It’s safest for Maguire to hide out in her room, where she can cause less damage and avoid meeting new people who she could hurt. But then she meets Jordy, an aspiring tennis star. Jordy is confident, talented, and lucky, and he’s convinced he can help Maguire break her unlucky streak. Maguire knows that the best thing she can do for Jordy is to stay away. But it turns out staying away is harder than she thought.

From author Paula Stokes comes a funny and poignant novel about accepting the past, embracing the future, and learning to make your own luck.

REVIEW

Girl Against The Universe gives us the story of Maguire – a girl who believes that the universe is all up against her; She’s cursed and all the bad lucks that the world could give has made its way to her.

“There’s a thing that sometimes happens in your brain when you’re the only survivor of a horrific accident. Part of you is happy because you’re alive, but the rest of you is devastated. Then the sad part beats up the happy part until nothing is left, until all you feel is terrible sorrow for the people who didn’t make it. And Guilt. Guilt because you wonder if the Universe made a mistake. Guilt because you know you’re not any better than those who died.”

Maguire has experienced a series of tragic and unfortunate events throughout her life – a car accident, a roller coaster accident and a fire accident.

With her mind on set that the world is all set up against her she begin to start having her five-second check ritual and even carries charm or lucky trinkets wherever she goes. With the help of her therapist, she takes on challenges that would help her mental struggles and reaching her summer goal – To Ride an Airplane to Ireland.

She’s determined to move past the life that she’s living right now and step out of her comfort zone.

“And Loneliness is just like everything else – if you endure it long enough, you get used to it.”

Maguire is coping not living.

To us readers or to us who are not on her place, we might simply think that maybe she was just unfortunately placed smacked in the middle of these bad circumstances – a case of wrong place at the wrong time – easier said than done, that’s what would Maguire said to us. With these tragic events that happened to her, Maguire’s state of mind was already set differently, it makes her feel guilty so she do the best that she can to protect the people around her even if it sacrifices her own happiness.

From the first chapter, I already begin cheering on for Maguire. She’s a very strong female lead. I love her determination and courage to conquer what she’s on to and has her mind set on her goal. There are mishaps in the middle and it is definitely not an easy task to do but Maguire take it one little step at a time.

Of course, there is the romance part on the story as well. A fluffy, cuddly ball of romance. *squeee* Jordy is a famous Tennis Player and despite of the things that is going on on his own life I really appreciate all his efforts in helping Maguire. The sparks are definitely there between Maguire and Jordy. I like how they were able to relate and help each other along the way. Add in the fact that both of them loved Tennis! Playing it has become an outlet for the both of them.

I really appreciate the great support system that Maguire has on this story – family and friends. It was definitely not an easy road to take but with the right support system, in time, everything will work out, right? Maguire’s relationship with her mother and step-dad is quite rocky at the beginning but it was so heartwarming to see their support to her. Their love is evident and shoots thru the heart.

The subject of this book – PTSD, OCD, Anxiety and such – are not easy topics but what I really liked is despite the heavy topics, Paula Stokes was able to convey it on a very light way. I like how she handled Maguire’s struggles. The story feels realistic and genuine.

“Sometimes terrible things happen and its no ones fault. Sometimes we do the best we can and still have bad outcomes.”

As I turn the last page of the book, I was able sigh happily. I’m happy that Jordy and Maguire were able to conquer their struggles. Seeing both of them overcome it was all so worth the *some* stresses along the way. Girl Against The Universe is a very empowering and uplifting story filled with family love, tennis, self-challenges and a fluffy ball of romance. You will definitely want to pick this one up.

ARC Review: The Crown’s Game (The Crown’s Game #1) by Evelyn Skye

Title: The Crown’s Game (The Crown’s Game #1)

Author: Evelyn Skye

Published by: 17 May 2016 | Balzer + Bray

Date Read: 28 May 2016

Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.

And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love… or be killed himself.

As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear… the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.

REVIEW

*ARC kindly provided by Balzer + Bray thru Edelweiss for review*

Let’s all face it, the hype for The Crown’s Game has been everywhere – twitter, facebook, Goodreads and Blogs – add in the fact that the premise of the story is very interesting and with a Russian setting. No other reason not to pick this up, right?

The Crown’s Game: a display of skill and demonstration of strategy and mettle. The goal is to show the Tsar the participants’ worthiness to become his Imperial Enchanter – his adviser for all things from war to peace and everything in between. They each have five rounds to impress the Tsar so he may be able to choose and eliminate the one who lose.

“For the winner of the game, there would be unimaginable power. For the defeated, desolate oblivion. The Crown’s Game was not one to lose.”

Vika and Nikolai are the two enchanters who will be facing off for the ancient duel called the Crown’s Game. This is the main reason why I did pick-up this book. I was intrigued by the Game – its ins and outs and how it will be done.

Vika is silent and shy but fierce and powerful. She’s a very strong female lead. I really like her because despite the strong power that she has, she remained the same from who she was at the beginning. She just became stronger.

Nikolai is a mystery. He’s an orphan who also has strong powers. He is calm and smart. Despite his life status he was able to maintain good friendship with Pasha.

Pasha is the heir to the Tsar’s throne but all throughout the story all I see is a typical teenage guy. He’s a royalty but he acts like a normal person and is best friends with a commoner like Nikolai.

Evelyn Skye’s writing is very detailed and enjoyable. There are some down and slow moments on the book but I’m okay to overlook those things because the world and story building is really done well. Another thing I really liked is the whole Imperial Russian Setting of the story. I’ve always been fascinated with stories set in Russia. The whole atmosphere, vivid descriptions of the places and architecture was superbly done.

The story is definitely not just about the game. As each chapter goes, a revelation was revealed and there are a LOT. The back-story was surprising and made me crave for the next book to come out now.

“Was Nikolai still merely an opponent? Or was he something more? Vika feared and hoped for the latter options.”

There’s a touch of romance in the story as well, but I actually didn’t get too invested on it. For some certain reason, the romance is not on the forefront of my mind while reading. The love triangle thing didn’t really work out for me as well.

It seems like I really liked the book, so why did I only give 4 stars? Well, because the type of game I was looking for did not really happened. I’m actually expecting a Hunger Games kind of game – full of fighting, action and grittiness. But what I did get was a lot of to and from both the lead characters simply showcasing their magic. Don’t get me wrong, I was fascinated and amazed by all the magic and maybe that’s what the game is really about and I just set my expectations too high, but a little bit more of action can’t do any harm on the story right?

Overall, it was an enjoyable read. I really liked the magical set up and the twists and revelations. If you’re a fan of fantasy and magic, you should definitely pick this one up.

ARC Review: Wanderlost by Jen Malone

Title: Wanderlost

Author: Jen Malone

Published by: 31 May 2016 | HarperTeen

Date Read: 23 May 2016

Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis from Goodreads:

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.

REVIEW

*ARC Kindly provided by HarperTeen for review*

Europe is a very interesting continent. It feels like every corner of each country there is full of something new to explore about. I work as a Travel Agent for the past two years specializing in USA and European Tours and as a very bookish person, it’s always a good experience to find a common ground with my real life and bookish life – Europe.

I become familiar with Europe because of my work but being able to read about it on the eye of the person who is really there is still totally different. I love how detailed the author went on the places Aubree and her group go to. It totally gives the local visual, smell and feels to us readers.

Wanderlost is the type of book that falls into the category of cute, fluffy, adorable and enjoyable and I really enjoy reading books that fall into these categories. This is the type of YA Contemporary read that makes me want to lie in bed and just read and read. Though the storyline is pretty simple, I really find it so interesting. I find myself excited on Aubree’s journey, the people she’s going to meet and of course, the places that she’s going to visit.

Aubree is perfectly fine spending her summer relaxing in their old town in Ohio. But when her sister got into trouble and was not allowed leaving their town. She was forced to be fake-replace her sister in leading a senior group on their travel in Europe.

And there starts her unexpected adventure..

One Bus. A Spanish-Speaking Driver. Six senior citizens. One European Trip.

Can Aubree handle it?

Aubree is the type of character who is very easy to relate to. She’s the type of person who’s never been the one to just jump into challenges. She’s into safe and comfortable. But with her journey, she was able to step out of her comfort-zone and be all responsible for the work she was tasked to do. There are mishaps along the way, but it just makes her European Adventure more fun.

“So here’s the thing. I’ve done a lot of worrying, a lot of worrying, about this trip and whether or not I could handle it. I’m still doing a lot of worrying. But we’re on day two and so far the wheels haven’t come off this bus, literally or figuratively speaking. It’s actually, well, going fine.”

The group Aubree was handling is an awesome bunch! These are the type of travel buddies that are fun to be with. Mr. Fenton and his history geekiness; Emma and Mary who are best friends with their constant giggling and random acts; Hank and Masey that despite long years of marriage, still can’t get enough of one another and of course Dolores the timid one of the group.

Despite their different personalities, they were able to form an awesome friendship with each other especially Aubree. They are the bunch of senior citizens who don’t let their age hinder their YOLO-moments and that makes them more fun to be with.

“I think maybe it’s just easy to talk to someone on a trip like this, you know? We’re completely removed from our real lives, were in this foreign place and you don’t have to see me after the trip.”

Of course, I will definitely not forget swoon-worthy Sam from his first interaction with Aubree he already hooked me with his charm, charisma and wit. He’s a very laid-back guy who’s there to enjoy each and every day of travelling. I like how he was able to show Aubree the magic that is there when travelling.

Aubree and Sam definitely have a very powerful chemistry. I really like all the “likeyoubye” conversations and his come-on lines. I love their dialogues and banter with each other. Their interactions are so cute and make me all cuddly or such.

“I realized something. I’m not done with Europe yet. Or maybe Europe isn’t done with me. Either way, I’m gonna find out.”

The ending is just the right kind of ending that I didn’t know I was looking for. You see, I’m expecting the entire love-dovey-sealed-with-a-kiss type of ending but the way the story ended is so much better. Aubree was able to really find herself and become a better version of her old self. She was able to reconcile with her sister and get past all the drama that happened between her and Sam.

Reading Wanderlost is one of the easiest read I had this year. I read it in one seating and just flew thru the pages. It was one enjoyable read and would definitely entice you to pack-up your bags and fly to Europe soon.