Author: Jen Malone
Published: May 31 2016
Source: publishers via edelweiss
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.
If you loved Kirsten Hubbard Wanderlove a few years ago - like I definitely did -- this is the book you've been looking for to fill that bookish-themed-wanderlust hole in your reading. With its mix of far-off places and girls in disguise and just overall great characters, Wanderlost is a story that sucks you in. This book is a cute contemporary YA with a lot of great banter, charm to burn, and a ship you could sail around the world. It's a strong ship, is what I am saying.
If you're willing to overlook some kinda iffy setup (suspension of disbelief: engaged!) to get Aubree to Europe, this is a story that is pretty much built to entertain and to make you ship the romance. But! Yay! Malone doesn't hinge her entire story or Bree's entire arc on a new romance. There's also things happening like the sister relationship between Elizabeth and Bree that is nicely explored, and also the personal realizations Bree has independent of Sam or his input. Wanderlost starts out fun and light-hearted enough, but it and fake-Lizzie also really grow on you as you read.
Sam and Bree are two characters that are terrific together. The author knows how to write great dialogue and thus the banter between the two is engaging, funny, and full of chemistry. Their interactions are genuine and often hilarious; Bree is a capable mess and Sam is a hot dork. It just works. It's fun to see them together, even if the path of their relationship is pretty easy to predict. It's still a really fun read getting there with these two and the group of eccentric seniors that accompany them.