The Lost Girls by Jennifer Baggett, Holly Corbett, and Amanda Pressner

Travel inspiration!

Three friends, each on the brink of a quarter-life crisis, make a pact to quit their high pressure New York City media jobs and leave behind their friends, boyfriends, and everything familiar to embark on a year-long backpacking adventure around the world in The Lost Girls.

I really want to travel a bunch, so I’ve been trying to read travel memoirs. This is the first one that I’ve tried and read all of the way through. (I tried Bill Bryson’s Neither Here Nor There and A Year in the World by Frances Mayes, but I wasn’t wild about either of them.) I really liked the personalities of the three girls. Each chapter switches between the three different perspectives of the girls. When I think of traveling, my first continent on the list is always Europe. This book completely avoided Europe, and I found it to be fascinating and inspiring. It opened me up to a wide variety of places that I would not have thought to travel to. I liked the book because it felt like a story. I’ll admit that some parts become a bit dull, but they eventually pick up again. I really liked the first half of the book especially. I would recommend this book if you want travel inspiration as well as a good story.

2. Just One Year by Gayle Forman

Disappointed.

This is the companion novel to Just One Day, which is from the perspective from of Willem. The novel begins when Willem wakes up from the hospital, and it shares the adventures of his yearlong search for his Lulu.

If you haven’t read the first one, I would definitely suggest doing that first. (By the way, I loved the first novel, and I did a review here.) If none of this makes sense, basically wanted happened is that two teenagers bumped into each other in Europe and ended up spending one day together in Paris. They make a real connection, but circumstances cause them to end up on two different continents. This novel picks up from that point but from the male perspective.

As I mentioned, I loved the first book, and I couldn’t put it down. So, I was eager to read this one, especially after not having such a great experience with the last book I read. But, I was disappointed. I was not very interested in hearing Willem’s story. It seemed that a lot of the year was a waste of time to share, and it did not capture my interest. The ending was good, but I ended up skimming after awhile because I didn’t have much motivation to finish the book.

Maybe I’ll have better luck next month? Third time’s the charm?

P.S. If you didn’t know, I’ve made a goal for myself to read one book a month. This is the second book I’ve read so far. My January book was John Green’s novel Paper Towns, and you can read my review here.

Just One Day by Gayle Foreman

I couldn’t put this book down!

The story takes place at the during Allyson Healey’s supposed trip of a lifetime touring Europe the summer before she goes to college in Boston. Allyson is a goody two shoes and rarely, if ever, steps out of her comfort zone. One evening, while in a “queue” (line) for Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, along with the rest of the tour group, a handsome Dutch boy, Willem, invites her to watch him act in the play Twelfth Night that same evening. She takes a chance and goes to see him. The next day on the train she runs into Willem, and they spend a magical day together. The novel continues after that day, following Allyson for an entire year.

I don’t read very often. I just don’t have time. And if I’m being honest, tv requires a lot less energy than reading. But when I do read, I block out a chunk of time and I sit down and just read the whole thing. That’s what I did with this novel, and I couldn’t put it down! The description sounded like t could be super corny, but the writing had a good dose of normalcy. While written in the first person, she doesn’t get too swoony or annoying.

I had thought he novel took place completely in one day, but I’m so glad that it didn’t. Also, the novel leaves you with a HUGE cliffhanger. I can’t wait to find out what happens next.

I also love how a great deal of the novel takes place in Europe. It makes me want to travel the world.

I find that is rare in YA fiction that the world and writing are realistic and level-headed. I enjoyed Foreman’s writing. While, the concept is somewhat crazy and out there, it’s still reasonable and takes me on an adventure.

I highly recommend it.

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

This book was amazing!

Henry DeTamble is a time traveller, and he falls in love with Clare Abshire. Henry doesn’t have any control over when he time travels’ he just gets ripped from the present to visit the past or the future. In the past or future he can see and interact with people and himself at that time. The book changes perspectives between Clare and Henry. The book is pretty much their life story.

At first, I thought that this book was really difficult to read. The time period and perspective are constantly changing, and you, as the reader, feel like you’re thrown into this time traveling world without much explanation. Part of my problem was that I’d read about five pages at a time.

Once I really got into the book and read more along the lines of at least 30 pages at a time, I fell into the rhythm of the book. Often, a scene would be played out from both Clare and Henry’s perspectives.

The book definitely is sad, though. And it leaves you with a lot of sadness at the end. But the whole story is so good as a whole, so it’s worth it.