Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Review: Wanderlost by Jen Malone

Wanderlost by Jen Malone

Publication Date: May 31st, 2016
Pages: 352
Source: Purchased
Rating: 4/5
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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.

Be forewarned, this book will make you want to pack up and travel Europe. Not such a bad thing, really, except life is like no, you can't be doing that right now. Besides that, Wanderlost brought on the memories of some of my travels through Europe. Honestly that was my favourite part, when I could visually remember the steps that Bree is taking. Especially in Prague, Bree being a picky eater is ecstatic to find a McDonald's and I'm hear laughing at the sketchy McDonald's under the bridge(literally built into a pillar of this bridge) that smelled like piss that we passed by a few times a day. So yea, thanks for the memories, Wanderlost.

Bree is the type of girl that is very contempt with not venturing beyond her town. She knows home, she loves home. It's safe and comfortable. Bree is even excited about only having a tiny commute to college in the fall. That's all about to change when her perfect sister, Elizabeth, gets arrested, which means she can't leave the country. That's a serious problem since she's scheduled to lead a senior tour group around Europe. Elizabeth convinces Bree to pretend to be her and take her place. They through together a plan, conduct a bunch of lies and Bree is on her way to Amsterdam. Obviously that's all good on paper, but lies and cons don't usually stay in the dark.

Story wise, there was more positives than issues, after over looking how far fetched the set up is because seriously Bree and Elizabeth's plan would never fly. Wanderlost is a sweet and charming romantic travel adventure. I don't know if Malone has been to the countries and cities visited throughout the book or she did her research; either way the detail is vivid. Even the places I only know from pictures were easy to imagine. I could picture myself walking around Venice with Bree and Sam or driving the twists and turns of Monaco with Mr. Fenton. All of that travel was splendid. My issues lie with the way Bree's lying. I know it was ALL part of the plot, and at times I just overlooked it and went with the flow. But it really did get tedious. Especially when she's so conflicted and really wanting to come clean but she doesn't. I get it, but still. This ties into my biggest qualm, which unfortunately I thought might happen, the big plot device that was used to make Bree's lies to come to light. Honestly, it sucked that after all the personal growth Bree was experiencing that she couldn't just have found the courage to tell the truth without this situation. I know vague, but obvious spoiler. Just know that it was an unnecessary plot tool.

Her = him

Bree is an easy girl to get. She's seventeen, on her way to college but still fully happy living with mom and dad. Bree's never had to take care of herself; break out of being comfortable. The difference between Bree at the start of the book to the end of huge. She's still Bree just improved. She's doing things she never imagined, experiencing destinations without help. Bree is confident and breaking out of that shadow of her sisters she's been living in. Basically Bree is realizing being self sufficient, independent and open to new things is not a bad thing.

Bree be like leave me and my picky eating alone. Bread = life

Of course there's a romance. And let me tell you, Sam is all sorts of swoon. Sweet, caring, adorable, funny, endearing; just lovable in every which way. Sam also works for the tour company Bree is. His initial job is calling Bree everyday to make sure everything is a-okay. Of course they have a total meet cute(talk cute? phone cute?) where there is an instant connection before they even meet face to face. But once that happens, holy attraction. Sam being the worldly type, showing Bree how amazing traveling is basically had me doing two things; one falling in love with him because obvs. And two having a certain song playing in brain.

Sam can show me the world.

I know I've said this a few times, but let's say my second favourite bits? The old folks. Talk about a hoot. Bree was all like I don't know old people, how do I relate to them. Well easily. #squadgoals They pretty much show Bree up. How they're living life, having a good time not letting age get in the way. Mr. Fenton, the wise history buff, bachelor for life. Mary and Emma best friends for life, giggling, skinny dipping. The ignorant Hank who after fifty series of marriage still can't keep his hands off his wife, Masey for a second. And Dolores, who could have been Bree in fifty years. Dolores and Bree connect over being homebodies well realizing you can come out of your shell at any age. Pretty much these characters are truly characters, they may be older but there's no slowing them down. 

Wanderlost is a charm of a read. It's fun, romantic and adventureful. And hey, Malone doesn't have to end it here, she can jump right into NA as we follow Bree and Sam through some college and than some summer travels. Basically I want more Sam. Gimmie more Sam.

Happy reading!



  1. This soudns really fun and what fun that you were able to revisit your time in Europe with Bree. A plot that hinges on a lie always makes me a little cringy but I think I could get aroudn that. This sounds like a read that's going to make me pack my bags which I can in no way do right now but I'll have to just stay strong!

  2. Sounds like a lovely read! I keep seeing this one over the blogosphere, so who knows! Perhaps it'll be one of my impulsive buys next B&N trip. :)

  3. This sounds like a perfect light contemporary for the summer. I have to say, I'm not a fan of plots that are based on lies/mistaken identity/etc (like, at all) but this one still sounds fun. The travel aspect is awesome and the romance sounds sweet and swoony. And yeah, I really want to meet Sam. :)