Wanderlost by Jen Malone
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
What a completely awesome book! Wanderlost is this thrilling, travelogue told from the perspective of a teenager that has never been away from home. I received an early release copy from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. I can honestly say this was a great book. Aubree has just graduated from high school and what starts out as a small house party while her parents are away overnight celebrating their anniversary, turns into a drunkfest with underage drinking. Of course the police are called. But, Elizabeth, Aubree's older sister is home from college and things go from crazy to worse than crazy when the police show up. Elizabeth is in a real bind and she has a Summer job as a tour guide for several senior citizens who are touring Europe for three weeks. She is not able to go, however, she has a brilliant plan. Aubree can go in her place. It's the least she can do since Elizabeth was covering for her. Aubree, who has never left the city they were raised in, let alone, leave the country. The baby sister whose mom still does pretty much everything for her. I'll leave the details of how they work that part of it to the reader because it is one of the best parts of the story.
Aubree is in trouble from the time she steps off the plane in Amsterdam. She meets awesome people along the way. They are friendly and helpful which is completely amazing when you are traveling alone in another country where you don't speak the language. The seniors she is traveling with are great, quirky and colorful. But, the tour group owner's mother is on the trip and Aubree is in more trouble than she even realized. She is even taking some fun, flirty calls from an employee of the tour owner, Sam, who makes things a bit easier for her and she is not as homesick when she gets to talk to him each evening and she gets the biggest surprise when she gets to meet him in person and see wonderful parts of Europe with him and the zany seniors. The thing about the characters in this story is the reader can see a bit of themselves in Aubree and Elizabeth. The people Aubree meets along the way help her grow and mature as she prepares to head to college after the Summer. Following Aubree as she works through the knots of lies she and Elizabeth have created is fun. I look forward to reading more by this author.