A Tale Of Two Different Trips

My two last reads happened to be about main characters jaunting around the world. Even though I knew that’s what they were both about I honestly didn’t consciously read them because of that. Just a happy coincidence in a way that I got to do some intense armchair traveling.

So let me tell you about these trips!


First one up…


Wanderlost Jen Malone review

Wanderlost by Jen Malone
I received this book for review consideration.


The Itinerary: All over Europe — Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic,  Italy & Monaco

Reason For Travel: Leading a tour of senior citizens around Europe via bus under the pretense that she is her older sister — whose tour guide gig this WAS until Aubree accidentally gets her sister in trouble and she is unable to leave the country to do her job so Aubree needs to pretend to be her and take over.

My thoughts: This was a super cute romance spanning many European cities with many misadventures due to trying to maintain her identity as her sister and lead this tour that won’t totally screw up things for her sister. I had a real rough time and almost put this book down in the beginning because the whole situation of pulling this whole scheme off was hard for me to suspend my disbelief and I was eyerolly about a lot of things but once I did I found this book to be do delightful overall. I loved the travel descriptions (though my heart hurts because Aubree is like the opposite of me when I travel — I’m a total foodie and she was eating protein bars and McDonalds — so I missed having some drool-worthy food descriptions like in other travel-y novels I’ve read) and loved watching Aubree, a super  grow and push her comfort zone beyond her wildest dreams on this trip — something that travel does best. I absolutely LOVED the senior citizens on her trip and the bonds she formed with them especially as she let her guard down and let loose a little bit. They were some of my favorite parts of the whole book! The romance was really cute — not an OTP or anything but cute!

My Rating


Do I Recommend?

Yes, if you are looking for a cute romance/beach read type YA book it’s perfect — especially if you are looking for a travel-y setting.

The next one I read was one I’ve owned since 2010 but hadn’t read yet!!

Carpe Diem

Carpe Diem by Autumn Cornwell

The Itinerary: Southeast Asia — Malaysia, Cambodia and Laos

Reason For Travel: Vassar’s parents are blackmailed by Vassar’s grandmother, who she’s never spent time with, to send her to Southeast Asia to visit and travel with her for the summer.

My Thoughts: This one is hard because on one hand it was enjoyable but I also didn’t feel very into it at all. I had such a hard time finding any sort of connection with Vassar. She’s super type A to the extreme and pretty much complains about this trip like 90% of the time. I just couldn’t even with her. Like I get that she was forced into it and not all aspects of the trip are ideal but I’m just SO the opposite when it comes to travel that it’s so hard to read about someone who from the get go isn’t even excited about this adventure. She had her reasons and whatever but it was personally just such a drag for me because immediately I’m like OKAY LET’S GO SEE AND DO ALL THE THINGS AND SOAK THIS ALL UP. She obviously ~grows~ on this trip and I did enjoy watching that but I never felt super invested in her personally. And again with the fussy eaters as I said about Wanderlost! I was crying on the inside again because for the love of gawd someone give me some foodie descriptions. There are lots of mishaps, misadventures and travel horror stories in the pages of these books and those were super compelling and did keep me reading as were the travel descriptions and settings. PLUS there’s the whole mystery as to WHAT Vassar’s grandmother is blackmailing her parents with — I  did guess it however!  The second half was DEFINITELY significantly better for me though and I found myself enjoying it, and Vassar, way more.

My Rating


Do I Recommend?

I mean, I don’t NOT recommend it if you are looking for a travel setting in YA? I think personally was just not in the mood for the type of character Vassar was and her attitude about the trip just really got to me. It’s probably just a me thing. So, if it sounds compelling to you — I say go for it. It wasn’t a bad book by any means..just didn’t make me love it like I’d hoped!

It’s funny that both armchair adventures featured people who were reluctant on the travel front as I drooled like TAKE ME THERE NOWWWW.

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. hmmm i’m not sure about either of these, the first one sounds kinda cute but when you have sooooo many books to read it’s hard to decide on a kinda cute one lol. though i am with you, i can’t get behind people who don’t eat the local food when they travel – what’s the point of travelling? we have friends who eat fast food to ‘save money’ when they travel… we went to rome last year and they were talking about when they travel, they get fast food because it’s only like $10-$15 per meal.. we were getting entire pizzas for like 6-8 euro… so their argument was invalid lol.

    • I meaaaan, I don’t think either of them are MUST READS. But Wanderlost is good if you a cute romance with major travel-y aspects and an adorable cast of senior citizens.

      And omg SAME. Like I understand people like what they like with food (or have an allergy) and that’s FINE and I won’t judge you but soooo the opposite of me and SO damn hard for me to read in a book lol And yeah, I finally a lot of decently cheap meals for us that weren’t chains we could eat at home!

  2. Although it doesn’t sound like my kind of thing (it sounds like it would really annoy me, actually!), the cover for Carpe Diem is lovely.

    • It’s so beautiful right?? That’s why I picked it up honestly. And it was on sale at one of the Border’s closings.

  3. Wanderlost was super cute! I definitely had to suspend my disbelief on a TON of things. But all in all, it just had the feel of a Disney Channel Original Movie for me, and that was delightful 🙂

    • SO CUTE. How cute were the senior citizens on the trip too??? (although that one part honestly had me with a couple tears in my eyes)

      And YAS totally Disney channel or very Mary Kate and Ashley.

      I’m glad I grew to really enjoy Wanderlost more than I was in the beginning because it did end up being so sweet and worth sticking with.

  4. Blue Sun, Yellow Sky is a round the world trip by an artist who is going blind. Such a great book. The author is Jamie Jo Hoang.