Release Date: May 31st 2016
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.
I was surprised with how much I ended up connecting to Aubree by the end of this book since, at first, I wasn’t too sure how much I would like her. She seemed a bit like a brat and I didn’t want to spend a lot of time in her POV if it was going to be about how much everything ruined her life even though she was the one who decided to have the party and her sister basically saved her ass. But then her sister guilt-tripped her into taking her place as a tour guide, posing as her, and we saw the real Aubree, the young girl who had stayed in her comfort zone her whole life and was about to be pushed out of it in an extraordinary fashion.
It seemed like whatever could go wrong, went wrong for her at the beginning. She lost her phone and the itinerary her sister made her on the plane, her driver didn’t speak English and she spoke only English, and the mother of the company’s owner was a part of her tour. She could have easily given in and confessed to everything and I wouldn’t have blamed her. First time away from home, first time in another country, and she was so alone. But she kept finding ways to pull through for the people depending on her.
I ended up liking her flirtation with Sam more when it was over the phone than when he showed up. Over the phone was harmless but in person, with her feelings growing, it was a little hard to really get into knowing that she was lying to him. She kept having to feed him half-truths about her life since he thought she was her sister, and also a few years older.
The plot was mostly pushed by Aubree’s growth. She went from being someone who wasn’t willing to try new things, to travel, to go too far from home, to someone who was confident leading a tour in another country. The senior citizens that made up Aubree’s group were a great supporting cast and made me feel like I would definitely want to be a part of their tour. It was a pretty light read and would make a good choice for a beach read or a travel book.
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.