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The Wonder of Us

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  403 ratings  ·  98 reviews
Riya and Abby are: Best friends. Complete opposites. Living on different continents. Currently mad at each other. About to travel around Europe.

Riya moved to Berlin, Germany, with her family for junior year, while Abby stayed behind in their small California town. They thought it would be easy to keep up their friendship—it’s only a year and they’ve been best friends since
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published April 25th 2017 by Point
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Aurora B. Uhhh... Ummm.... All of them? The story is so friggin good and the characters are twice as amazing!
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Hailey (HaileyinBookland)
This didn't really do anything for me. I didn't care for the characters, in fact I found it difficult to differentiate between the two in the dual perspectives so that was an unnecessary element. It was just meh, disappointing overall.
Whispering Stories
Book Reviewed by Stacey on

Teenagers Abby and Riya had been best friends since they were little children. They were never apart until the day Riya moved from her hometown in Yuba Ridge, California to Berlin, Germany with her family. Whilst Riya was getting to know her new hometown and school, Abby’s life was falling apart as her mum left her dad for another man.

With the two so far away from one another they tried to talk on the phone or Facetime as much as possible, but
Mar 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book! I'm a sucker for friendship stories, especially when they center around evolving friendships, and I think Culbertson did a good job with this one. There's also the added bonus of being set in some fun European cities to sweeten the deal!
Apr 02, 2018 rated it liked it
This was very cute! I finished it fast and liked the description of places they both visited.

I really liked the focus on complicated female friendships and growing up.

I thought sometimes the two characters were indistinguishable from each other which made it hard when it was a duo perspective book. It could also be a little repetitive: they went to a new place, they had a little argument, they flirted with boys. That happened almost every country they visited lol.

All in all this is a fab fun
May 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
tldr: i thought most of this book was really charming and sweet! i don't read a lot of realistic fiction but i really liked this. if you like stories about travel and friendship, this is for you. 3.5 stars (for the unnecessary romance that i felt overcomplicated things)

i totally gaybaited myself with this since logically (based on the blurbs, the cover, the fact that i hadn't seen it on any lgbt lists etc) i knew the two main characters wouldn't end up together, but! the title is THE WONDER OF U
Kelly K
Aug 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2017
2.5 stars.
This was a pretty frustrating novel. The two girls were squabbling most of the time and I felt that Abby's reason for running off was absurd. You're friends will not be in close proximity to you for forever but that doesn't mean they aren't your friends. Yeah, Abby dealt with some shit and Riya could have done a better job at being a friend but damn girls life goes on. This was also another one of those books that has to cram a love plot in there. Just stop.
Tracy Erler
Thank you, thank you, thank you Kim Culbertson for writing a book about friendship. The Wonder of Us is a beautiful, honest story of two friends at the beginning of the end of high school and what life might look like after graduation.
May 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I knew I had to pick up The Wonder of Us when I read the synopsis and found it was about two best friend going on an epic adventure, while trying to reconnect. This is a story that resonates with many as high school, college, and different parts of our life ends. What could be better than finding a way back to that friendship by taking a road trip through Europe.

There's Abby who has been left behind in California, while Riya has been away with her family in Germany for the past year. Both of the
Christina (Reading Extensively)
Abby has had a difficult year in the wake of her parents' divorce. Her dad fell apart and the burden of taking care of him and the house fell to her. It's also been tough because her best friend Riya moved to Germany and they got into a major fight. Now she is in Europe on a trip with Riya (paid for by Riya's wealthy grandmother) where they hopefully will mend their broken relationship. When Abby first sees Riya again she realizes how much Riya has changed. She dresses like a sophisticated Europ ...more
Jul 17, 2017 added it
Shelves: young-adult
This book takes a look into the friendship of two girls that are in different places. They've gotten into a big fight and their friendship hangs in the balance. The miles between them as well as their diverging paths in life only add to the trouble of working it out. Both girls have very different personalities but have been best friend for years.

What I liked. This story is primarily about friendship. It seems that too often YA ignores the importance of friendships so I'm glad this book takes a
I love a good summery book to get you in the mood for summer and with the current heatwave we are having here in the U.K there was not a better time to read this.

Riya and Abby have been best friends forever, they lived in California and have attended school together, they pretty much have been inseparable, that is until Riya tells Abby she is leaving and her family are moving to Germany. This hits the girls hard and they seem to drift away, after a few months they have little contact with each
Kyley Kordick
Mar 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was surprised by this book. I thought it looked interesting, but after reading the first bit, I wasn't sure if I was going to like it. It actually turned out to be a very good book. It really made me want to travel after hearing about all of the things Abby and Riya got to see in Europe. It had a good ending as well. I like the message that it portrays about friendship.
Personally, I sided with Abby more during Abby and Riya's arguments. The two friends have quite a lot to discuss after being a
Jheelkamal Nayak
Jul 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book wasn't for me at all. Neither did i connect with the history geek Abby nor with Drama queen Riya. They both felt immature, selfish and boring to me.
The story didn't do much for me either. Even the writing style was too predictable.
I kept going and wishing that the story will pick up the slack as it goes. But it didn't happen at all.
My rating : 2/5
Maddy W.
This book was great! It was touching and really touched on friendship and gave really good hidden lessons on friendship relationships. Although this book was long, you fell in love with Abby, Riya and all the side characters too. It also has a lot of history if you love that too! :)
Kimberly B
Oct 28, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars. I read this for my Teachers as Readers book club. A really nice take on a friendship. At times the girls seemed their age (17), and at other times their conversations and dialogue seemed between two much older girls. Overall it was a nice story about how friendship changes and evolves.
Jan 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a pretty good book, and I liked it.
Apr 03, 2018 rated it liked it
this was the sappy bff ya novel to get me excited for summer. it was cute & made me want to move to europe
Sirihaasa N. 8A
Dec 09, 2018 rated it did not like it
This book was not my type of book, and I did not realize it when I read the summary. Oh well, better luck next time.:)
Kate Stericker
A sweet and engaging novel. I found the shifts in perspective a little disorienting at times.
Book Seller GV
Feb 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: angie
While I love all of Kim Culbertson's books, this one just nailed it for me. It was like I was 19 again and trying to rebuild a friendship that had fallen apart. (We just didn't get to go Europe to do it)
Feb 21, 2018 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book, even though there were a couple of things I would have liked to be different.
I went into this book expecting more details about the places they were visiting, but we got so little. This book could have been a little bit longer with more descriptions and things about the cities.
Also, we have two problematic main characters. Both of them need to change but they don’t realize it till the end of the book.
Lastly, I think the romance was a little bit forced, as if the author thoug
Jul 20, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is amazing. Riya is a social butterfly who likes to have things go her way, and Abby is a #historygeek who is dealing with a lot of grief. They go on a Europe tour, creating their own Seven Wonders and patching up their damaged friendship. All in all, I loved it and recommend it to anyone who loves traveling and friendship.
Melissa Carpenter
Mar 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love, love, love this friendship story. It tackles some heavy topics while still being fun and adventurous, and I want to go to every single place that Riya and Abby went to on their trip. (I'm also a little jealous of them, but I'll get over it.
Jun 05, 2017 rated it liked it
A fun story, and perfect for my frame of mind because I started and finished this book while on a plane back from a semester abroad in Zurich, Switzerland. Imagine my joy to discover that Zurich was one of the locations visited here!

Above all, this is a story of friendship. Then it's a story of travel. And then maybe it's one of love? Although let's be real — the love here is just like any you'd find: on vacation/at camp/on a cruise/during a summer away from regular life (fill in with your favo
Jun 16, 2018 rated it liked it
The Wonder Of Us is all about two best friends reuniting and going on an adventure around Europe. Abby is pretty fed up with Riya who she feels abandoned her when she needed her. Abby’s parents have recently been struggling and Abby feels like Riya abandoned her to go to Berlin. What Abby doesn’t realise is that Riya has been dealing with her own secrets since leaving each other on bad terms. Riya offers Abby the chance to travel through Europe for two weeks- a ticket that’s been paid for. It’ll ...more
Sep 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Riya and Abby are embarking on a European trip. They have been friends since the first day of school. However for the past year Riya has been living in Germany and Abby has been contending with her parents splitting up. They are getting older & having different world experiences. Can their friendship adapt and survive or will they just be too different?

The story is taking place with a background of ever changing European countries - England, Germany, Italy. This provided an interesting backg
Feb 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Hi, my name is Annalee, and I am a highschooler. I decided to choose this book because I loved the cover (yes, I do judge books by their cover design, it’s horrible) and the back said that the two girls travelled to Italy. At the time, I needed a light book to read, and The Wonder of Us was a perfect, fun, easy read. I love books that include different places around the world, and this book was perfect, because the characters travelled around Europe. By visiting landmarks like the Tower of Londo ...more
Cindy Hudson
May 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Abby and Riya have been best friends since before they can remember, but their relationship started to chill when Riya moved with her parents from their small California town to Germany. From a distance, it became difficult for them to share important news with each other. Thanks to a gift from Riya’s grandma, they get to tour European cities while figuring out if their friendship has a future.

The Wonder of Us by Kim Culbertson will take you on a journey in more ways than one. First, it’s really
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Kim Culbertson is the author of the teen novels THE WONDER OF US (Scholastic 2017), THE POSSIBILITY OF NOW (Scholastic 2016), CATCH A FALLING STAR (Scholastic 2014), INSTRUCTIONS FOR A BROKEN HEART (Sourcebooks 2011), and SONGS FOR A TEENAGE NOMAD (Sourcebooks 2010).

She believes books make the world a better place.

Happy Reading!