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Unclaimed Baggage

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  737 ratings  ·  200 reviews
*A New York Times Staff Pick*
*An NPR Best Book of 2018*
*A Buzzfeed Best YA Book of 2018*

In Jen Doll's young adult debut novel, Unclaimed Baggage, Doris--a lone liberal in a conservative small town--has mostly kept to herself since the terrible waterslide incident a few years ago. Nell had to leave behind her best friends, perfect life, and too-good-to-be-true boyfriend in
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published September 18th 2018 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Byr)
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3.74  · 
Rating details
 ·  737 ratings  ·  200 reviews

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Nov 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
2 stars.

You ever find yourself reading a contemporary novel and wanting to know the message behind the story? That's me. And I did not find the message in Unclaimed Baggage.

Even as I'm writing this, I'm having a hard time trying to come up with how I genuinely feel about this book. There are powerful messages throughout the story calling out sexism, double standards, racism, etc. Except, the story itself is lost among those messages.

Unclaimed Baggage follows three teens working at a store where
Brooke — brooklynnnnereads
Jan 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

This book was such an unexpectedly cute and fun read (with elements of complexity) that gave me all of the feelings of a summer in the South. I really enjoyed reading this in the month of January but believe me, this would be the absolute perfect summer or vacation read.

In this story, we follow three main characters Nell, Doris, and Grant. All three of them are very different but as expected, a friendship develops and is accelerated by the fact that they all share the same place of emp
Madalyn (Novel Ink)
Jul 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, bea-2018
This review originally appeared on Novel Ink.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

*4.5 stars*

TW: alcoholism; sexual assault; victim blaming; racism (all are challenged in the story)

Ever wonder what happens to lost luggage that’s never returned to its rightful owner? Well, in the adorable Unclaimed Baggage, we, along with the three main characters, get to find out! When I saw the author would be sig
Jul 23, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars! I’m really into stories where people are brought together by circumstance and end up growing more into who they really are because of those relationships and experiences. Loved the added bonus of the Unclaimed Baggage store as a setting too!
Mary H
Aug 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars. I expected a cute, quirky romcom, but I got SO much more than that. Unclaimed Baggage has a LOT of hidden depth to it, and I really enjoyed it! Full review tk.
Brittany Petersen (thecontinuingchronicles)
Rating: 2.5/5

This story follows three teens and, through their three different perspectives, we follow them and their experience working at Unclaimed Baggage, a store in small town Alabama that literally sells the contentns of baggage not retrieved at airports. We have Doris, a native of the town who has worked at Unclaimed Baggage for a while and often finds her self suffocated and misunderstood in small town Alabama. A lot more progressive then her family and surrounding townspeople, she find
Lisa (Remarkablylisa)
Sep 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: sept-2018
I was sent an ARC from Raincoast Books Canada in exchange for a honest review.

Let’s take a quick break from the review to talk about how incredibly cute this cover is! I loved it so much and was immediately drawn to it. After reading the synopsis, I was hooked from the start. Unclaimed Baggage tells the story of Doris, an employee of Unclaimed Baggage, a store dedicated to selling luggage that has been lost or forgotten from airlines across the country. She loves her job beca
Kelly Hager
This is an incredibly fun read. I think most of us can relate to feeling like an outsider, and if that's also you, you will love Doris. 

All three of them are struggling, though. Nell is in a new town, Grant may well be an alcoholic (those online quizzes indicate yes, but he's not so sure) but either way, his life is falling apart and again, Doris is a liberal in a conservative, religion-is-the-best-thing-except-maybe-football town.

I love stories about friendship and stories where people are very
Oct 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Thank you Raincoast books for the review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

ACTUAL: 4.75/5 stars

I absolutely loved this novel! It was different than I expected, but it was a pleasant surprise.

I found the characters refreshing, and the challenges they faced were realistic. Each experienced growth in their own way throughout the story and overcame periods of racism, guilt, and hardship, resulting in a new positive sense of identity.

I was impressed with the variety of characters, and their di
Karen’s Library
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
First of all, thank you so much to Fierce Reads for the book giveaway!! I'm not a big contemporary reader so may not have read this book otherwise if I hadn't won this copy. Well... This has turned out to be one of my top favorites of 2018!! I loved it! And now I want to read more like this, and more by Jen Doll.

Unclaimed Baggage was such a delight to read. I'm totally and completely enamored over Doris, Nell, and Grant, three teens who work at a store that sells the contents of lost, unclaimed
Lauren R.
This was great! A quiet, heartwarming, and quirky story. I loved the main characters so much and that only grew with every page. I wish there was even more time at the Unclaimed Baggage; the concept of the store was so fun! I loved how some of the luggage-related threads were woven together eventually. The author covered a lot of serious issues while keeping the book lighthearted overall. Highly recommend!!
Sue (BeautyBookCorner)
The plot is a bit messy in parts especially towards the end. I feel like there were a lot of topics that were introduced early on (sexual assault, rape culture, racism, alcoholism, stereotypes of Christians being narrow-minded and hateful, homophobia, etc.) and the author felt like she needed to address them all. But it kind of felt like a checklist after awhile.

The beginning chapters were probably the weakest parts of the book for me. Each chapter is a POV of one of the three teens. But the ch
Katherine Moore
Aug 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It’s probably humanly impossible to not like a book with fluffy clouds and a little squirrel holding nuts on the cover. So far, I believe this to be 100% true.

‘Unclaimed Baggage’, while having nothing to do with now-endangered and very cute red squirrels, is just as adorable a book on the inside as it is on the outside, and if it’s that cover that draws you in (like it did me), so be it). It’s the goods inside though that will make you stay a while.

The title of the book is the name of the store
Samantha (WLABB)
Aug 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, arcs, contemporary, ya
Rating: 3.5 Stars

I am going to start by saying, that I love the concept behind this book. Three teens, who are trying to find how they fit in this world are brought together, and a wonderful and unlikely friendship forms. I was totally onboard with the underlying concept of this book.

I wanted to run for president of the Doris fan club from chapter 1. I loved her voice and her quest to be a connector. It was very beautiful and altruistic, and I thought it was wonderful, that she wouldn't let set
Mar 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, young-adult
The genre of YA has a problem -- authors feel the need to throw everything at a book in order to appease the power readers on Goodreads and Twitter. I think this was an almost perfect novel by Jen Doll that fails when it attempts to address racism, bullying, body image, long distance love, alcoholism, religious prejudice, AND living in the South. Honestly, I think the author either needed to make the book longer (which I would have loved) or cut out one or two issues.

But with that one criticism
Summer Smith
Oct 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2018
This book really spoke to me! I grew up in the south often feeling out of place, and I just loved these quirky gals who aren't afraid to be different. Anyone who was a teenager can appreciate this delightful novel, though!
Sep 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What I have read so far it is one the best book ever.
Nov 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: friends, young-adult
A great story about losing and finding about three friends (teenagers) who work at a store for lost luggage in Alabama. Sweat, honest, a little awkward, like being young. Like life.

I couldn't put this book down. Now I am dying for a sequel, a movie about, a tv series. Anything. Just give me more of these characters and this world.
Julie Guthrie
Sep 27, 2018 added it
Shelves: 2018, alabama
Even more familiar settings, characters, and themes than I expected. <3
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A fun book about friendship told from the points of view of three very different teens in a small Alabama town.

My review:
Oct 23, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2018
Bah. What a waste of time. I skimmed the last third of the book because it was. So. Boring. I’m over this reading month. Give me something good!!!
Feb 16, 2019 rated it liked it
unclaimed baggage is told in three perspectives - nell, doris, grant. three teens who seem lost but have found each other.

out of the three, i really like grant. his character has a lot going on. even though the book is an easy read, the things that grant is going through is hard to swallow. his character had the most development. and while there weren't a lot of glimpses and strong impressions of the old grant, it was not hard to imagine how he was.

i enjoyed doris too. she's a strong character.
Hallie Yam
Feb 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was very cute, I would recommend to fans of Jennifer Mathieu's Moxie, and To All the Boys I've Loved Before.

I loved the focus on the support of good friendship in this book, and loved that they were misfits in their small southern town. Coming from the South myself and knowing people who are from even more southern places than myself, I feel it is important for those "Southern misfits" to see themselves in books. I liked that Doll was also able to discuss difficult and serious topics
Janelle Hackbarth
Jan 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
I got an early copy of this book through a Twitter trade.

What first drew me to the book was the unique, but somewhat similar plot: 3 different teens (each with different and slight dramas in their own lives) meet at a job at a store for Unclaimed Baggage (hence the name of the store and the book). Nell's the new girl in town from Chicago with a black boyfriend back home; Doris is the non-church goer that some of the town views as the social outcast; and Grant is the alcoholic football player who
Feb 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, ya
This is the story of Doris, a young woman that has worked at a store that buys unclaimed baggage and sells the items inside and the suitcases, and grieving the loss of her aunt, whom she had a strong bond with. Grant, a young man that is the town's football star, but is dealing with his own demons. Nell, a young woman that just moved to the small Alabama town that Doris and Grant live, she is missing her boyfriend back in Chicago, but trying to make her way in her new town.

This was an utterly lo
Oct 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
At first, teens Doris, Nell, and Grant seem to have nothing in common beyond their summer job at a thrift store that sells the contents of suitcases left at airports. As they get to know one another, a deep friendship develops, and they find that they can help each other through the difficulties they are currently facing.

This is a nice, feel-good story. There’s some romance, but the book is much more about friendship and dealing with one’s past. I found the writing a little pedantic in places, e
Carmen Marie
Oct 26, 2018 rated it liked it
2.5 Stars

Unclaimed Baggage is about three friends finding each other at just the right time. I am not the target audience for this YA novel, but I know that I am not the target audience for most YA and yet I continue to read it finding a lot of the genre perfect for all ages. This one is just so heavy-handed about so many issues: racism, sexual assault, and alcoholism. Unclaimed Baggage didn't trust the reader enough to make their own conclusions. This novel is set in Alabama and while I don't d
Hazel (Stay Bookish)
Actual rating: 3.5

Even though it touches on alcoholism, loss of a loved one, racism, assault, religious hypocrisy/sanctimony, Unclaimed Baggage stays surprisingly and refreshingly light. I really liked the friendship between Doris, Nell and Grant, even though sometimes their dialogue felt unnatural and unnecessarily lengthy/redundant. The idea of the store they work in and its atmosphere was delightful. Though not profound or cathartic (and I don't think it's meant to be!), Unclaimed Baggage has
Sarah K
Jul 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars!

I loved this book! It’s funny, has great characters and full of heart.

It’s about 3 teens who get a job at a store called Unclaimed Baggage that sells items and suitcases that had been lost luggage from airports.

They all have difficult things going on in their lives and their friendship becomes a place of healing.

It deals with a lot of different subjects, alcoholism, racism, religious hypocrisy but it’s done well and speaks up against those who do wrong.

Unclaimed baggage was such a del
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Jen Doll has written for The Atlantic, The Atlantic Wire, Cosmopolitan, The Hairpin, New York magazine, The New York Times Book Review, The Toast, Topic, Vice, The Village Voice, and The Week, among others. She grew up in Alabama and lives in Brooklyn and upstate New York.
“What I wish I could do now is go back in time and shout this: Why don’t boys get blamed or held accountable when they put their hands on girls’ bodies? Why are girls the ones who have to look or act a certain way so they don’t “entice” the boys? Aren’t boys capable of doing the right thing, even if a girl is wearing a swimsuit, or leggings, or a crop top … even RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM? And if they’re not, why do we let those boys out of the house?” 0 likes
“I believe about God, but I definitely don’t think it’s right how some people around here use him to justify acting like small-minded bigots.” 0 likes
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