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The Lost Girls: Three Friends. Four Continents. One Unconventional Detour Around the World.

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  7,984 ratings  ·  708 reviews
Three friends, each on the brink of a quarter-life crisis, make a pact to quit their high pressure New York City media jobs and leave behind their friends, boyfriends, and everything familiar to embark on a year-long backpacking adventure around the world in The Lost Girls.
Hardcover, 542 pages
Published May 11th 2010 by Harper (first published January 1st 2010)
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✼Summer✼ "A GOOD GIRLS GUIDE TO GETTING LOST" by Rachel Friedman, I did not enjoy the Lost Girls, but I thought this one was very good, same idea but better!…more"A GOOD GIRLS GUIDE TO GETTING LOST" by Rachel Friedman, I did not enjoy the Lost Girls, but I thought this one was very good, same idea but better!(less)

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Average rating 3.74  · 
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 ·  7,984 ratings  ·  708 reviews

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Jill Furedy
Oct 25, 2011 rated it it was ok
I'm sure the girls who wrote this had an amazing trip...and I enjoyed hearing about a lot of it. So being critical of the book feels a bit like insulting someone who is excitedly showing you their vacation photos. For the most part, I liked hearing about their travels, though they had such similar voices in their storytelling, I gave up trying to remember who was wasn't relevant most of the time anyway. There were quite a few moments where they were so intent on telling a "story" ...more
Dianne C.
Aug 14, 2012 rated it liked it
Someone rec'd this book to me because I'm off on my own backpacking journey in a few weeks... And I bombed through it in a couple days but it doesn't really seem to resonate with me.

It was enjoyable and I loved the travel parts of the book. The parts where they talked about their experiences, good and bad, were fun to read and I was particularly moved by the chapters in Kenya. A lot of that portion showcased the guilt they feel but it was their interactions with the girls at Pathfinder and the o
Ket Lamb
Sep 11, 2010 rated it it was ok
In The Lost Girls,. three twentysomething Manhattanites ditch their high pressure jobs to backpack around the world for a year. Each chapter is told from a different girl's perspective, making it difficult to remember who is who. Aside from a moving initiation in Masai Mara, Kenya, and a moment in Peru when a local woman surprises the girls with her kindness, little stands-out in this superficial 500+ page saga. Missing is the wittiness of Peter Mayle, the deeper observations of Bill Bryson, and ...more
Jul 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
I have a love-hate relationship with travel writing. Either it's so detailed about the landscape that I'm not interested because the details take out the human experience - or it's so personal that the writer forgets to mention the details of the landscape and the events of traveling. Few writers have been able to satisfy my standards for travel writing, which is why I only read it when my book club ladies tell me to.

This book was very well-balanced. As a mid-30s woman, I'm beyond all the questi
Jul 27, 2010 rated it liked it
I really liked the idea behind this book. Who wouldn't want to take a year off and travel with their two best friends? However, about mid-way through the book I started to think it was less of a book about traveling and more about friendships, dating and the popularity gaining "quarter-life-crisis." I was annoyed by the drug use in Goa, India; the constant partying, and the one sexual encounter that made me go "EEwwww." Didn't these girls know that their mother would someday read this book? Or m ...more
Andrea W
Sep 12, 2017 rated it did not like it
I'm still trying to finishing this for a Book Club, but not sure if I can, which is unlike me. The authors really lost me when they chose to phonetically type out how the accents of the people they encountered sounded - "But, Miss Holly, I don't undah-stand." We get it, you're in Kenya and the people you are meeting don't sound like you. And instead of poetically talking about the nuances of language and the characteristics of the accents they are encountering, we get "Eggg-cellent!"

Jun 01, 2010 rated it it was ok
Totally self-absorbed and unenlightening non-fiction on a topic that could have been very interesting. The only thing interesting about this annoying book were some of the descriptions about locales, especially New Zealand, Kenya, and Cambodia. Very superficial authors who are wealthy beyond belief and it becomes really annoying the further you get into the book. Do not recommend it.
May 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book is just what I needed to inspire me to make my 40 before 40 list ( a list of 40 things I want to do before I turn 40 ). Its a book about friendship, travel, inspiration, and discovering who you are.

Three friends (Jennifer, Holly and Amanda) are on vacation in Brazil talking about all the dreaded work that they have to face once they return to NYC and they are most definitely not looking forward to any of it. Jokingly, they discuss what it would be like to take off for one whole year an
Debbie Ellis
Aug 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Started this book four days ago and am halfway through (542 pages in all). I can't put it down. Being a wanderlust myself, thus one reason why I have a maison secondaire in France, I've been anxious to read this one. The way the girls bring their personal issues into the mix of the experience with their travels keeps it very real. Often people say that three is not a good mix of friends but Jen, Amanda, and Holly prove that it can be a great combination as they all have assets to strengths to br ...more
Holly (2 Kids and Tired)
Taking a sabbatical and traveling sounds fun. Any traveling is fun, I can attest to that. And, taking a year off of work and life could be a fascinating experience. Jen, Holly and Amanda did just that and traveled the world, seeking adventure. This memoir is told from their alternating perspectives and narratives. The book is refreshingly honest and they hold nothing back when it comes to conflicts and issues between them.

There are some fun anecdotes and a lot of drama. I would have liked less d
Jun 06, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Three friends, four continents, one unconventional detour around the sounded so promising!

This book is supposedly written by the three friends, each telling a bit of the story in their own alternating chapters. I found myself constantly checking the bottom of each page where the name of the chapter (and the name of the traveller) was helpfully typed as I could not distinguish which of the three told any of the chapters. It read like a novel written by a single author, or, like a phra
Mar 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: travel
This is a "privileged white girls visit developing countries and discover how privileged they really are" type memoir, but it is a good read. I most enjoyed the descriptions of the places they visited and the lives of the people there. I also appreciate that the authors did visit almost solely developing countries and that they really made an effort to find organizations and businesses that would benefit locals. Also they also engaged in typical hostel partying along the way, they felt like thou ...more
Sep 14, 2019 rated it did not like it
This was not what I was expecting or wanted from a travel memoir.
Jan 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars for this one, which I'm calling "Eat, Pray, Love" for millenials. It took approximately one chapter of this book for me to come down with a serious case of wanderlust, and approximately 2-3 chapters to become completely enthralled by the authors' story. First, the courage it takes to break completely from convention--to quit jobs, give up apartments, and leave behind significant others for a year-long trip around the world. And not just to travel the world, but to visit lesser-traveled ...more
Rachel G.
May 22, 2010 rated it it was ok
I enjoyed this book because I love travel writing, although I think a much more apt title would be "The Guilt Trip," in both the literal and figurative sense. Instead of including some of the more adventurous elements of their around the world trip, there was way too much focus on the girl's relationships and the "humanitarian" parts of their trip. The latter was fine, but you got the sense that instead of learning and absorbing their experiences in developing countries, they instead felt overwh ...more
May 15, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: contemporary, travel
I was attracted to this book because I love traveling and I thought it would be fun to read about other young women's adventures around the world. I enjoyed the book and added some places I would like to go to my very long list! The book was a collection of stories written from the point of view of each of the girls. I liked one of the author's style of writing and point of view over the other two. Sometimes I felt like the descriptions and the adjectives used were right out of the thesaurus. It ...more
Feb 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
“Three friends, four continents” is the cover tagline of this rewarding, if lengthy, account of modern independent travel – our guides Amanda, Jen and Holly launch themselves several zip codes outside their comfort zones, then write it all down.

The eponymous lost girls are three New York-based media sector worker-bees whose (frankly scary) ambition has perceptibly shifted into promotion and career success, but share a nagging worry that the corporate hamster wheel might not be the One True Path.
May 16, 2010 rated it did not like it
***If you’re reading this, prepare for a rant.***

I wanted to love this book. Really, I did. I wanted to relate to these late-20-somethings on the adventure of their lifetimes (Hey, I just left my late 20s! Hey, I love to travel!). Really, I did. Buuuuuuuut I gave up on this book, and here's why: I HATE these three women.

Okay, okay. I don't HATE hate them. I'm just envious that three young ("quarter-life crisis???" BAH, I say!), fit, intelligent, adventure-types with fab jobs and lives in New-Yor
Sep 26, 2011 rated it it was ok
i have mixed feelings on this book, an impossible-not-to-compare-to-eat-pray-love travel memoir by 3 girls in their mid 20s. they quit their life-consuming ny media jobs, dumped their boyfriends, and went to see the world for a year. on one hand, i do think that travel is the best form of education, and when i met jen and amanda at our book club discussion of this book, they related that since the trip they’ve become advocates for “gap years” and spend time educating potential travelers on how t ...more
Jul 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the things I like best about this book is that the women aren't afraid to admit their own biases and mistakes when traveling around the world for a year. My eyes were opened by their struggles and I added a few places to my life travel list. I also crossed a few places OFF my list (I'm looking at you, India!).

Great for women who have cases of wanderlust (as I often do!).
Apr 21, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was hoping to enjoy this book because I love travel but I didn’t relate to the authors at all. I kept reading in the hopes that it would all come together to create a bigger and better story but it fell flat. The book was written by three authors, but their voices were all so similar that I could not keep track of whose section I was reading. I wish I hadn’t wasted my time finishing this one.
Nov 08, 2012 rated it it was ok
I think I would have enjoyed it much more if I'd read it fifteen years ago. ...more
Alex Schwerdt
Feb 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow I LOVED this book!!! This spoke to me in so many ways. I was right there with those girls on wanting to quit my job and travel the world for a year to find myself and figure out what I truly want. My trip to Iceland was intended that way, and like these girls, we didn’t really get all of that out of the intentions.
I’ve never really been interested too much in seeing Thailand until I read this book. The trip to Laos sounded magical and perfect, I wrote every place down so I could do it mysel
Barbara Nutting
Jan 19, 2021 rated it did not like it
This read like a corny Chick Lit novel. The dialogue was excruciating- they sounded like demented teens. Jen, Holly and Amanda are three women, not girls as the title indicates. I got to page 365 and needed a break from this overlong excursion.

The book was filled with more of their work and boyfriend problems than travel. It was impossible to keep them straight, they cried, whined and acted like kids in all the same ways. What adult would jump up and down on a hotel bed in glee?

Some of the trav
I genuinely loved reading this book. It's not the same 5 star as I would give my favorites but I enjoyed more than a 4 star so whatever. I had so much fun learning about the places Holly, Jen, and Amanda traveled to, and I liked that they traveled to places a little bit unconventional/that I didn't know much about. I cannot imagine traveling around the world with just a backpack for a whole freakin year, especially doing the things they did (bungee jumping, hiking, scuba diving) and living in th ...more
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As someone who recently went on her first international trip, the list of places I want to see has done nothing but grow since I got home. I find myself drawn to books set in international locations now so that I can discover and explore places I may never get to in my lifetime. After all the world IS pretty big and I am 35 years late getting started. I loved everything about this book and the journey and the realizations and epiphanies the girls had at each location. Travel helps us on a path o ...more
Jan 29, 2021 rated it it was ok
I applaud the writer and her friends for taking on such an an amazing adventure and I admire their chutzpah, but honestly, I felt like I was on a novel length tour of “Dear Diary” to 17 Magazine. The writing was too sparse for a good book and far too “oomigod” for a serious journalistic endeavor.
Aug 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I would give this book 10 stars if I could! I absolutely love a well-written travel memoir and this one is definitely that! I loved all three of the authors’ writing styles and the way they shared all the lessons learned along their journey. Highly recommend this one!!!!
Jan 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
I’ve done some traveling in my life, but this book makes me want to do more.
Mediocre writing, despite the authors apparently having experience in writing/publishing. This could have been a conversation over brunch, but it is a disappointing travelogue. They have nothing interesting to say about their travels, either the places or their dynamics/interactions travelling together. Not worth reading.
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Goodreads Choice ...: The Lost Girls - July 2013 63 171 Aug 11, 2013 11:12AM  

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