I love traveling. When I read the blurb for this book on Netgalley, I was sold before I even f(Originally reviewed on my blog, That Artsy Reader Girl)
I love traveling. When I read the blurb for this book on Netgalley, I was sold before I even finished! This book changed my outlook on life. I feel like there was a little bit of me laced within the text. I felt like I was discovering the same things about myself as Bria did--like she was living the story I was supposed to be living. I'm kind of jealous she got to go on the trip, and I just read about it! There is not one thing about this book that I didn't adore, so let's begin the fangirl review right here. This is going to be really hard! I always have a really hard time writing a review for a book I love, so we'll see how this goes!
1. Bria did something I would LOVE to do. She just picked up and went on this crazy adventure through Central America. Along the way, she learned so much about herself and gained a lot of life experience. Plus, she saw amazing places, experienced new things, met cool people, and fell in love. I envy her tenacity, and the fact that she had the guts to fly off on her own like that!
2. This book is artsy! Bria is an artist, and a traveler. Do you know who Bria really is? Bria is ME! Her love of art shone through everything she did, and everything she said. I totally identified with her for these reasons. Kirsten Hubbard is also artsy, thus one of the reasons I love her! She illustrated parts of this book with amazing little pictures! They added so much to the story. I'm totally buying a finished copy of this when it comes out. How can I not support a fellow artist? I can't wait to see what this looks like when it's all put together (and not on a Kindle screen).
3. Part of this book takes place in Belize! I love Belize! I was there two summers ago, and it was pretty amazing. It was extremely hot and humid and I was drenched and exhausted, but I loved it! Funny side story: I was held at gunpoint in a tiny little tour boat in the middle of the ocean by several men in the Belizean Coast Guard. The driver of the boat was in some trouble, apparently, and tried to jump out. At one point the tour guide mumbled under her breath, "This is where they kill us." I'm pretty sure I was not supposed to hear that. Luckily, things got ironed out and we were sent on our way. But OH MAN. What a story, huh? Haha.
4. I loved Rowan. He's this reformed bad-boy with a travel bug who hops around from destination to destination teaching diving courses and backpacking to hole-in-the-wall hostels where everyone already knows him. He just sounds pretty darn amazing. He's really mysterious and hardened, but a softy when his walls are torn down. And he's bookish. Yes please! Some of the banter between him and Bria was hilarious, and the tension between those two had me itching to read more and more about them.
5. The scenery. OH MAN. You can tell Kirsten Hubbard is a travel writer, because the scenery she wrote about was so perfectly described that I could feel the hot sun bearing down on me, the sand between my toes, and the humidity trying to suffocate me. The rainforests and waterfalls and mangroves and Mayan ruins and scenic lakes... I was totally there. This book felt so authentic and realistic. I do think it's the most well done of all the books I've read with a travel element. I could not get enough of these descriptions, and I REALLY hope that Kirsten writes another travel book soon.
6. I loved the slow burn we experience with Bria and Rowan. There is no insta-love here, thank goodness. They start out tolerating one another and gradually move towards a friendship that you can tell is totally going places. It was so sweet and wonderful to read about. They fit so well together, but it takes them a while to fix themselves enough to notice. I loved seeing how they worked through their own problems, and helped each other when they could. They encouraged the best out of each other, which I loved. They were better together than they were apart.
7. Finally, this book brings good things out in me. I've got all these amazing goals now, to travel more, to practice my art more, to be spontaneous, to let my hair down and not worry what other people think, to look to the future, to develop other talents, to conquer fears, and to enjoy my life more.
I loved this book. I can't say enough good things about it, and I feel like my review is extremely inadequate. This is the kind of book that everyone should read. It's the kind of book that encourages you to take the bull by the horns and go with it. I just felt so refreshed by the end, like I had been the one to go on a whirlwind trip that changed my life. To me, books have always been an escape and this one did the best job at taking me somewhere. I would recommend this to anyone, but read with caution! You'll end up catching Wanderlove, which I hear takes a whole lot of adventure and self-discovery to find the cure for. ...more
I think I might have found my new favorite YA contemporary romance, and that’s really saying something! I love Julia and Jason, and am quite sad thatI think I might have found my new favorite YA contemporary romance, and that’s really saying something! I love Julia and Jason, and am quite sad that my time with them is over. I’m also sad I had to leave London and fly back to the USA with them. Meant to Be is such a fun journey, and I loved every single word. Finally, I love that the cover matches the content! Both are absolutely beautiful. If you loved Anna and the French Kiss, Just One Day, and Instructions for a Broken Heart, you will love this! And if you’ve never read any of these, you’ll still love it. It’s full of heart, travel, young love, and humor.
It's about healing, forgiveness, self-discovery, and growing up. There's a lot of scenery, theater references, introspection, and emotions. The plot wIt's about healing, forgiveness, self-discovery, and growing up. There's a lot of scenery, theater references, introspection, and emotions. The plot was predictable in places, and some might feel like this subject matter has been done and overdone, but I ended up really enjoying it! The ending made the book for me, and I would recommend it to anyone who loves traveling, coming of age stories, and light contemporary, summery reads!
Holy crap. That's what I said, people, when I shut this baby after tearing through it at lightning speed. This is th(Originally reviewed on the blog.)
Holy crap. That's what I said, people, when I shut this baby after tearing through it at lightning speed. This is the kind of book that leaves you feeling intimidated by trying to write a review, because nothing you say will be what you actually wanted to say. I just have this feeling I'm not going to like my review, so I'll try to make it short and sweet.
1. Can I just say right upfront that I want this day to happen to me? I love traveling, and I particularly love Paris. I could picture Allyson and Willem on the train, walking the streets of Paris, eating crepes, gazing over the river, even walking past all the vintage items in boxes and paintings and key chains from street vendors. Gayle brought Paris alive for me again, and so many memories came flooding back from my time there. I loved that they did not do the typical touristy things, though. They experienced Paris in a way that most people who only have one day there don't. I want to do what they did, and I want to find a guy like Willem to be right there next to me. This day was a whirlwind of amazingness.
2. The wanderlust monster has been reawakened in me! Where can I go next? The travel and scenic descriptions were amazing. It's like I was there.
3. I love the whole leave your life behind, get totally lost, and end up finding yourself mentality. Wanderlove had a similar feel, and I just love books that make me want to discover myself and the world I live in. I feel like an author has done something amazing if they can inspire me to do something.
4. I felt every single emotion possible in this book. What a roller coaster! I went from feeling on top of the world to absolutely heart-shatteringly sad for my beloved characters. I've seen quite a few reviewers say, "I felt ALL THE FEELS." It's so true. Never has a single statement summed up a book so well.
5. I love Allyson. She is so real, and spoke to my soul many times throughout the story. I felt for her and loved reading about her journey to self discovery. Her alter ego, Lulu, made me so proud. I loved watching her incorporate Lulu into her own life. Willem is amazing. He's everything I hoped to find when I went to Holland. Haha. Either I went to the wrong places, or he's a diamond in the rough. I am so excited to read his story, Just One Year. I have this feeling that I will love it more than Just One Day. He and Allyson together are magical.
6. This story is so beautiful. I mean, this is the bottom line here. The writing is gorgeous, the emotions are so wonderfully expressed, the scenery jumps off the pages, the people are so real, the feelings are so deep, and the eagerness and excitement are electric. There were so many amazing quotes. I could not get enough of any of it.
7. I'm a Gayle Forman fangirl for life. This was my first book of hers, but I think I need to go buy all the others.
For fear of spoiling anything, I'm going to end my review with a few blanket statements. Just One Day is a new favorite of mine that you MUST read. I love this book beyond words, and I love that it has inspired this introspective look at my own life. If you love romance, self-discovery, travel, and emotional roller coasters (which usually I hate), you'll love Just One Day. ...more
OH MY GOODNESS. I actively seek out romances that take place in Italy. I kid you not, I have spent hours looking for them. It’s kind of ridiculous, buOH MY GOODNESS. I actively seek out romances that take place in Italy. I kid you not, I have spent hours looking for them. It’s kind of ridiculous, but I just love them because I love Italy so much and want to go back SO BAD. When I saw this lovely on Goodreads, I could not handle it! I immediately requested it, and was delighted when it arrived in the mail. Thank you SO much, Bloomsbury for sending me to Italy during the craziest time of my life (right now). I loved Wish You Were Italian so much, and I will be making everyone I know read it!
1. Italy. *sigh* Within just the first few pages, Pippa is in Rome eating gelato by the Pantheon. I DID THAT. I did that exact thing! You can totally tell the author has been to Rome, because she described everything I did! She perfectly described getting off the subway, seeing the massive Colosseum, walking past the Arch of Constantine to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. I was back in Italy! And she made Cinque Terre sound so beautiful. I have always wanted to go there, but I want to go even more now! Rae’s descriptions of scenery are just breathtaking.
2. I loved Pippa. I really respected her for taking such a risk and ditching her art program in Florence to run off to Cinque Terre to live with the cashier from the coffee shop and her family. I would never, EVER be able to do that! It would eat me alive. Her dream is to be a photo journalist, which is not at all what her art aficionado parents want for her. And instead of sulking through the art museums of Florence, which I would have hated her for doing because I LOVE FLORENCE, she actually did something about it and thought of herself for once. She had the best, most snarky, and level-headed voice I’ve read in a while.
3. I really loved the supporting characters. Bruno, the sexy Italian boy was just so endearing. I loved his broken English and his desire to be everything Pippa wanted. He developed a lot throughout the course of the story, and I really enjoyed seeing him change and become a better person. Chiara (Bruno’s sister), the new best friend who takes Pippa to Cinque Terre, is the kind of friend every girl needs. Pippa was floating around on Cloud 9, and Chiara kept pulling her back down to Earth and giving her doses of reality when she needed them. And the family was wonderful. Typical, loving, completely Italian. Darren was just perfection. I loved that he was this nerdy archaeology student with big hair, and he kept popping up wherever she was! I mean, when does that even happen? Pippa is one lucky girl.
4. I was totally ok with the love triangle. *dodges tomatoes* I know, right? I liked both boys for different reasons. I liked one more than the other, but I never found myself rolling my eyes. I was mainly jealous that Pippa was getting attention from both of them!
5. I love all the adventures! Long walks, exploring ruins, eating a lot, souvenir shopping, train rides, swimming in the Mediterranean Sea, working in the restaurant, sightseeing. I wanted to be there so badly.
6. The romance is adorable and slow burning. There’s no insta-love, and I loved watching the slow development.
7. The ending is pretty everything-you-want-it-to-be.
I could rave and rave about this book, but I’ll quit now and let you go buy it and read it yourself! Seriously, this book will fly you to Italy and deposit you right into the middle of the best parts of it. My very favorite part was Italy, but the romance and the gelato and the wonderfulness of growing up and discovering your independence and your identity solidified my love. Like I said, I will be recommending this to everyone! And I’m going through Italy withdrawals now. Thanks a lot, Kristin Rae. :P...more