Review: The Wonder of Us by Kim Culbertson

Collaborative feature with Alexa. We read ARCs together and post our reviews on the same date.

The Wonder of Us by Kim Culbertson
pub 4/25/17 by Point
Young Adult - Contemporary
Received from pub via Edelweiss
Plot • Riya and Abby are best friends whose relationship is currently on the rocks after living on different continents for the past year. Riya moved to Berlin with her family while Abby stayed behind in their hometown in California and unsurprisingly, a lot happened in their lives. But instead of turning to each other, they ended up fighting and keeping secrets. To try and make amends, Riya surprises Abby with an idea for them to travel around Europe for two weeks which will either be the best trip ever or the worst.

Characters • Truth? Riya was pretty much the only character in the book I liked. She wasn't without her flaws but the way she looked at life and the adventures she wanted to lead paired with her perspective on high school and the beauty of individuality really spoke to me. I think even at her "worst", she had good intentions and I admired her ability to do what's best for her. On the other hand, nothing could warm me up to Abby, which is funny because she's the supposed introvert so I thought I'd relate to her. But no, she's a brat from start to finish. And the romance? Not necessary and two, not even the least bit swoonworthy.

Writing •  I really liked the concept of the story. I mean, two best friends exploring Europe for two weeks? I can't think of a more me book. But I just wasn't fond of the execution. Abby's character doesn't grow much as a person and quite frankly, I didn't feel the best friendship between Abby or Riya either. Instead, there's a random romance thrown in and the angst is drawn out for too long. I wanted more focus on the two girls and actually healing their relationship instead of a rushed resolution at the end.

Overall feelings • Riya and the traveling parts were, by far, my favorite parts of the book and what kept me interested. I did also want to see how things would play because you know me, I love a friendship story. But it wasn't what I hoped it would be.

Which 7 places would I take Alexa for our own trip of wonders? • Abby is obsessed with the Seven Wonders of the World and the trip Riya plays for them is inspired by it. So we thought it would be fun to pick 7 wonders for each other and it has to be places we've already been to. So I would take Alexa to: The Eiffel Tower at night, Versailles, The Cliffs of Moher in Ireland, The Reading Room in Dublin, Getty Museum in LA, Shakespeare's Globe in London and the Skydeck in Chicago.

1 comment

  1. I love, love, love the places you've picked out for us to go to together! I think we'd have a grand ol' adventure (and probably way more fun than Abby and Riya) ;)


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