How did I get it?:
Received a copy from Walker Books UK, many thanks to them!
Riya and Abby are:
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 preschool. But instead, they ended up fighting and not being there for the other. So Riya proposes an epic adventure to fix their friendship. Two weeks, six countries, unimaginable fun. But two small catches:
They haven’t talked in weeks.
They’ve both been keeping secrets.
Can Riya and Abby find their way back to each other among lush countrysides and dazzling cities, or does growing up mean growing apart?
YA contemporary is something I particularly enjoy, especially so in the warmer weather. When I was offered the chance to read The Wonder Of Us, I snapped it up, purely on that cover and the synopsis itself. I do like a book involving travel, especially travel around Europe. I did enjoy reading this book, but it didn’t blow me away like I wanted it to. I didn’t connect with the characters as much as I thought I might.
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 give Abby the chance to escape home life in California and hopefully give the girls time to sort through their troubles.
The story is narrated by both Abby and Riya meaning that the reader gets to find out both sides of the story. It’s also got some interesting secondary characters to get to know, like Neel, Riya’s cousin, who is chaperoning during their trip.
I think part of my problem with this book was that I didn’t understand Abby’s frustration with Riya. Best friends can’t always be by your side, but it doesn’t mean that they don’t care for you. Some of my best friends I don’t see for months on end, but I know they are still there. I understood that Abby had a tough time in her home life and sure, Riya could have been there for her more, but I was still left feeling frustrated by Abby’s actions. I could have also done without the bickering throughout the story although I do believe it made their rift more believable.
I did enjoy ‘travelling’ Europe with the characters. I feel like Kim Culbertson really set the scene in each country really beautifully. This book was easy to read and I think it would make a decent beach’/summer read.
Would I recommend it?:
Beautifully set in Europe, this book will be great for summer reading!