2.5 This was a quick read but at the same time I felt like it dragged, nothing had any real depth so I just was questioning what the point of the story was and why these characters existed. I read this book as an assignment from a mother daughter book club that I am in with some friends from B.F Day.It wasn t very good, and while the plot is a nice idea, the author didn t really write it very well.I mean, who would let thier daughter go overseas with no contact to the US and only carrying what she could fit in her backpack And only haveing 1000 US dollars to spend In addition to several other appalling facts, some of which are letting your daughter do the following 1 stay with a adult male to whom she is not related to, and you have no clue who he is other than she is your unreliable completely out of controll sister s friend2 travel around unsupervised all over Europe following a pack of envelopes3 go on a wild goose chase, the letters written by your sister who as I mentioned before is unreliable, and completely out of controllOh, and by the way, did I mention that your daughter isn t even out of high school yet
Unimpressive The way Johnson writes is annoying than halfway into the book, I really didn t know ANYTHING about the main character, other than that she was on a ridiculous journey It was all action and no thought It was not insightful The main character was not likeable She wasn t unlikeable either She was just likedoing things She didn t have very many thoughts And never very insightful ones ie I like this boy I am sad I am happy I am angry COME ON There was no attempt made to make her a human, a believable character Also the end was frustrating but kind of oddly moving a little at the same time But overall, I was not in any way impressed. I am not going to review this book except to say the thing that made me crazy There were several instances in this book where something was mentioned and you think it is important and then it was dropped.For instance, when the MC goes in the Louvre, it is mentioned that she checks her backpack in at the front kind of like a coat check Okay No problem.But then, as she is trying to get out of the Louvre she kind of starts going down random hall after hall in search of an exit and finally finds one and leaves Later, we see that she is on the street and has her back pack.Excuse me How when did she retrieve it This drove me to distraction Why was it even mentioned that she checked it in If you mention a small detail like this, it should be important later Do not leave me hanging It would ve been differnt if we never saw her leave the Louvre because the reader could then assume she retrieved it.This was not the only scene that did this kind of thing There was another in Denmark when she gets off a train and it is mentioned that she has to pee very badly She does not know which restroom is mens or womens As she is trying to decide, her ride comes, hustles her along to a boat, and we never find out of the poor girl ever got to pee I worried about her through the next few scenes Okay other than that, the book was a good read.Carry on with your lives. This was supposed to be my cute, inoffensive, fluffy, sweet, palate cleanser book So much for best laid plans and all that To start with the book has an utterly implausible set up, improbable love story, MC that is borderline stupid and by borderline I mean 100% stupid I was trying to be nice but well It was laden with clich s and conveniences and was all rather blandBut I mean it was okay I was expecting all of the aforementioned story set ups And it was very fluffy and overall fabulously undemanding of my already drained energy reserves I was happily distracted, plodding along to a 2 star rating Until I wasn t at all happy any Until I got very angry.Until this book stole my good vibes and drained what little energy I had left And here s why Some backstory Lead character Ginny has been given 13 envelopes each containing directions from her dead aunt about what to do over the course of one summer abroad Envelope 6 tells her to head to the temple of the vestal virgins in Rome, and Ginny thereafter, remarks the following to herself Go see old virgins Now ask a strange boy out, you shy, retarded thingDo you see the offending word I m sorry But no I do not accept that this was the most appropriate word to use in this situation Retarded has become synonymous with offensively describing someone with a mental illness and I am appalled that a YA author saw fit to use such a descriptor in her book And what s appalling is that this somehow got through editing and proof reading Sure Call me overly sensitive if you want but I think this is a word that needs to be confined to the annals of history Society evolves Language evolves Move with it Do not casually throw in a word such as that as some sort of means to show that the lead character is self deprecating experiencing anxiety etc Just nope Absolutely 100% unnecessary and bang out of order Especially not in a YA novel that has a target demographic of quite a young age YA books must be held to a higher standard because of their ability to influence young minds that are just figuring out this world for the first time.And to add insult to injury in the same chapter that this offensive word appears, there is an attempted robbery by what are described as gypsy children and I m like no Can we not endorse all this negative cultural stereotyping Just call them delinquents but don t try to single them out due to their ethnicity or otherwise It further enforces long standing intolerance of minority groups and breeds an air of distrust around those who are not white and privileged AF So no This book is not for me and nor do I recommend it for anyone else And it s rare that I ever say such things as I usually can see the potential in a book for a certain type of reader But this time No no no one star Oh, book I had such hopes for you.Here s the thing I love travel stories I love coming of age stories So what s not to love about a coming of age story that involves lots and lots of traveling It s a hard question to answer, and the fastest way to answer it is Aunt Peg is one seriously bitter person.She lives without having constants Fair enough She does all sorts of menial, petty jobs while waiting for her career as an artist to hit off Alright with me Then she packs up and leaves for Europe without contacting her family again The next news they get from her is that she is dead.Then comes a letter instructing her niece to go to Europe without money, cell phone or any other means of communication just a passport and a backpack, and instructions to do all sorts of weird things Ginny the niece is probably not comfortable with And I ask what kind of person does that to a niece they supposedly love What kind of person expects her to jump on a plane to England with little than the clothes on her back, without so much as an explenation The only person who can be annoying is the one who actually does it Unfortunately, Ginny does just that With surprisingly little drama from her parents, or if there was, it wasn t worth mentioning in the book A lot of things seem not worth mentioning in the book, for example, why is Ginny not even remotely worried that her aunt s mystic journey might get her adbucted or killed or sold into slavery Why does she trust all these people who she meets for the first time Ginny does not rival Luce Price or Nora Gray in the TSTL heroines listing, but she does start a whole new category Too Boring To Be Real TBTBR Sounds like a vaccine The trademark TBTBR hero ine is distinguished by the fact that s he does exactly what s he is told with little to no deviation, never cheats, and at no point does anything to advance the plot Ginny, unfortunately, qualifies for all these things.I know I m going out on a tangent here This isn t horrendously bad, far from it There are actually some pretty good moments But Ginny is by far the most uninvolved heroine I ve yet to see Even Bella Swan, who is known for her uselessness, did stuff to advance the plot of the book Granted, some of that stuff wasn t very smart coughjumpingoffcliffscough , but still, it was something Ginny just lets stuff happen to her and leaves it at that I m not saying all protagonists need to be uber confident and strong but this is a coming of age story without any coming of age in it What does Ginny learn in the end of it What does she do with that knowledge How is she different from the person she once was I certainly felt like nothing in her had changed.