Hi everyone, welcome to this week’s post!! I’m changing things up a bit this week. The selection of titles are all from teen fiction reads I found interesting and captivating. Unlike the tween books, these reads will take you around the world with some extra content that is better suited for older readers. So why not dive in and take a journey with the teens in this post!
The selection of titles were some I chose from my past reading lists and a few I found from Epic Reads!! I must say now that Epic Reads is becoming a go-to source for work as well!! When I think of teen books I think of love stories, of teen angst and all the drama that goes with the territory. I wasn’t a teenager like that I’m sorry to say but there were times when tempers flared and lines were drawn between myself and my siblings!!
I guess these books on travel inspired me since much of my teen years were spent travelling. I might as well tell you now, I actually went to a boarding school in England for a couple of years in my early teens, hence my fixation with travel reads on England and Europe. So if you identify with me on this, why not have a read of these first two titles.
Title: 13 Little Blue Envelopes
Author: Maureen Johnson
Genre: Fiction – contemporary
Publication details: HarperCollins Publishers; US, 2006
What this book is about: Ginny’s free spirited aunt has passed on and gone and left her with 13 little blue envelopes. Inside the first envelope is money and instructions to buy a plane ticket to England. The second envelope gives directions to a specific London flat. The third tells Ginny to find a starving artist. Because of envelope 4, Ginny and a man called Keith end up in Scotland with disastrous – though really romantic – results. Everything changes for Ginny this summer, and it’s because of the 13 little blue envelopes.
My review: A really nice feel-good sort of story!! Yes it’s a bit sad that she’s following her aunt’s footsteps after she’s died but the adventure around Europe that happens as she opens the letters is quite interesting. I enjoyed the cast of quirky characters that Ginny meets as she travels across Europe. The description is of the locations is okay but since this is more for teens, the relationship Ginny forms with Keith takes central stage in most chapters. Better for older teen readers!!
My rating: 4 ⭐
Title: I see London, I see France
Author: Sarah Mlynowski
Genre: Fiction – contemporary
Publication details: HarperTeen; NY, 2017
What this book is about: Nineteen-year-old Sydney is supposed to be spending the next four and a half weeks of her summer vacation travelling through Europe with her childhood best friend, Leela. Their plans include Eiffel Tower selfies, eating cocco gelato, and making out with gorgeous strangers. However their plans are derailed when Leela’s ex-boyfriend shows up on the flight to London and changes everything. In this hilarious adventure, New York Times bestselling author Sarah Mlynowski tells the story of a girl learning to navigate secret romances, thorny relationships, and the London Tube. As Sydney zigzags through Amsterdam, Switzerland, Italy, and France, she must learn when to hold on, when to keep moving and when to jump into the Riviera…wearing only her polka-dot underpants.
My review: An interesting read!! For me the interesting parts were the cities Sydney ended up travelling to and the descriptions of her experiences there. To be honest, it’s another typical teen read with secret romances and dramas that only friends and family can cast in. The flow of the story works well especially with the inclusion of texts exchanged. Some good characters in Sydney and Leela. Another story that’s better for older teens, it has some explicit content, if you get my drift!!
My rating: 3½⭐
This next book I read some time ago and the simple love story in it along with the ‘geography’ described spoke volumes and settled in my memories. Hope you enjoy it too!!
Title: The Geography of You and Me
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Genre: Fiction – contemporary
Publication details: Little, Brown & Company; NY, 2014
What this book is about: Lucy lives on the 24th floor. Owen lives in the basement. It’s fitting, then, that they meet in the middle – stuck between two floors of a New York City apartment building, on an elevator rendered useless by a citywide blackout. After they’re rescued, Lucy and Owen spend the night wandering the darkened streets and marveling at the rare appearance of stars above Manhattan. But once the power is back, reality sets in and Lucy moves overseas with her parents, while Owen heads out west with his father. The brief time they spend together leaves a mark. And as their lives take them to Edinburgh and to San Francisco, to Prague and Portland, Lucy and Owen stay in touch through postcards, occasional emails, and phone calls. But can they – despite the odds – find a way to reunite?
My review: A beautiful and intricately crafted novel of first romance and the distance travelled to find the one true love!!! A very tender and magical book of long-distance romances and travel and postcards!! Two of the three of my favorite things!! Jennifer E. Smith expertly shows that the center of the world isn’t necessarily a place. Sometimes, it can be a person. An awesome read!!
My rating: 5 ⭐
Lastly, I wish to share with everyone a series I found quite recently and instantly fell in love with. It’s specialness I think lie in the fact that it’s the beginning of a series; featuring a group of teenage girls on a summer world trip from Australia. Again, a favourite combination!!
Series Title: The Lost Girls
Titles: Fish out of water, Off the map
Author: Jane Tara
Publication details: Redback Publishing; NSW, 2019
What these books are about: Sometimes you need to get lost to find yourself. Five friends, eight countries and one amazing adventure! In the first book, Fish out of water, we meet the lost girls. Dina’s gifted sister Mae has graduated high school at just 16 and has planned an around-the-world trip with her three best friends. She’s allowed to go only if Dina accompanies her. Dina indignantly boards the plane – first stop Tokyo. In the two weeks there Dina forms new friendships, finds unexpected opportunities and a surprising romance. The second story, Off the map, the girls land in Paris. Hana has waited her whole life to visit the city of her dreams. But for Hana and her friends, Paris becomes the stuff of nightmares when everything goes wrong from the moment they arrive. A chance encounter with a gorgeous Slovenian, Drago, leads them to his family’s hotel in Slovenia. Hana finds herself in a country she didn’t even know existed, with a guy who might just be everything she ever wanted, learning the greatest lesson of her life…
My review: What an awesome series of books so far!! Some awesome characters in Dina, her sister Mae and friends, Frankie, Ada and Hana. I truly loved the descriptions of Japan in the first book and Slovenia in the second. It almost felt as if I was shadowing the girls in their adventures!! I have a feeling that each book tells of not just their travels, but also of one girl per book!! From these first two we get to know a bit about Dina and Hana, their internal struggles and their eventual growth plus a little bit of romance too!! In both we learn of the strong bond they all have as friends and of the dynamics of their relationships. Jane Tara’s writing is exceptional and I look forward to the rest of the series!! A good set of reads for all teens and tweens!!
My rating for both: 5 ⭐
I hope you all enjoyed these travel stories!! If anyone has any other suggestions I would love to hear from you!! I hope everyone has an amazing Christmas tomorrow!!