The Wonder of Us (Spoiler Free!) Review

“Is someone still your best friend if there’s a chance you don’t know her anymore?”

-Kim Culbertson, The Wonder of Us 

Hi everyone! Not too long ago I was sent a copy of The Wonder of Us by Kim Culbertson from the lovely people at Walker (thank you!).

Annnnd… this book was great!

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Check out the blurb:

Riya and Abby are: Best friends. Complete opposites. Living on different continents. About to embark on an epic adventure around Europe.

Since Riya moved away with her family to Berlin, she and Abby have struggled to be there for one another, and they haven’t spoken in weeks. But Riya is pretty sure she knows the perfect way to make things better – a grand tour of European cities. Two weeks, six countries, unimaginable fun.

Can the lush countrysides and dazzling cities of Europe fix their friendship, or does growing up mean growing apart?

Perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins, Maggie Harcourt and David Levithan, this witty and vivid story is the ideal holiday read.

I adore a good contemporary YA that focuses on friendship at the heart of the book, and this one ticked all my boxes:

  • Lots of travelling? Check!
  • Fun adventures and mishaps? Check!
  • Great portrayal of friendship? Check!
  • Cute romance that doesn’t dominate? Check!

Rather than becoming friends, The Wonder of Us looks at two friends reconnecting – which was great to see, as as you go through big life changes – going to uni/college, moving away etc, this is all too common and easily relateable for most of us, I’m sure.

It was touching to explore Abby and Riya’s friendship and their shared history, how they drifted apart, and, most importantly of all, why they loved each other and wanted to reconnect.

Told from the alternating point of views of each girl, we get an inside track of their feelings, their side of the argument, and their fears and hopes for the future.

Set in 6 different countries, I felt that the travelling and sightseeing added something to their dynamic – pitted against the changing scenery and cultures, Riya and Abby’s friendship remains their anchor. I also loved seeing the settings – travelling books are some of my faves! And I’m always drawn to books with a great sense of place. It was fun to read and guess where their adventure would take them next… which is why I’m not going to spoil it and tell you here! You’ll have to read it for yourselves to find out 🙂 Although it’s worth noting, I was very happy that some of the less typical cities made an appearance!

Overall, this one is a great summer read. It’s fun, cute, and heartwarming, and especially fab if you love travelling like me! One to pop in your suitcase this summer if you’re a fan of YA contemporaries.

Thanks for reading everyone!
Has anyone else read this one? Thoughts?
What are your fave cute contemporaries?

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