Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Alex Award Watch: The Good Girl’s Guide to Getting Lost by Rachel Friedman


Katie has her eye on an adult book with teen appeal-- just the sort of thing that the Alex award committee is always on the lookout for.

The Good Girl’s Guide to Getting Lost by Rachel Friedman

Rachel is 20 years old, in the midst of her college career, and doesn’t know what she wants to be when she grows up. Maybe you can relate to at least part of this (if not keep reading anyway, especially if you like to travel). So in an attempt to shake things up she saves up her pennies and decides to spend a summer in Ireland. Turns out Ireland may not hold the answers to her future but it does give her two things: an Australian friend named Carly and the travel bug. The next thing she knows, our intrepid heroine is getting up before dawn in Sydney, backpacking through the Outback, wandering around Buenos Aires, mountain biking down Death Road, hiking in the Amazon, paragliding in the Andes, and contemplating her place in the world. In other words, this book is an adventure story wrapped in a story about growing up.

The Good Girl’s Guide... gives you the opportunity to explore three different continents, contemplate the all important “What next?” question that we all face going in and coming out of college, and maybe even commiserate about the external pressure to choose a lucrative and powerful career rather than following your own path (unless of course your path is a lucrative and powerful career). Rachel moves effortlessly between discussing the highs and lows of living in hostels, the experience being an American abroad, the variety of people one meets on the road, and deeper questions of what makes us happy and what we’re each here to do.

Even if you’ve just started high school and haven’t even begun to contemplate where life might take you next, you’ll love following Rachel around the world. This is the perfect book to kick off 2012 for those of you who thought To Timbuktu was one of the best books of 2011.

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