Featured Review: The Wonder of Us by Kim Culbertson

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About This Book:

Riya and Abby are: Best friends. Complete opposites. 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?

*Review Contributed by Jacklin Updegraft, Staff Reviewer*

A beautiful love story to friends

THE WONDER OF US is a beautifully told story about friendship and what it means to love someone. Riya and Abby have been best friends their entire life, but after Riya’s entire family moves to Germany for the year, Riya and Abby begin to grow apart. They aren’t talking, they’ve both been keeping secrets, Riya’s hoping the epic adventure she plans for the both of them will help bridge the gap and allow them both to heal. 

What I liked:

For those of you who don’t know me, I LOVE stories about female friendship. I love stories about women being kind and looking out for each other. I love friendships that build each other up not tear each other down. THE WONDER OF US is a beautiful story about the power of friendship, and what it means to be there for someone. With a beautiful backdrop of Italy, Germany, London, and many more places, I couldn’t help but just fall into this book and the story. 

Riya and Abby were both characters I instantly liked. Riya is outgoing and dramatic, while Abby is pragmatic and predictable. But despite their differences, they’re best friends and they make sense. Riya is able to make Abby take more risks, while Abby is Riya’s rock and safe place. They care so deeply for each other and through every adventure, and fight they have, you can really see how much they don’t want to lose one another. My favorite thing about this book was that, while there is flirting and boys, the main focus is Abby and Riya’s friendship. It’s a book about how sometimes your soulmates, your true loves are your best friend. Things change and time moves on but some things are worth fighting for. And Abby and Riya is a friendship worth fighting for. 


Another thing that got me hooked was the setting or settings. Places like Italy, Germany, Scotland there were so many amazing places mentioned in this book and along with Abby’s interesting tidbits about the sights they visited, this book had me craving an adventure of my own. All that history and beauty in these places I would just love to get to experience it on my own. So be warned reading this book will cause a major case of wanderlust! But it’s worth it, to get beautiful landscapes mixed with a great story about friendship. 

Culbertson gives us amazing characters who pop off the page, and who make you feel every emotion they’re having. She brings to life the cities and the breathtaking sights of every place visited. She brings you to tears with Abby and Riya’s complete honesty throughout their trip. But most of all she makes you realize how important best friends are. They’re there for you no matter what and they have your back through all the bad stuff that happens throughout your life. I fell in love with this novel and these characters and I would highly recommend this book to someone who is looking for a best friend love story.

 

*Find more info on this book HERE!

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