by Jennifer Baggett, Holly C. Corbett and Amanda Pressner
Review on the Go: Though anyone over the age of 40 may need to read while accompanied by a copy of the Urban Dictionary, this book, chronicling a year of travel centered around three mid-20s women and their many adventures, is a great travel read for the beach, the salsa club, the hostel and anywhere else you can find a cute guy.
Holly Corbett, Amanda Pressner and Jennifer Baggett are three young, professional women in their mid-20s in New York City who quit their jobs, pack their bags and head for a year-long, round-the-world excursion to explore all of the places of their dreams. Though their itinerary is highly planned, their expectations are few, and this gives them lots of room to experience whatever comes at them.
It would be an understatement to say that this story has been done before. Not only have we read it, but we’ve heard it– in the tales of friends who have taken a year off and traveled the world themselves (or perhaps it was our own traveling). Even the writers’ sometimes too-casual language reflects an aura of familiarity. Rather than reading a book, I often felt like I was sitting in front of three animated friends who were excitedly retelling their travel experiences.
There are good and bad aspects to this. As two of the three women are professional writers, the [like, totally] casual language used in dialogue often clashed quite strongly with their very delicate, flowery descriptions. There were times when a beautiful setup seemed bruised when one of the characters barged in and started to excitedly gush about the “totes adorbs” guy she met. The amount of talk about boys and partying, paired with some unrealistically positive perspectives, made me a hard sell throughout the opening chapters.
Yet in the second half of the book, the girls finally began to mellow out and live not as “spring breakers” but as true worldly travelers. Though the sometimes-too-informal quality of the writing (or at least the dialogue) always made me cringe, at the same time it made the story very real. If you let it be the way it was, you could learn to stand, and even appreciate, its idiosyncrasy.
The true beauty of The Lost Girls is how attainable the story is for anyone, especially for young women. The writers are not ashamed to admit their funding difficulties, their regrets and their poor decisions. Their travels are exciting, but not perfect. Yet in its imperfection, it is exactly what any one of us in “real life” could ever hope for. You can close the book truly inspired, because no lies have been told to you. If you decide on it, if you work for it (and save for it), and if you stick to it, you really can go anywhere.