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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?
About the Author
Kim Culbertson is the author of The Possibility of Now; Catch a Falling Star; Instructions for a Broken Heart, a Northern California Book Award winner; and Songs for a Teenage Nomad. She lives in Northern California with her husband and daughter, her favorite travel companions. For more about Kim, visit www.kimculbertson.com.
Read an Excerpt
I don't recognize Riya at first. She has cut her waist-length hair and not just her usual trim. It's half a foot shorter and has actual layers, tousled but purposely so. She wears a plum-colored tank dress with a chunky belt, dangly silver earrings, and aviator glasses. Apparently, Europe looks good on Riya. “Abby!” she squeals, spotting me, and hurries to engulf me in a floral-scented hug. After a year, after this stupid, harsh year, I thought I might be too angry to hug her, to pretend we aren't furious with each other, to act like we never said all those things the last time we talked, but it's Riya and she's hugging me, and I've missed her so much and I'm exhausted from the travel and from this year, so I melt into her. After a moment, she steps back, takes my bag, and slings it over her shoulder. “How was the flight?” Exhausted, I babble random history thoughts at her. “I couldn't stop thinking about how a hundred years ago, people were just starting to consider that a transatlantic flight was possible. Weird, right?” Nodding, Riya tries to follow my line of thought as she leads me toward the airport exit. “I mean, I couldn't stop thinking about Charles Lindbergh and the Spirit of St. Louis and how he was just alone up there in the sky above all that dark water.” As we walk into the hot Italian air, Riya takes my hand. “I missed you.” “Missed you more.”
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I couldn’t put down this book! Both Riya and Abby’s distinct voices and personalities pop off the page as Culbertson takes them – and you! – on a vivid tour of Europe. Not only is this book a gorgeous tribute to six different countries, at the heart of the story is an emotional journey that examines what it’s like to grow up female and establish an identity of one’s own. THE WONDER OF US is unexpected, witty, and fun – everything I love about Kim Culbertson’s books!