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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

Two best friends document their post-college lives in a hilarious, relatable, and powerfully honest epistolary memoir. Fast friends since they met at Brown University during their freshman year, Jessica Pan and Rachel Kapelke-Dale vowed to keep in touch after their senior year through in-depth—and brutally honest—weekly e-mails. After graduation, Jess packs up everything she owns and moves to Beijing on a whim, while Rachel heads to New York to work for an art gallery and to figure out her love life. Each spends the next few years tumbling through adulthood and reinventing themselves in various countries, including France, China, and Australia. Through their messages from around the world, they swap tales of teaching classes of military men, running a magazine, and flirting in foreign languages, along with the hard stuff: from harrowing accidents to breakups and breakdowns. Reminiscent of Sloan Crosley’s essays and Lena Dunham’s Girls, Graduates in Wonderland is an intimate, no-…

Overall Book Review:

Looking for something non-fiction that isn’t too serious? Want to escape into the lives of two young women who have a penchant for travel? Reading this book was an adventure that I won’t soon forget. Several times throughout this book I thought how similar the feel of the story was to the Amanda Knox story–except without all the tragedy involved. The two young women in this book are smart, educated, and travel-hungry. They are fresh out of college and ready to live their lives to the fullest.

This is a true story about friends Jessica and Rachel. A story told through their weekly emails that they have promised to diligently send each other. The way this book was written was so easy to speed right through. It was basically like snooping through another person’s email account, which made this book feel super fun and enticing. Reading this book, I was able to experience secondhand what having a close friend that doesn’t live in the same town (or even the same country!) feels like. I also read about all of the women’s fiasco’s as they navigate through early adulthood, trying to find the “right” boyfriend, and getting wasted at parties. If you’re like me, and you live a pretty straightforward, boring life, then this book is a fun way to escape the humdrum, even if only for a day or two.

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  12 religious exclamations; 4 mild obscenities; 1 religious profanity; 3 derogatory names; 3 scatological words; 21 anatomical terms; 42 F-Word derivatives.

Violence/Gore:  A woman is hit by a car and some injuries occur; a woman is mentioned to be bleeding from a wound on her face, the blood is briefly depicted.

Sex/Nudity:  Characters referred to as “good in bed”; a nude man is mentioned to be lying in a bed; a couple is mentioned to shower together, no detail is given; making out is referred to; nudity is mentioned several times in reference to people at a party; a reference to a fictional character having sex is made; a man is mentioned to watch porn, no description is given; an unmarried couple is living together; sex is referred to several times; a couple is mentioned to loudly have sex; a girl is sexually active and worries about STD’s; one brief scene involving adults having sex is depicted with no explicit detail; mature sexual discussions are had several times; characters are mentioned to be “getting naked” with someone; a young woman has an “older lover”; a man is mentioned to have “seen porn”; a man and woman begin undressing each other in an attempt to have sex; characters are referred to as “sexy”.

Mature Subject Matter:

Exploring sexuality.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Alcohol is consumed frequently by adults; characters are mentioned to be hungover; 20-year-olds party and drink; adults drink wine; a character mentions quitting smoking.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

Books and reading have always been an important part of my life. When I was very young, my grandma was the library director at our local public library. Years later, after she had retired, I became a librarian at the same library and worked there for several years before taking a part-time job at a local coffee shop, which gives me more time to do what I love, to read and to review books! A few of my favorite authors are Aimee Bender, Diane Chamberlain, and Curtis Sittenfeld however, I will read almost any book I come across! In my spare time you can find me reading (of course), volunteering at a wildlife animal rehab, or hanging out with my two house rabbits.