Publishers Weekly Review
Best friends Abby and Riya shared everything until Riya's family moved to Berlin and Abby stayed behind in California. Abby has been miserable ever since Riya left-she's lonely, and her parents have gone through a terrible divorce. In an effort to repair their friendship and console Abby, Riya surprises her with an all-expenses-paid European trip, a gift from Riya's grandmother, Bharti Nani. Through Abby and Riya's alternating points of view, Culbertson (The Possibility of Now) takes readers on a whirlwind tour of Florence, Zurich, Berlin, Edinburgh, and London, with ample space in the girls' narration dedicated to chronicling the famous sites they visit. Despite the girls' adventures, their friendship has frequent ups and downs as they struggle with the many ways in which they have grown apart-namely how Riya's life has changed so dramatically while Abby's has stayed the same. Friendship troubles aside, Culbertson's story is a giddy travelogue with occasional romantic interludes for both girls. It's an airy and largely predictable story, but also one that should please any reader nursing dreams of European getaways. Ages 12-up. Agent: Melissa Sarver White, Folio Literary Management. (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Library Journal Review
Gr 7 Up-Riya and Abby have been friends since preschool, but Riya moving to Germany for a year has drastically changed their relationship. An argument has severely damaged their bond. In an attempt to fix things, Riya suggests Abby join her on her Grand Tour of Europe, paid for by Riya's grandmother. The girls meet in Florence, each one ready to try to heal the rift. They're joined by Riya's older cousin Neel, their chaperone. Many things have changed for them in the year they've been apart: Abby's parents announced their divorce, and she has spent the last few months taking care of her father. Riya had a much harder time adjusting to a foreign country than she thought, but she's found an outlet and new friends to help her decide her future. The pair travel to Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Scotland, Iceland, and finally England. Along the way, the girls reveal their secrets and heartaches and struggle to find balance and a new way forward. Told from both teens' points of view in alternating chapters, this is a vivid story of growing older and apart. The protagonists' personalities come off the page and are distinct. There are few secondary characters, but they are also well-developed, although Riya and Abby are at the novel's center. Recommend to readers who enjoy realistic fiction, alternating voices, and novels about friendship and forgiveness. VERDICT A general purchase for light, friendship-focused YA collections.-Natalie Struecker, Atlantic Public Library, IA © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Booklist Review
Can a deep, long-lasting friendship stand the test of distance? Abby and Riya are devoted pals, or so they thought. When Riya moves to Berlin for junior year, Abby feels bereft; her parents' sudden breakup only makes things worse. Riya wants to be supportive, but, truth be told, her new international setting holds much more appeal and promise than small-town Yuba Ridge, California. She invites Abby for a European summer tour to recharge their bond but also to let her know gently that she does not plan to return to California to finish high school. Culbertson has penned an intense, engaging story of two very different girls with a symbiotic relationship and their poignant struggle to make the friendship keep working. Riya's college-age cousin Neel plays tour guide, and his and Abby's mutual attraction provides a welcome romantic distraction for the fragile Abby. The witty, sensitive story with strongly drawn characters and a fun, vividly described tour, topped off by a creative scavenger hunt will capture and celebrate BFFs.--O'Malley, Anne Copyright 2017 Booklist