Girls Who Travel

Girls who travel book review
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Welcome back to another month of the Wow Book Club – number two to be exact! If you haven’t yet heard the news, I’ve started a monthly book club to instigate better reading habits, both for me and hopefully for you, too! This month’s selection is the recently released “Girls Who Travel”, a debut novel by Nicole Trilivas.

Nicole is a young traveller and author, who (upon a little google stalking) has travelled to more than 30 countries and like myself, is only missing Antarctica off her continents bucket list. I was immediately intrigued by the author more so than the book, as I often find I have an instant connection with travellers, wanting to know where they’ve been, where they love and loathe, and where they’re itching to go.

While I’m not normally one for reading novels (I like my books how I like my friends – real), I decided to give this book a go anyway because the title and cover image intrigued me. I know, I know, one should never judge a book by its cover – but that is precisely why I continued my quest in finding out what lie beneath the pages!

So, whats the verdict?

Girls who travel (Top 13 travel read)

Girls Who Travel (Book Review)

My initial reaction to this book was one of intrigue as I picked up the paperback in the Melbourne Airport (where I always seem to make my book purchases) and began to sift over the blurb to decide if this was something I’d consider reading. While I loved the title and book cover, I decided that this book probably wasn’t for me. As someone who reads to be inspired and motivated, the idea of reading a novel about a girl travelling just didn’t entice me enough to make the purchase. What would have sold it for me was a true and inspiring story, but without that, I decided to place the book back on the shelf and browse other selections.

Only a few weeks later this book arrived in my post office box, so I concluded that it must be fate and began to dive into the pages of the 24-hour-turn-around book.

The story follows a female heroine, Kika, who has spent a year travelling the world backpacking and once she has returned home, wants nothing more than to hit the road again (don’t we all know those feels). She thus works at home as a means to end, saving for another adventure and caring little about life at home until she has the funds to set off again. This eventually gets her fired, followed by a job offer as an Au Pair in London, resulting in the character moving to live as an expat and as a result, love and live her life to the fullest.

While I love the author’s writing and witty tone, I have to admit that the book, Girls Who Travel, wasn’t groundbreaking in any way and didn’t inspire me to pack my bags and get on a plane… unlike other travel reads like Paris Letters (Janice Macleod) or Lunch in Paris (Elizabeth Bard).

It took me a while to realise what exactly I didn’t like about the book – because in all honesty this is a great read for young girls who love to travel or love the idea of travelling, so I took my time to make my mind up on this book before writing my views – yet I still find myself somewhat conflicted!

I suppose from a personal standpoint I would have loved to go along on Kika’s adventure rather than her non-adventure, and spend more time in retrospect, perhaps with more comparisons drawn to her previous travels and how this has effected her new life at home and further when living in London.

Overall my personal conclusion is that this is a good, easy read for young girls who either love to travel or wish to travel, though at this point in my own life and travels I have in some way moved beyond the first trip love affair. I still love travel as much as ever (it will always be my one, true, first love)… but I love travel in a less sporadic kind of way. I love travel as a part of my life, not the only thing I care for at this point in my life and I certainly love being at home as much as I love being away (unlike Kika who cannot find any love for her work or balance in a work + travel + home lifestyle balance).

Difficult to describe – but I hope you understand my clear-as-mud review!

Over to You!

I’d love to know what you thought about this month’s WOW Book Club pick. The reviews on this book seem to be quite divided so I’m sure we will all have varying opinions – so please feel free to contribute whether you loved or loathed the book!

Questions for discussion:

Did you find yourself relating to Kika or were you like me and felt somewhat removed or aged from this character?

Do you, like me, love being at home as much as being away or are you like Kika and itching to get going again?

What were your thoughts on Lochlon and Aston?


Over to you! I’d love to hear your feedback on the book and any topics for discussion you’d like to raise with WOW readers. Join the discussion in the comments below!

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    April 1, 2016 at 5:12 pm

    Really happy I stumbled across a like-minded blogger and was particularly thrilled when I found this travel book club! I’m constantly searching for good novels that are travel related, so this is going to be a great source of inspiration for me! Look forward to getting involved in the discussions too, though I haven’t read either of these books yet. Can I suggest ‘Silver Wattle’ and ‘Wild Lavender’ by Belinda Alexandra – these books have wonderful, strong female characters who travel for various reasons to different countries. I’m looking forward to getting started on ‘Tracks’ 🙂

    April 1, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    Evi! Looks like we both DID stick around for the next selection & what a treat isn’t it :). I hope you enjoyed reading Tracks as much as I did.

      April 1, 2016 at 5:42 pm

      Yes! Tracks is more my kind of book!

    Jessica Shook
    March 9, 2016 at 2:31 am

    It was a great quick read book! I enjoyed reading it, although I agree with everyone else about the story line being a little unrealistic and that the book wasn’t really travel themed. The main character was really immature, as well. But it was fun. So ready for Tracks, though! I just watched the movie a few days ago by coincidence!

    March 4, 2016 at 9:25 pm

    While it was quick read, I think the storyline was way too unrealistic for me. The romantic storyline was so unbelievable and even with her role as a blogger, I just couldn’t relate. I see plot lines like this being really harmful to the future of travel for women all around the world. It was written from a vantage point of so much privilege — guess I’m like you. I like my books real 😉

    March 3, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    I did enjoy the book. A quick easy read with a happy ending. I’m looking forward to the next story. Thanks for recommending it!

    March 3, 2016 at 4:14 am

    I am so glad I found your blog. This online book club is such a great idea. I haven’t read this but I am trying to find more travel fiction from a woman’s perspective or written by a female author. I have tried giving “The Lonely Hearts Club: Destination Thailand” a read after loving the author’s travel story but it was a bit washy, wasn’t great in the writing style and every single character was so annoying. It didn’t inspire or excite me – just in case you were considering giving it a read, I’d give it a miss haha
    I’m intrigued to find more travel fiction and read alongside you and your readers 🙂

    March 2, 2016 at 1:45 am

    I thought this book was an easy, quick read. I did enjoy the book and mostly the parts that flashbacked to her year of traveling. I can relate to Kika in the sense of my itching to travel the world. She did not necessarily inspire my travels, but opened my eyes up to places I would not have thought about traveling to. I love the idea of picking up your life to live in a new place since this is exactly what I am doing. Over all I did enjoy the book.

    March 1, 2016 at 11:58 pm

    I need to read this book! Great post! 🙂

    Samantha | There She Goes Again
    March 1, 2016 at 1:55 pm

    Haven’t read the book yet, but I just wanted to say I know exactly how you feel about liking travel to be a part of your life, not the main goal of it. While I LOVE travel and like to spend as often as I can doing it, I am also very, very much a grandma homebody who’d be willing to take a midnight flight versus waiting until the next day if it means getting to wake up in my own bed. That’s actually why I moved abroad (versus working to save and then traveling) so I could have a home base while exploring Korea and Asia!

    I’ll have to check out this novel as I don’t mind a light read here and there. Also it might not be a brand new novel and it’s not specifically travel focused, but Me Before You by JoJo Moyes was amazing (albeit fictional) and inspiring in a different way. Also for real life travel stories, Gertrude Bell might be a fascinating read! I think there’s a novel out there about her.

    March 1, 2016 at 5:21 am

    Thanks for the review!

    March 1, 2016 at 3:33 am

    I love the idea of having a book club with your readers. This idea inspires me to create a book club of my own! Really cool 🙂

    Kendall Simmons
    March 1, 2016 at 2:56 am

    This book was a quick and easy read, but not my favorite. While the character of Kika and I share a love for travel, that was all that we have in common. I’m older than she is, and married, and therefore I found it difficult to relate to her immaturity (both in matters of love and life). I agree with several of the other comments, that I wish there were more flashbacks to her year of backpacking. 🙂

    I will say that I found the characters of the two little girls to be charming and very well written.

    I’m looking forward to the next book selections!

    Kate Bumstead
    March 1, 2016 at 12:39 am

    Hey Brooke,

    I moved to the UK from Australia last year to work and travel, not as an Au pair but working an office job in London City. I haven’t read this one yet… However I am struggling to find the work and travel balance (I came here so I could see more of the Europe and write about it while being paid at the same time). I need to find inspiration somewhere, somehow. Do you think this would appeal to someone in my situation?

    Lots of love
    K x

    February 29, 2016 at 9:57 pm

    Totally agree. Didn’t dislike it but was a little predictable and mills and boon-y. Perfect holiday read easy, enjoyable, not too long and basically forgotten once you have finished.
    Much prefer books that get under your skin a bit.

    February 29, 2016 at 8:49 pm

    I saw this book online just before christmas and decided to buy it for myself as a gift (treat yourself and what not) because I was looking forward to reading something that fanned the travel flames, something i could relate to my own obsession with the world.
    While I did like this book as it was an easy read with a character that i could at times see parts of myself in, it really didn’t do much for me on the travel side of things. I like when the cities and countries in books are treated as characters themselves and i feel like London could’ve played a much bigger role in the story. I mean, it’s London!
    My favorite part of the book was the flashbacks to her previous backpacking travels, they had you feeling like you were lounging on the beach right beside her and walking through those crowded streets. The book could’ve done with more of that the whole way through i think.

    Lovely book , but it didn’t really have me packing my suitcase at the end.

    Love following your travels Brooke! You’re an inspiration.

    February 29, 2016 at 7:06 pm

    I enjoyed reading this as it was a easy read and sometimes that’s all I want especially over the summer. But perhaps the title is a but misleading:)

    February 29, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    Oh great, I have to have it :))

    ani from ani hearts

    February 29, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    It is an easy and quick read, but I don’t love this book. It is too much of a chick-lit for me and the story is really predictable and full of stereotypes. Not far into the story, I could already tell how it would end. Also, the characters seem a lot younger then they are.

    I have some problems with the title, as it is not about “[some] girls who travel”, but about “the boyfriend troubles of 1 girl who used to travel”.

    I agree with you that I would have loved to read more about her previous travels and how these changed her and her view on life back home. The story didn’t inspire me. I love independent female characters, who make their dreams happen, but for me, Kika is not one of them. I did find the parts about Kika’s plans to continue her webshop interesting and wished the story elaborated on this.

    At the moment, I long to go traveling. Most of my life now is dominated by my future travel plans. I live in a very small studio, I try to save as much as I can and I have to finish my degree before I can venture off. I need to remind myself sometimes to enjoy my current life more. So, I do feel like Kika, itching to hit the road. But I can imagine that, once I’ve had my big adventure, I would want to combine a safe home with lots of traveling. In any case, I will always be exploring the world in some way or another. I get easily bored if I don’t have enough new experiences.

    February 29, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    To be honest, I almost decided to leave this book club after reading February’s selection. This book felt a bit like a Mills n boons novel which is not something I am looking forward to read at this age anymore. However, the reviews so far have confirmed that others have similar reviews. The book made for an easy read. It was fun to read as well. But there was almost no travel writing here. During the initial pages I was excited to know more about London but that did not happen too! Overall I enjoyed the book but not as a part of a book club with a travel theme.
    Waiting in excitement for the next selection!

    • Brooke Saward
      February 29, 2016 at 5:56 pm

      Hi Nadamita, thanks so much for your honest review! I’m so glad we were on a similar page with this one!!! xx

      February 29, 2016 at 6:19 pm

      I feel the same, Nabamita. After reading this book, I am not sure if I will continue reading this book club’s selections. I did enjoy the January pick a lot more, but overall both books are too light and easy for my taste. I will continue to follow the new book club updates, but I’ll be more critical whether I read the books or not.

      • Brooke Saward
        February 29, 2016 at 7:10 pm

        I hope you stick with us Evi as the March selection is an incredible read! It follows the (true story) journey of a solo woman who treks across the Australian desert with four camels and her dog – I don’t know if you’ve heard of it before but it is bound to be more up your alley!


          February 29, 2016 at 7:39 pm

          You’re right, Brooke. I have heard of it before and I’m very excited for this one!

    February 29, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    I’m always on the look out for new reads, and I’m really intrugued to find more based on travels and soul searching so I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for recommendations! As a Brit, this one may not be for me lol x

    February 29, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    Haven’t read the book, but “an easy read” is usually a turn off for me…I mean I don’t have that much of a free time to kill it with just an easy read. Or maybe I’m spoiled with classics and have overrated expectations.

    February 29, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    Although I did enjoy this book, it wasn’t what I expected. Still an easy read. I could relate to her in the sense that I have been off travelling, and moved to the UK to become an au pair to do even more travelling. Which was great. But I would have liked to read more of Kika’s story of when she WAS travelling. India was only briefly touched on. I love other travellers stories, that’s what inspires me, but also reminds me of any similar stories I have of my own.
    I love being at home, having a “base”. But I also love being off somewhere in the world, exploring somewhere new.
    As for the two love interests, I feel like Aston and Kika was a bit predictable.
    Still a great book, and easy to read.

    • Brooke Saward
      February 29, 2016 at 5:59 pm

      We were 100% on the same page with this one Amie! Really glad I’m not the only one who felt this way x

        February 29, 2016 at 8:24 pm

        What is the book for March Brooke?