By: Paula Stokes
Published Year: 2017
Publisher: Paula Stokes
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This in no way shape or form influenced my opinion of this book.
Summary (Provided by Goodreads): College senior Oakland Fuller has always believed in signs and soulmates, so when both a therapist and a fortuneteller say that her repeated relationship failures are due to unresolved feelings for her high school boyfriend, Seth, Oakland tries desperately to get back in touch with him. Problem: Seth isn’t responding to her online messages.
To rescue Oakland from a pathetic Christmas break of sitting in front of the computer, her best friend Morgan books the two of them on a guided excursion of Thailand. When the girls meet a pair of American soldiers in Bangkok, Oakland takes Morgan’s advice and engages in a little harmless holiday hooking up. Sergeant Tyson Banks is the perfect mix of sexy and fun. Two weeks with him might just turn out to be the best relationship Oakland has ever had.
Until the day she spots someone familiar across a crowded temple complex—it’s Seth! Somehow the boy she’s been trying to reconnect with is in Bangkok too. If that’s not a sign, then what is?
Travel? Lost lost? Friendship? I am in! The cover definitely piqued my interest, and the summary confirmed it. Any covers that look like they inspire travel hook me in. I had a feeling this was going to be a light book about love and learning and it totally drew me in.
What I thought
This book! <3
Oakland is in her senior year of college, looking forward to an unknown future of graduate school. Looking back, she realizes that her high school boyfriend (who she broke up with) might have been her soul mate after all. In order to distract her, her best friend Morgan books a 10 day tour to Thailand over winter break. There, they meet a few Army boys who start to distract them from their problems. Until Oakland spots Seth in a crowd.
I devoured this book! It was so much fun. I loved Oakland, Morgan, Tyson, and Jed. They were great and I enjoyed traveling with them. There are definitely some improbable storylines that you just have to squint your eyes at and ignore, but that didn’t bother me much. Morgan’s parents are rich, which was a decent enough explanation for them being able to just up and take a trip. And the romantic in me ignored the improbability of Seth ending up in Thailand in the same place at the same time as Oakland. If you’re able to also do this, I think you’ll enjoy this story a lot.
The relationships between all the characters was a lot of fun. It was pretty much the quintessential early 20s fast bonding relationship that I miss. In college, relationships just seem to develop so much quicker and easier than they do in the real world. Add to that the vacation element, it makes sense that these characters click so quickly.
I also appreciated the romantic in Oakland. She truly believes in soul mates and “The one” and that’s what ends up getting her in trouble. As a bit of a hopeless romantic myself, I connected with her and appreciated her dedication.
The one issue I had was when they chase after Seth in Thailand. While it lead to a fun adventure and worked out in the end, the fact that they just up and leave their tour in a foreign country to chase after a guy that she hasn’t talked to in 3 years and she doesn’t even know if he’ll still be there boggled my mind. It was the one storyline that just made me step back and go “really?”
I know that New Adult books have gotten a lot of slack as of late, but I feel like this one is done so well and is exactly what the genre stands for. It’s a story about 20-something year olds finding themselves and finding love. There aren’t a lot of books out for that age range and I connected so hard with this one! If I had read this in college, I would have been dying that my life wasn’t Oakland’s!