16. Jessica Pan and Rachel Kapelke-Dale – Graduates in Wonderland

Finally, I’m home for spring break! I had a four hour train ride on Friday, during which I read a good chunk of my latest book. This is my fifteenth book that I’ve finished this year!

Jessica Pan and Rachel Kapelke-Dale - Graduates in Wonderland (photo taken by me)
Jessica Pan and Rachel Kapelke-Dale – Graduates in Wonderland (photo taken by me)

The book is Graduates in Wonderland – The International Misadventures of Two (Almost) Adults, written by Jessica Pan and Rachel Kapelke-Dale. The book is made up of a bunch of emails that the two friends sent each other after their lives went in different directions following their graduation from Brown University.

I really liked this book. I really like the set up of it, with all the emails being around two pages or less, there were plenty of natural places for me to stop when I had to put the book down, which I always like. The two characters (the authors) are really likable and funny – I found myself laughing out loud quite a bit at this book.

Since the emails are exchanged between two best friends, you get to hear each person’s life story the way they tell it to someone they love, which gives the book a personal feel. I began to feel like I knew the characters and was genuinely happy for them when something good happened or sad at their misfortunes.

At the start of the book, one of the girls is living in New York while the other is in Beijing, and throughout the book they write to each other from other places in the US as well as France, England, and Australia.

The book has a really happy ending and it definitely left me wanting to know what happened next – as if they were actually my friends. One thing that I especially liked was the epilogue, where they listed what all the main characters throughout the book are doing today – kind of like an ending of a movie.

Even though there are some sad parts, this is overall a really happy book. While their tales are not very relatable to me, someone who has never left the country, their stories are because this book reflects how life happens.

I came across this book randomly online one day, and I’m so glad I did. This is a great read and I would recommend it to any college-aged or postgrad reader.


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