Caroline Kelly is excited to be spending her summer vacation working at the local amusement park with her best friend, exploring weird Ohio with her boyfriend, and attending soccer camp with the hope she’ll be her team’s captain in the fall.
But when Caroline’s mother is hired to open an eye clinic in Cairo, Egypt, Caroline’s plans are upended. Caroline is now expected to spend her summer and her senior year in a foreign country, away from her friends, her home, and everything she’s ever known.
With this move, Caroline predicts she’ll spend her time navigating crowded streets, eating unfamiliar food, and having terrible bouts of homesickness. But when she finds instead is a culture that surprises her, a city that astounds her, and a charming, unpredictable boy who challenges everything she thought she knew about life, love, and privilege.
I love books about travel. I love emerging myself into other country’s history and culture. If done right a book about traveling will very easily end up on my favorites lists since I’ll feel like I’m emerging into a whole new world. If done wrong, it will have me raging so hard.
Luckily, for Trish Doller In a Perfect World had me smiling throughout the entire book. Was it perfect, no there were some parts that were a little unbelievable, but I think overall the general feel of the novel worked.
Full disclosure I have never been to Egypt or anywhere near that area of the world, but from what I read it did seem like Doller did her research. Or at the very least, she did a better job than Colleen Houck did with that God awful mummy book of hers, which isn’t exactly a high bar. And it did address the geopolitical issues in the area that many other books that take place in the area often overlook.
The Egypt that Doller depicts is multi-dimension you see the good and bad bits of it, and above else it feels real. I think the fact that the location itself is a character, its much the same way where I felt that Paris and San Fransisco were a character in themselves in Stephanie Perkins books.
The plot of this book isn’t really there that much. Sure, there is a love story and sure the character grows, but it’s not that plot heavy. And maybe that’s why I didn’t really like what happened to the eye clinic at the end of the book. It just seemed too random and out of place more than anything else. Merely a way to end the story sooner rather than later.
And while I understand why Doller chose this plot point, it still came off a little cheap. Just like the end of the book. Don’t get me wrong, the romantic part of me liked the ending but the more realistic part of my brain was crying foul since I know that the situation would be a lot more complicated than Doller made it seem though.
That aside though, I really did like this book a lot. It’s the perfect summer book for escapism. The characters were depicted and their parents were more than just merely there because-hey, seventeen year olds need parents.
The main character’s parents, in particular, are well drawn out and felt like real people. I particularly liked the father’s relationship with Caroline throughout the book.
I also liked the romance for the most part too. The relationship builds up realistically and it does address the problems that the two characters are going to face. Again though, not such a big fan of the ending even though it was cute.
If you can’t get away this summer and want something that can transport you to another location if only for a few hours. This is your book.
Overall Rating: A-