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The Lost Girls: Three Friends. Four Continents. One Unconventional Detour Around the World. Paperback – April 26, 2011

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The Lost Girls: Three Friends. Four Continents. One Unconventional Detour Around the World. + The Good Girl's Guide to Getting Lost: A Memoir of Three Continents, Two Friends, and One Unexpected Adventure + Wanderlust: A Love Affair with Five Continents
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reprint edition (April 26, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061689076
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061689079
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,034 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Friends Pressner, Baggett, and Corbett were all busy climbing the corporate ladder of Manhattan media when they realized that, in their late twenties, they weren't sure they wanted the golden handcuffs of New York success. Reprioritizing, they decide on a rebellious, extreme course of action: quit their jobs, abandon their boyfriends, and take a year-long trip around the world. In this group memoir, the three take turns chronicling a journey from Peru to Kenya to Vietnam to Australia, and everywhere in between. Though they don't always get along, the three learn to rely on each other, keep their minds open and throw themselves enthusiastically after every adventure that comes their way. The three authors, all gifted writers (each has worked as a journalist), provide passionate, vivid descriptions of their far-flung travels, bolstered by thoughtful insights and genuine intentions, making this an intensely enjoyable read for fans of travel writing; their semi-improvisatory experience provides a broader look at travel than either a luxury tour or a backpacking trip would, proving especially resonant. This memoir should also be immediately relatable for any twenty-something unsure of his or her future (i.e., most of them). --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

After a thrilling trip to South America, Jen, Holly, and Amanda, three Manhattanites in their mid-twenties, decide to climb off the career ladder for a year to travel the world. Inspired by The Flame Trees of Thika, Jen has always longed to see Kenya, while Holly wants to study yoga in an ashram in India. Amanda has dreams of pursuing a career as a freelance travel writer, but when she takes time out from their adventures to work on articles, it grates on the nerves of Jen, who is hoping to truly immerse herself in their surroundings. Though the three encounter snafus on the way—Holly initially finds the rigors of the ashram disheartening, the girls find themselves trapped in a car with a frightening taxi driver in Vietnam—there are many rewards on the journey, most notably when the three friends organize a group of Kenyan girls to perform a play about an influential Kenyan woman. For those with similar wanderlust, Jen, Holly and Amanda’s lively accounts make for the ideal armchair journey. --Kristine Huntley --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Our book club very much enjoyed reading this travel memoir.
Reading about all the different places they visited through their eyes really has made me want to travel even more.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and couldn't put it down until I finished it.
Julie Stone

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Book Dork VINE VOICE on February 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Reviewing this book and deciding how many stars to give it was difficult. I was torn between reviewing the actual book and the threesome's journey. The idea of abandoning successful lives and embarking on a year long expedition around the globe is without a doubt 5-star worthy. I'm jealous that they had the guts to take the leap, to be honest. The actual book itself, though, fell a little flat.

What Kept Me Reading
- The book changes locales often, providing the reader with the ability to see places all over the world that are off the beaten track. If I was thinking about doing this sort of trip these probably wouldn't necessarily be the places I'd think of visiting, but it was a nice tour.
- I appreciated how the narration was done- it divided the book up well (this is actually a downfall too... see below).
- The girls are honest about burn-out and conflicting emotions about the people, places, and jobs they left back home.

Not Quite Good Enough
- The writing style really annoyed me, especially when they laid it on thick. I know it's a travel log and they want to be descriptive, but the authors frequently over did it (along the lines of, "I sipped my steaming, bitter, hot coffee from the shiny white plastic top that had been tightly placed on top of the thick cardboard cup by the boyish barista who was wearing a bright green apron with dark stains on the front." This isn't actually in the book, but you can see there is some major adjective overkill).
- The three girls each tell their different stories, but, honestly, they really don't have their own narrative personalities. Yeah, they have different back-stories and a few personality quirks, but I'd often have to look at the bottom of the page to remember whose section I was reading.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Scott on May 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This memoir is wonderful: Funny, smart, honest and perfectly captures that odd time in life when you're no longer an adolescent, but still wobbling into adulthood. The point where choices seem endless, where responsibilities are minimal, and where you're fully aware that one step can suddenly take you on a journey you never thought you were capable of achieving.

Holly, Amanda, and Jen were twentysomething, single women in New York City, trying to juggle romance, careers, friendships, and keeping up with paying rent when they decide to go on a trip of a lifetime: An around-the-world adventure together. The three plan profusely, cobble up funds, quit their jobs (or, in one case, are fired from a job) and take off. Along the way, they discover things about themselves, the world, and that who they want to be when they "grow up" just may be who they are right now?

I definitely need to emphasize that this is NOT a memoir simply about an amazing trip. Instead, the three women are smart writers, incredibly resourceful (they developed a budget--without financial help from family--that seemed reasonable and doable on a just-past entry level salary) and funny. They don't take themselves too seriously, and don't strive for an Eat, Pray, Love style transformation. Instead, they notice and indulge in the tiny details of living--sneaking chocolate into an ashram, having a fling with a fellow hostel-visitor, trying to smooth over the awkward friendship issues that can come up when three girls spend 24/7 together--and emerge as 3-dimensional characters who you feel privileged to get to know through the pages (and jealous that you didn't come along, too!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By April on August 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Our book club very much enjoyed reading this travel memoir. I was surprised and pleased by the enthusiastic reactions and comments of our late-50s to early-60s members. While the book is geared toward twenty-thirty year olds, it should by no means be overlooked by those of us who are older. I found it interesting that these girls didn't take the trip with any "agenda" in mind - changing the world, writing the great American novel, etc. They simply love to travel and are willing to make it a priority in their lives. They are risk-takers who are open to meeting all kinds of people, and willing to work hard to make things happen for themselves and for others. I found it a fun book to read and hard to put down at times. I certainly hope readers of all ages, but especially young women, will find courage from the adventures in this book to begin to follow their own dreams.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Scott Partenheimer on October 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The book was entertaining, but let's just say I'm glad I borrowed it instead of spending money on it. I wanted to read it to hear about the different destinations, and in this I was not disappointed. I enjoyed reading about the Inca Trail, Kenya, and Cambodia, to name a few places. I did not, however, enjoy reading endless chapters about boyfriend troubles. Maybe it's because I'm a guy, but I felt these sections could have been pared down considerably.

In addition, the writing is mediocre at best. All three girls need to learn how to sort the relevant details from the irrelevant, incorporate better dialogue, and use onomatopoeia in a way that does not sound like a 4th grade writing exercise.

I also take issue with their style of travel. They flit from one hostel to the next, rarely doing more than skimming the surface of a place and describing people beyond taxi drivers, restaurateurs, and their fellow backpackers. While they may have a fun story to tell the grandkids someday, I don't know that it is worthy of publishing into a 500+ page book, and I definitely hate that it is sold in Barnes and Noble in the same section as Bill Bryson, Paul Theroux, Ian Frazier and others.

What I do admire is that their book may inspire other regular people to plan and take a life-altering trip. More people need to realize that travel is easier than you think, and if you don't take that trip now, then when?
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