19 February 2016

Book Review: The Lonely Hearts Travel Club: Destination Thailand by Katy Colins

"What if you had a second chance… to find yourself?

Instead of slipping on her something borrowed and tripping up the aisle to wedded bliss, Georgia spends her big day crying into a warm Sex-on-the-Beach, wondering where it all went wrong.

Forced to make a bucket list of her new life goals by best friend Marie, it’s not long before travel-virgin Georgia’s packing her bags for a long-haul adventure to Thailand.

Yet, Georgia’s big adventure doesn’t seem to be going to plan. From strange sights, smells and falling for every rookie traveller scam in the book Georgia has never felt more alone.

But the good thing about falling apart is that you can put yourself back together any way you please. And new Georgia might just be someone she can finally be proud of…"

Rating: 4/5

You can buy the book now.

This is the first book in a brand new series, and I have to say I really enjoyed it! I had read a few mixed reviews about it, but went into it with an open mind because I love travel books, and this one sounded right up my street. For the book, we follow the character of Georgia, who has decided she can't marry her fiancé after all, and has decided to travel the world instead of settling down, much to her parents horror. She board a plane and ends up in Thailand, ready for the adventure of a lifetime, meeting new people and exploring new places. Is she going to be bitten by the travel bug, or end up feeling more alone and homesick than ever?

I have to confess that I'm not the backpacking sort of person - I'm not brave enough to go it alone in a foreign country, and I've read far too many horror stories to even contemplate it, but I certainly enjoy reading stories about it. The author of this book, Katy Colins, has actually done just this herself, so is writing from experience and therefore I expected a sense of realism when I was reading, and some beautiful descriptions of the places she visited, and I feel she definitely delivered on that side of it. I could imagine the lovely beaches, glorious weather and everything else Thailand thanks to Georgia's descriptions as the story goes on, even the not-so-great parts were well written and described as well.

I really liked the character of Georgia, and could understand why she felt she couldn't go through with her wedding, no matter how heart-breaking the decision may have been for everyone else involved too. The fact she was willing to take a chance and go travelling was great, but there were a few things in the book about her that did wind me up a bit. I didn't like how gullible she was, and how she seemed to back down to the awful Canadian girls she ended up sharing hotel rooms with - what happened to standing up for herself and seeing a new Georgia?! I did want her to grow a bit of a backbone and stand up for herself, but as the book goes on, I felt she did take more of a stand with her travels and went with what she wanted rather than everyone else just to keep the peace.

The other characters on her particular trip were interesting, and although they weren't particularly nice people, they certainly made the story interesting reading, although you could see why Georgia wanted to get the heck away from them! The latter part of her travels sounded idyllic, and Colins has written this part of the book really well, showing Thailand to be a paradise, and the nicer people you can meet also make an appearance too! I really did enjoy reading Georgia's adventures, and enjoyed seeing her grow as a character as well. Colins balances the story with the descriptions of Thailand really well, allowing you to really imagine it in your mind as you're reading, it's a lovely escapist read, especially for these chilly winter days and nights when you long to be on the beach and in the sunshine!

This is a very strong debut novel from Katy Colins, and I devoured it in only a couple of hours reading before bedtime, I didn't want to put it down as I wanted to find out what Georgia would get up to next on her adventures. I am very excited to read the second book, which is called Destination: India, and there's already a third title listed, called Destination: Chile, so there's certainly something for everyone there, and I can't wait to see what Georgia is going to get up to next on her travels. I would definitely recommend these books, I did find myself chuckling along as I read, and thoroughly enjoyed the read.

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