Summary from Goodreads:
Since no self-respecting girl should let any setback stop her from following her heart, Hilda sets off on a journey that takes her through days of pining for the perfect job, over rough series of heartbreak and disappointment (not to mention bad sex), and even into foreign territory: passionate Frenchmen, adventurous half-Maoris, witty Brits. Armed only with an honest map to her own heart, it’s a journey that eventually leads her to her true calling, her true self, and true love.
A friend Kindle gifted me a copy of this book for my birthday and since I had lately been on a local authors roll, this gift was very much appreciated. I haven’t read Astigirl which was the author’s first book and I haven’t had any idea about the author’s background except for the short bio which came with this ebook. This means that, except for the high praises from the friend who gave me the book, I didn’t have any expectations at all.
Which turned out to be good, actually. Having no expectations on a book makes the reading experience pleasant and stress-free.
I had a love-hate feeling for Hilda. I liked her honesty and sincerity, but at the same time I hated how she didn’t know what to do with herself. She didn’t know herself, period. But what was great about her lostness was Hilda’s recognition that she didn’t want to stay lost.
The narrative was very straightforward and I loved the Filipino setting, although sometimes I got mildly distracted with the Tagalog words injected into the dialogue because I always wanted to check the glossary for the definition despite knowing what the statement already meant. On the other hand, the glossary of Filipino terms would be very helpful to non-Filipinos who would read the book. The humor was also something that I liked. With Wander Girl, I couldn’t remember how many times I chuckled and laughed out loud (good thing I read inside my room) because of Hilda’s soliloquy.
Upon reading the title, I thought I’d be reading some sort of travelogue of different places, but Wander Girl wasn’t that. Instead, I read about a journey to self-discovery and belongingness, which, for me, was even better. The dynamics of Hilda’s relationships with her siblings and parents are one of the things that endeared this book to me.
Wander Girl was an enjoyable read. I may not fully identify with Hilda and her angst, but I recognize her real-ness. There could be bits of Hilda in each of us, especially that longing to find our place in this world and the desire to pursue happiness at all cost. And for that, I am happy that Hilda had finally found hers.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
My copy: a Kindle gift from Monique