My rating: 4 of 5 stars
For Andrea Lieberman, life began at 26. Growing up with parents so protective they made a convent seem like a Sandal’s resort, she developed a catalog of phobias so large, even going into a church seemed risky business. Finally, Andrea had had enough; she wanted to live rather than fear dying. Without hesitation, she accepts a photography assignment for a magazine traveling through England and packs up her camera, her pepper spray and every insecurity she accumulated since birth. Excited but petrified to reveal the news to her boyfriend, he intercepts with news of his own – a marriage proposal, leaving the lingering question of their impending nuptials as she travels abroad.
Upon touching down in England, Andrea flops around like a fish out of water. The magazine’s staff – the idiot, the slut, and the mute – offer little comfort outside of a pint of beer until she’s assigned two blokes as travel companions – a tight-arsed copywriter and a drop-dead gorgeous art director with movie star charm. These two men help Andrea push herself beyond her comfort zone while testing the limits of her fortitude and her relationship with her boyfriend. The photographic journey becomes a comedy of errors thanks to unforeseen obstacles at every turn. As Andrea struggles to complete the assignment, she discovers the most revealing picture she develops will be of herself.
Megan Karasch has successfully given her readers a peek into the life of one ridiculous woman/child who finds herself in a foreign land totally unprepared and acting worse than anyone's idea of a tourist from hell. She literally not only manages to make Andrea look silly, she managed to make the rest of the Americans look silly too. Well, from the English point of view.
This is a comedy of errors from every front. It is a comedy where one's first reaction is to ask how low is this woman's IQ? The next question is, how she was allowed to even leave the country and board a plane? And finally, will Andrea even survive this trip/adventure? In the end, Andrea manages to learn and grow up - thanks to the help of her chaperones.
Although this starts out with a resounding crash of hopes when she declines her stellar boyfriend's proposal, in the end, she did take the right path. If she had not gone through the hell, er comedy of errors that she did, she would probably have failed as an adult. Well, she did grow up and she learned a lot, belatedly IMO, I guess she can now say YES to Brandon and get married as an adult - not as a child in the guise of a woman.
Chaperones is a light, fluffy read and no matter how you may want to hold on to your dignity, you'll find yourself frustrated, irritated, and finally laughing at the silliness of Andrea. The tourist from hell.
Review based on ARC sent by Netgalley
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