Graduates in Wonderland: The International Misadventures of Two (Almost) Adults

Jessica Pan and Rachel Kapelke-Dale. Gotham, $17 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-1-5924-0860-3
In 2007, with degrees from Brown in hand, good friends Pan and Kapelke-Dale decide to travel and commit to send each other lively, funny weekly emails about their highs and lows during their three years of globe-trotting. Pan jets off to China, making Beijing her new home where she intends to learn Mandarin and get a toehold in journalism. She fumbles her way through romances as well as well as jobs, and tries to figure out a culture where Facebook and YouTube are banned. Pan conveys everything honestly, despite knowing the government is reading her emails. Kapelke-Dale lands in New York and also grapples with being out of the cocoon of college, encountering a terrible boss and an even worse potential boyfriend who takes her pulse after sex to see if she had faked her enthusiasm. Similarly, she doesn't hold back as she experiences newfound panic attacks and gets help via a therapist. Although the authors don't go into great detail about the origins of their relationship or how they decided to embark on their correspondence pledge, the tight and supportive bond of their female friendship comes through. Agent: Allison Hunter, Inkwell Management. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/21/2014
Release date: 05/06/2014
Genre: Nonfiction
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