Shane has been doing college all wrong. Pre-med, stellar grades, and happy parents…sounds ideal—but Shane’s made zero friends, goes home every weekend, and romance…what’s that? Her life has been dorm, dining hall, class, repeat. Time’s a ticking, and she needs a change—there’s nothing like moving to a new country to really mix things up. Shane signs up for a semester abroad in London. She’s going to right all her college mistakes: make friends, pursue boys, and find adventure! Easier said than done. She is soon faced with the complicated realities of living outside her bubble, and when self-doubt sneaks in, her new life starts to fall apart. Shane comes to find that, with the right amount of courage and determination one can conquer anything. Throw in some fate and a touch of magic—the possibilities are endless.
Christine Riccio wrote a fabulous debut novel, and I would kind of like to know how she captured my personality so well because the character of Shane was more than relatable.
I remember what it was like to enter college with no friends and feeling stuck in that rut of study, work, and endlessly binge watching Netflix. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
When I finally made friends in the journalism program my junior year, there was the need for acceptance and fear of rejection very similar to what drove Shane to study abroad. The desperation for new friends and feeling like it was okay to be myself again felt liberating.
When I finally decided to study abroad, I had trials and tribulations on my trip just like her. I reached the point of total homesickness, and I remember those moments when self-doubt would creep in. I pushed through on my journey, and I came out a stronger person because of it. We don’t all get the luxury of a rewrite like Shane, but we do get the choice of how to remember or handle our experiences.
With a love for a good sitcom and Harry Potter, Shane is my soul sister. Her journals (horcruxes, as she calls them) housed her greatest story ideas and her innermost thoughts.
Christine Riccio spoke to me with her vivid imagery of awkwardness (seriously, there were some all too relatable cringe-worthy moments). Yes, the overall story was a little corny, but that’s what made it relatable. Everyone wishes they could rewrite chapters in their past like Jenna Rink in “13 Going on 30,” but the corny parts were few and far between because the were overshadowed by humor and excellent character development.
I demand a sequel.