This book found me at the right time. I read ‘Points of Departure’ by Emily O’Beirne while being on vacation and I actually read most of it while sitting at the airport in Trondheim, Norway, because I got their stupidly early. But it was very fitting since this is a travel story of five Australian women right out of high school.
Originally the five girls had planned to go on a Europe trip together after graduation and the group was supposed to be held together by Kit, their common denominator. Only, Kit ends up not being able to come on the trip and so the other four have to make due. And it’s awkward at first because they want different things out of this trip; things that don’t always go hand in hand. And then two of the girls start hooking up with one another which doesn’t make anything easier.
I’ve done a version of this trip in the way that I went to Canada in 2012 with one friend and another friend of hers. Of course I knew my friend since we met studying abroad but I had only met her friend once but nevertheless we embarked upon our 8 hour flight and became fast friends. Four years later we still dream about going on vacation together again. It was one of my most favourite travel experiences. Why am I telling you all of this? Because I could relate to this story so much. It made me nostalgic to the point I messaged my former travelbuddyfriends immediately after finishing the book to tell them how much I missed our adventures together.
Another bonus of this book, it is mostly set in Europe and while I’ve been to some of their destinations, I haven’t been to them all but they still felt more familiar than most stories set in North America feel.
I did have my problems with the writing style at times. The story is told in alternating points of view and then in third person. It felt a bit odd to me and I can’t quite explain why. Also, I would have liked if the story would have focussed a bit more on the actual traveling. It is a heavily character driven story and not so much about the adventure/travel.
Of course my favourite character was Liza. She’s a runner who wants to quit competing and who recently came out to her parents. I felt right at home with Liza and Olivia’s characters.
All in all though, I enjoyed this book immensely even if it wasn’t as Australian as I’m used to through the Every series by Ellie Marney. I’m not sure if O’Beirne toned down the Aussie-isms for the mass market or not but I kind of missed it. What I forgot to mention is the diversity, at least two of the main characters have mixed raced parents and then of course there is the whole lesbianing thing which is how I got to this book in the first place.