Vassar Spore may be the most hopeless overachiever you’ve ever met. On her TO BE list: Valedictorian? Check. Ivy League school graduate? Check. Wife to Hot Surgeon by 25? Pulitzer Prize winner? Check, check. With a life coach for a mother and an efficiency expert for a dad, you could say she was doomed from birth, but Vassar doesn’t know any different. That is until a package containing plane tickets from her little known free-spirited Grandma Gerd arrives on her doorstep. Instead of a summer full of AP/AAP (Advanced, Advanced Placement) classes, Vassar is whisked off to Southeast Asia, where she may eventually learn to LIM (Live in the Moment) as well as discover a part of herself she didn’t know existed.
This read wasn’t what I expected, but I liked it nonetheless. As you could see, Vassar was a little boring at first, but once she got to Malaysia, things picked up. There’s some funny stuff as you can imagine. Squat toilets, huge centipedes, strange tribal customs; the potential for hilariously awkward situations is myriad, and Vassar’s experience lived up to it. How and the ways in which Vassar changes are unpredictable, yet realistic. And some of the other characters (particularly Grandma Gerd) are not what they seem. What I liked most was that in the end, Vassar remained the reach-for-the-stars, super planner she was before her eventful summer, albeit someone who can handle going with the flow and rolling with the punches – something to which all of us can relate.