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 Two best friends document their post college lives in a hilarious relatable and powerfully honest epistolary memoir   Fast friends since they met at Brown University during their freshman year Jessica Pan and Rachel Kapelke Dale vowed to keep in touch after their senior year through in depth—and brutally honest—weekly e mails After graduation Jess packs up everything she owns and moves to Beijing on a whim while Rachel heads to New York to work for an art gallery and to figure out her love life Each spends the next few years tumbling through adulthood and reinventing themselves in various countries including France China and Australia Through their messages from around the world they swap tales of teaching classes of military men running a magazine and flirting in foreign languages along with the hard stuff from harrowing accidents to breakups and breakdowns Reminiscent of Sloan Crosley’s essays and Lena Dunham’s Girls Graduates in Wonderland is an intimate no holds barred portrait of two young women as they embark upon adulthood Named one of Jennifer Weiner's Top Ten Beach Reads


10 thoughts on “Graduates in Wonderland

  1. says:

    This exchange of e mails between the two authors in their years after graduating from Brown is compulsively readable They write about their social lives and careers in a balanced way and recent graduates will relate strongly Both authors are articulate funny and honest and the reader can see wisdom developing from experience


  2. says:

    This book should be considered MANDATORY reading for all 20 somethings and post grads As someone who is trying to figure out those post college years I related a lot to the voices of Jessica and Rachel Jessica and Rachel are best friends from college and on the night of their graduation they make a pact to send an e mail to each other once a week of a no holds barred account of what's going on in their life I wish I would of thought of the same thing when I graduated in college Jess takes off for Beijing and Rachel sets off to NY Jess doesn't speak Mandarin or have a job but flies off to Beijing anyway Rachel has a job at an art gallery in NYC The adventures they get into their jobs the people they run into along the way really paint the picture of two 20 something girls finding their way in this world They both are incredibly courageous and take incredible risks that I think at the time they didn't realize the enormity of those decisions I don't want to spoil anything but you will laugh and cry in the best possibly wayIt really is incredible considering the fact that they both lived so far away from each other for so long such as Jessica in China and Australia and Rachel in NYC and Paris that they were really able to maintain the closeness that they had in college Over a 5 year span theses BFF's only saw each other twice In there ever changing world of relocations new jobs grad schools and boyfriends their friendship remained constant I truly believe it is so important to maintain friendships because there are very few people in this world who know you the way your college friends do There is nothing else like this book on the market While growing up you always have a plan For example you go to high school and then you go to college and there's a lot of preparation that goes into the transition from high school senior to college freshman But where is that preparation from college senior to post grad? There really isn't any This is the first time in our young adult lives where we have no idea what's next for us? It's a little terrifying and exciting all at the same time Rachel and Jess capture these moments beautifully I LOVE this book so much that I'm actually thinking about reading it again as I write this


  3. says:

    Two best friends document their post college lives via honest witty and sometimes very sad emails Jessica has moved to China on a whim while Rachel tries to get into the art world in New York They detail their goals fears love lives and across the span of three yearsI really enjoyed this book Right off the bat it had me laughing Jessica and Rachel are both very clever and despite this book having less detail than your average novel I still felt totally immersed in their different worlds Sometimes their worries and fears were so similar to my own it was depressing Yet that made this book feel even genuine The fact that these two were willing to share their lives like this and keep me engrossed from page one was terrificI'd recommend this book for older audiences They do talk about their sex loves often nothing graphic but definitely mature This would make a great beach or weekend read It's uick to get through and a very enjoyable break from my constant fantasy readsThis was an ARC I won in exchange for an honest review Cover says the book is due out in May


  4. says:

    First off I LOVE THIS BOOK This is the first time I've been comped a book and have whole heartedly enjoyed it Jess and Rachel's emails felt like conversations with my friends not only because they were immediately perfectly characterized but also because the things that they wondered about or mistakes they made or observations they had was all stuff I wondereddidthought too I felt like my crazier moments were vindicated other people worry about this too but also some of the ways I think about the world and growing up and all that adult stuff And for a book framed in casual emails they do a remarkable job of evoking their settings Beijing New York Malaysia Paris Australia London even Amarillo And the descriptions of food THE FOOD I have never been hungry for Chinese street food or pain au chocolat Very artfully done The only reason I didn't give this book 55 is because it isn't high literature but it is a damn good read funny insightful interesting will make you want to eat Chinese food and well worth your time even if it won't make you a better person


  5. says:

    Can I be friends with Jessica and Rachel? I really want to be a part of this email friendship after reading this book I could relate so much to them trying to find their way in life I think anyone who is in college or just getting out will especially feel a strong connection to this book Jessica and Rachel's lived aren't your average just out of college and are trying to find themselves while living in their parents basement stories They are in places like China Australia and Paris They do some globe trotting while working awful jobs dating even awful guys but manage to send very entertaining emails to each other Everyone needs to have a friend like Jessica and Rachel in their lives After reading this book I wish I had sent emails to my friends and had a history like theirs I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads


  6. says:

    Like a YA book but for people in their 20s


  7. says:

    Many months ago I was writing a review on another book from the Books for Lost Twenty somethings category Upon finishing that book I was rejuvenated and able to continue the day to day process of life Appreciating it for what it was from the perspective of that book However that fuel started to fizzle out as I knew it would and it became obvious that I needed something elseEnter Graduates in WonderlandThis book is written in the form of back and forth emails between friends Jess and Rachel who have promised to keep in touch about their lives after graduating from college Jess is living in fast paced Beijing; learning Mandarin by day eating noodles by night and trying to break into the Journalism industry the rest of the time and also trying to figure out where the gorgeous Brazilian god sleeping in her bed came from Rachel on the other hand moved to New York to pursue a future in the art world while simultaneously trying to keep herself from falling apart with the help of her therapist and the prospects of going back to France Along with trying to figure out the rest of their lives they are both actively seeking The Oneor at least The One For Right NowFilled with relatable moments of happiness love success anxiety and even crippling disappointment Graduates in Wonderland proved to be a source of comfort as I begin my second year out of college I found myself laughing at their wit worrying with their fears and celebrating their successes Above all else though I found myself filled with hope Something I have not had in a very long time because if Jess and Rachel could change jobs make friends find love and even uproot their lives to move to different continents all whilst maintaining a sense of sanity and the stereotypical messy room of the average twenty something then I sure as hell can navigate these waters tooI've found that so many books out there are written for the soon to be college grad or the incoming college freshman with nothing for those of us on the other side wondering what we're supposed to be doing nowwhere we're supposed to be going from hereBut this one? This one is for usFor the wandering twenty something minds too far in to be new but not uite far enough along to be expertsRach and Jess are proof enough that one day we'll all be able to settle down out of the dreamy dazed blur of Wonderland that there is hope and possibility and opportunities to be had out thereNow you might be thinking to yourself Did she really get all of that from a 284 page book?Yes Yes I did


  8. says:

    I LOVED this book I love books that give you a glimpse into another person's or persons lifelives without getting too insanely detailed which probably sounds weird I loved the conversational nature of it It actually reminded me of a book by one of my favorite authors which I believe is a very high compliment While I never went to college or traveled all over the world this book is a reminder that despite the things that make us all so different there are SO many things that are universal That tie us together as humans I felt a kinship with these two young women in their learning and their awkwardness and their humor Reading this book made me want to be friends with them I think they'd be a lot of fun to hang out with and definitely worthwhile people to get to know on deeper levels as well I would recommend this book definitely to women of all agesI won this book in a Goodreads First Reads giveaway And am SO happy that I did


  9. says:

    I almost can't believe that I'm giving such a fluffy book 4 stars but it was such a fun and hilarious read This book is a mostly non fiction collection of emails from two best friends in the years immediately following college and they are funny candid and witty If you've ever been a young adult struggling to find your place in the world or had a best friend who has been there for you through it all I think you could relate It's like the early 20s less obnoxious and realistic version of Sex and the City


  10. says:

    I loved loved loved this book Read it straight through Laughed cried Can't wait to read from these two