(Author: Genevieve Gannon) + (Year: 2015) + (Goodreads)
*** 4.5 /// Possible spoilers ***
I read this book in one sitting. 5 hours. 5 amazing hours.
Chasing Chris Campbell is a delightful book. Of all of the things I liked about it, the travel was the one which tickled my fancy the most. The story was also very interesting, it took more unexpected turns that you would normally expect from a rom-com and also, the characters were vivid and realistic.
If you suffer from wanderlust, this is a perfect book for you. While reading it, I was constantly searching Google for plane tickets and prices for the places described in it. The journey starts from Violet’s hometown – Melbourne, then takes her to Hong Kong, Goa, Agra, Varanasi, Kathmandu, back to Hong Kong, Ho Chi Minh City and a couple of more, but it’s hard remembering all of them.
What I loved about Chasing Chris Campbell was the idea of chasing your dreams. Violet breaks up with her boyfriend of five years and starts this journey following her high school love – Chris Campbell. At the time she thinks that he’s her dream so she leaves everything to search for him. With time, she gains other perspectives of life and she decides to pursue them instead.
At the beginning there were things which annoyed me in Violet. She seemed too meek, just going with the flow and doing what other people expect and want of her. It was a magical thing to follow the way she developed as a character throughout the book. From the girl who was to scared to buy an eclair lest her boyfriend be mad at her for wasting precious money, and also the girl who had no other goal than to be married and have children, she turned into a girl who is ready to travel to unknown places without fear and at 27 to start med school because she knows that that’s what she wants. Like most of the heroines in romantic comedies, she also had endearingly comic moments and also one of sheer humiliation, but the fact that she was also strong and she never gave up, despite her desire to, made me really like her. That, and the fact that she was a germophobe, much like yours truly. In many of the scenes where she was furiously using hand-sanitizer and wondering how to take a shower in a dirty hotel, all I could think was “I feel you, sister”.
Chris Campbell was an asshole. I think that was obvious from the start to everyone but Violet. The only thing I liked about him is that he managed, albeit unknown to himself, to motivate Violet to do things, which I wouldn’t have done in her place. Things that one should do if they think they’ve met the right person and yet many don’t and they give up just too easily.
Many of the characters Violet met during her travel made me afraid that she might: get robbed (Kym), kidnapped (Henry) or generally screwed over(the American guy, whose name I don’t remember, her roommates from Hong Kong). None of that happened and I actually really liked most of those characters at the end.
Henry was, of course, my favourite, and I totally expected that story to end the way it did and I’m so not disappointed.
If you like to travel or read about travel and you appreciate some dry humor and a touch of romance, this is the book for you, my friends!