January 9, 2012

Uncharted Territory • Carrie Goes Off the Map

Carrie Goes Off the Map book cover
Carrie Goes Off the Map by Phillipa Ashley
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Publication Date: December 1, 2011
Source/Format: Netgalley || e-galley
[I received this book from Sourcebooks. This in no way affects the contents of my review.]

Carrie Brownhill lets her best friend talk her into a scenic European road trip as the perfect getaway from a nasty breakup with her fiancé. Unexpectedly along for the ride is the gorgeous and intriguing Matt Landor, MD, who sorely tests Carrie’s determination to give up men altogether. Careening through the English countryside in a VW camper van, these two mismatched but perfectly attuned lonely hearts find themselves in hot pursuit of adventure and in uncharted territory altogether…

After reading so many paranormal and dystopian books, I wanted something a bit more fun to read. When I saw the cover for the novel, I was instantly intrigued. And then my blogger friend Jana reviewed the book here and I decided I wanted to read it too.

I got exactly what I wanted - Carrie Goes Off the Map, a light, heartwarming and very fun read. You really cannot go wrong with a road trip, a hot guy (who's a doctor to boot) and a girl who's trying to figure out what she wants her life to be. Phillipa Ashley writes a splendid little novel that is quick to read and quite enjoyable besides.

The Characters

Carrie Brownhill is, in a word, me. All exaggerations and shenanigans aside, the reason why I loved this novel so much is because I'm a lot like her. She's loyal and talented, with a tendency towards drama (think: this-is-the-end-of-the-world-and-my-life) balanced by a pragmatic nature. It is her determination and her courage that gets her through.

The horrible turn of events in her life leaves Carrie at a point of confusion. She had an idea of what her life was going to be like and had always relied on that; when she got dumped, suddenly everything changed! What I liked was that, in her mind, she was hesitant about the whole "embracing a new life" but we see her transformation as the story goes on.

Matt Landor, on the other hand, is charming. Despite his "damaged" personality and his slightly cynical nature, I couldn't help but feel a fluttering in my stomach just thinking about him. I mean, he's a doctor AND he works in tribal areas where doctors are really needed AND he's always willing to do what it takes to help people out. There really is no reason NOT to love him.

There are some wonderful secondary characters in the novel including Rowena (Carrie's best friend), Nelson (Rowena's sort-of boyfriend) and Lola.

The Story

It's really a fun story about how one little event can change everything - your outlook, your personality, your choices. I like how the whole road trip aspect of the novel tied in with the journey Carrie takes in discovering who she is, what she wants and what she's going to do about it. It's like a coming-of-age novel, only for an older audience.

And of course, we can't forget to talk about the romance that's happening! I thought that Carrie and Matt were such a cute pairing. I laughed at their conversations, sighed when they were nice to each other and squealed with joy when something good happened between them! It is fairly apparent where the story is headed, but there are lots of things that happen before it gets there so it's still something you need to read anyway.

The Writing Style

I love the fact that this book was so easy to read - the scenes flowed effortlessly into and out of one another, and the character development was on par. Despite having a very good conclusion about what would happen (and it did!), Phillipa Ashley managed to make the journey towards the end interesting, funny and heartwarming.

Personally, I say you should...

... definitely read this novel if you're looking for a cute, light love story, with a dash of self-discovery and a road trip tossed in. I think that this would actually make a great beach read, but it did help to lift the dreary weather blues away too.


  1. I loved your review, and I was so excited we were reading the same book within weeks of each other! And yes, it would dreamy to have a Matt....

  2. Aww, I'm glad! I like reading adult books on occasion, especially when they're like this. You should definitely try it out and see if you like it :)

  3. Ooooo! I was so excited when I saw you were reading this one. :) I just loved this story! And thanks for plugging my blog into your review. :) I really appreciate it!

    I wanted a Matt of my very own, and I identified so much with Carrie as well. I loved reading about their relationship as things progressed. Glad you enjoyed it!

  4. I love that you called this story splendid because after reading your review, that is exactly the word that comes to mind! It sounds so cute and I am thinking I must give it a try! You should feel proud because I have never wanted to read more "adult" books before we became blogging friends :)


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