I admit that I went into this one thinking that it would be just an okay read. I was curious to see if this would be just another angsty 'what am I going to do with my life' story featuring some whiny privileged young people. The blurb for this one is very vague, and I was not sure what I was getting. But with it's unique setting and different cultural pressures than what many young people face in the West, the story had an interesting take on what defines success and happiness.
While Amby does seem to have what many people her age would covet, she wants to walk away from it because she isn't happy and fulfilled in her boring, yet coveted job. Even though Amby's job allows her to earn a living and she is lucky to have it, she doesn't completely come off as whiny and spoiled when she decides to leave it. Amby is definitely likable and I wanted her to find her joy. I was glad to see that Balachandran doesn't just focus on the fact that Amby is unhappy despite all of her good fortune, but approaches Amby's attempt at finding her place in the world with humor rather than angsty melodrama. The people Amby meets in Greece are interesting characters on their own and makes the story that much more interesting, given their different stages in life and their careers.
The Writer's Retreat is a unique twist on what happens after you come of age and are supposed to start fully living your life. It's a fast paced funny read. A great choice to pick up as a summer read.
**I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.**
As young Amby Balan comes across an advertisement for a writers' workshop in Greece, she cannot pack her bags soon enough. In this laugh-out-loud work of chick-lit, Amby embarks on an unforgettable adventure to finally discover her true self and possibly find love on a romantic Greek island.