Book Review: The Travel Auction by Mark Green
May 5, 2013 16 Comments
Book description: “It should have been their trip of a lifetime. But with just days to go, Jonathan Cork finds himself dumped by his girlfriend, Kate Thornly. Even worse, a life-threatening allergy means he can’t travel alone. Unable to change the name on the spare ticket and fast running out of time, Jonathan resorts to desperate measures. He advertises on eBay for a travel companion with the same name as his ex. The problem is, it’s a complete lottery who he’ll end up with.
Kate Thornly (the second) is aware of the unusual eBay auction, but she can’t be persuaded to bid. Enter Maria, her best friend, who secretly applies on her behalf! With her nursing credentials and erotic photo, Kate seems the perfect travel companion. But there’s just one small detail Maria’s conveniently left off Kate’s bid…
What follows is a funny, page-turning, rollercoaster ride around South America.”
The Travel Auction: What I thought
I loved the description of the book and it was as much fun as I’d hoped. The book is a kind of lad-lit / chick-lit, an easy read which is both funny and serious at times.
When Kate doesn’t turn out to be what Jonathan expected, his first reaction is to walk off. While this is not a very polite nor adult way of dealing with the situation, it is certainly believable. And there are many more situations in the story that I found very likely to happen – a good insight from the author. While there were also some unlikely issues, to start with, finding a “new” Kate Thornly on eBay, really?, most of the book was in the realm of the possible.
The book is told alternately from Jonathan and Kate’s perspective. I didn’t like Jonathan a lot. He is rather business-like, sees his trip as something he booked, so he feels he has to go, but his heart doesn’t seem into it. He hasn’t thought out what it will be like to travel with a new, unknown companion. Kate is more likeable, she’s quite independent and and knows how to handle Jonathan, which was fun to see.
I wasn’t sure what to expect – after the initial eBay auction, when Jonathan and Kate have met and are on their way, how could this story still be interesting? But it was. Things happen on the way that made me want to keep reading. At times, I had a good idea of the (South-American) surroundings, but this definitely wasn’t a travel guide, and the story about Jonathan and Kate took first position, which some of the scenery being described as and when it fitted in the story.
For me, a novel is often interesting whenever both protagonists get the chance to tell their side of the story. This is also true for The Travel Auction. Jonathan writes about Kate, making assumptions, while Kate looks at things very differently. I love that!
In all, a fun and easy-going read about two very different people that learn to travel together and have a good time with it. Not too good a time, of course, otherwise the book would be rather predictable and boring. Which it isn’t.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Number of pages: 293
First published: 2012
I got this: from the author for review
Genre: contemporary fiction