Review: Without Borders

ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: Without Borders
Author: Amanda Heger
Publisher: Diversion Publishing
Release Date: April 2016
Length: 242 pages
Series?: Wanderlove #1
Genre: Contemporary, Romance

For Annie London, a month in a Central American rainforest means handing out mosquito nets, giving medical aid, and teaching children about the birds and the bees. With any luck, it will also land her application in the “accepted” pile at a top-tier medical school. But as soon as she steps off the plane, Annie realizes her bug spray, feeble Spanish, and medical supplies won’t help her deal with her new feelings for Felipe—her best friend’s older brother, who’s much hotter than she remembers, and who also happens to be the doctor in charge of the trip.

Gawking “volun-tourists” may keep his family’s medical clinic afloat, but Dr. Felipe Gutierrez doesn’t have to like them. Or the way they make snap judgments about his practice and the people he cares for. But when his old crush, Annie, shows up to volunteer, her killer curves and kind smile fan the embers of a flame Felipe didn’t realize he’d been carrying. A flame that makes him question all his preconceived notions.

As ideas and cultures clash, Annie and Felipe must decide how far outside their comfort zones they are willing to go—both for their work and for one another.

Find the book: Goodreads | Amazon

my review

This story set in Nicaragua and features adopted Nicaraguan brother and sister working with their mother to provide medical care in their country. They have a volunteer guide and accept volunteer doctors to take on their excursions. There is a dating show reality star dentist and their American friend hoping for a recommendation after the expedition.

Annie needs a boost getting into Brown’s medical school, so she volunteers for a mobile medical clinic run by her friend’s family. Annie met the Gutierrez siblings when they traveled to America and Marisol spent a year learning about her diabetes, how to use the machines, and manage her medical condition while back at home. It has been a long time since then, and Marisol’s brother Felipe is still crushing hard on Annie, although his feelings for the “volun-tourists” are staunchly a polar opposite. He despises being forced to take these privileged individuals on their medical excursions because they soon become dead weight, yet his mother writes them glowing recommendations as they leave. It is the only way to save their business and provide care for the many without.

Annie soon finds all of her plans are out the window as soon as she arrives in Nicaragua. Nearly all of her belongings and supplies are left at headquarters, and she must carefully choose what to bring on this traveling trip. She is relegated to passing out mosquito nets to children…and teaching sex ed to children and adults.

Communication is a large divide in this story, but it is a true representation of the struggles to learn another language. Annie makes all the attempts to learn the language and be able to fully lead her classes on her own with some support with translation from time to time. Marisol and Felipe love the English idioms, and often say them slightly incorrectly. It is endearing and charming – and true. While Marisol plays it off and acts cute, Felipe berates himself so heavily. He carries a heavy load while Marisol breezes through life.

The jungle is a dangerous place, and it is a true mission getting to the people. And then there is the fragile and tentative trust of the villagers that Felipe’s mother has established over many years. Along the way, there is a robbery at gunpoint in the jungle, a jaunt to eat starfruit, and a freak out over a lost vagina model for sex ed that is soon replaced with a fuzzy vagina. There is also a village fight that puts everyone on the medical team in jeopardy and Annie is in the center of it all.

There is more than one romance blossoming in the Nicaraguan jungle. While Felipe is staunchly and harshly treating Annie, who withers and then boldens under his criticism and direction, she learns more about him and where his heart lies and what he wants to do with the clinic. His own doubts and fears, hopes and dreams, and care for his people have Annie falling for him. Meanwhile, the American dentist reality TV show star is a lovesick puppy for Marisol, and there is more to his character than meets the stereotypical eye.

I enjoyed the friendship and camaraderie that the four young people and their guide develop in the heart of Nicaragua. It is a story that speaks to so many topics, and I found the title fit like a glass slipper. The ending was not at all what I was expecting and tied things up too neatly, but I enjoyed the brigade adventures through the jungle and the Nicaraguan people.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Amanda Heger is a writer, attorney, and bookworm. She lives in the Midwest with three unruly rescue dogs and a husband who encourages her delusions of grandeur. She strongly believes Amy Poehler is her soul mate, and one of her life goals is to adopt a pig and name it Ron Swineson.

Find the author: GoodreadsWebsite | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

4 thoughts on “Review: Without Borders

  1. […]  Without Borders is a story that speaks to so many topics, and I found the title fit like a glass slipper. This story set in Nicaragua and features adopted Nicaraguan brother and sister working with their mother to provide medical care in their country. The jungle is a dangerous place, and it is a true mission getting to the people. And then there is the fragile and tentative trust of the villagers that Felipe’s mother has established over many years. […]

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