Every detail of 16-year old Vassar Spore’s future is already planned: she will attend an elite college, earn her PhD, write a book, and receive the Pulitzer Prize before the age of 30. At some point after that, she will find time for boys and romance. To Vassar, “unpredictable” is a four-letter word. Her overachieving parents have taught her that the three most crucial elements to success are planning, planning, and planning.
So when her nutty, artist grandmother blackmails Vassar’s parents into letting her spend the summer backpacking through the jungles of Southeast Asia, Vassar finds herself totally unprepared for the adventure. Malaysia and Cambodia were NOT part of her ten-year plan. Soon, she is visiting ancient ruins, dodging poisonous centipedes, fleeing from the Cambodian police, falling in love with a Malaysian teenager, and investigating a family secret that will turn her world upside down. To survive, Vassar must scrap her plans (gasp!) and learn to live in the moment. But can she find the courage?