Book Review: Unclaimed Baggage by Jen Doll

book review

Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux (Byr)
Publication Date: September 18th, 2018
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary, Romance, Realistic Fiction
Buy Links: Kinokuniya Malaysia | MPH Online
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Source: Huge thanks to Pansing for providing me a review copy in exchange for an honest review


What do Nell, who just moved to a small town in Alabama from the Chicago suburbs; Doris, a liberal among conservative thinkers; and Grant, a football star who's plummeted from grace, all have in common? A summer job working at Unclaimed Baggage, a store where lost luggage goes to find a home.

In this fish-out-of-water novel by noted journalist Jen Doll, three teens realize that people aren't always what they seem, secrets hide in plain sight, and everybody has a little extra baggage weighing them down. But true friendship - and love - will help you find your place.


I have always wondered what happens to all the bags when they have gone missing at the airport and not coming back to the owners - yes, I do know the person will receive compensation if their bags are nowhere to be found but where are all the bags go to? Now, in this story, these three teenagers who unexpectedly bond together through working at the same store name "Unclaimed Baggage" where all the bags who lost found their way at the store and will likely found a new owner.

So, the story follows with three POVs - Doris, who is a liberal thinker, she has been living at the small town in Alabama since she was born. She has a summer job working at Unclaimed Baggage a which is a happy place for her and she really enjoys working there so much. 

Not soon after, Nell's family who from Chicago moving to the small town Alabama and Nell's mom suggested that she should be looking for a job and she did get a job at Unclaimed Baggage and this is where her friendship with Doris blooming beautifully. Both of them get along very well and share a lot of things with each other.

The third POV is Grant. A football star in a small town Alabama but something happened to him which he felt like he is not who he is, that leads to a drinking problem. His mom suggested to him to get a work at the Unclaimed Baggage along with Doris whom she trusts to give him a good influence and surprisingly, he enjoys working at the Unclaimed Baggage and his get along with Doris and Nell and become very good friends, more likely, best friends.

The story flows wonderfully despite having 3 POV. These three characters have different problems and discrimination they have to face, however, these people build a wonderful friendship. In Unclaimed Baggage, there is a touch on issues like racism, discrimination, sexism, and alcoholism. Does this book has a continuation or is it just a standalone because the ending does not give me much satisfaction in which, I would love to know their progress when they back to school. 

Honestly, I'm having a mixed feeling to read this book at first because of the reviews, however, I really do enjoy reading this beautiful friendship of these three people and would love to be part of the group. Also, from the reading, it seems that the Unclaimed Baggage store is such a wonderful place to be at!

If you are in the mood of light contemporary reading, you might want to give this a read.