Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Review: The Backpack Years by Stefanie Wilson and James Wilson

 Genre: Memoir


“Straight-laced Stef left America to study abroad in Spain, letting loose and falling head over heels for two things: a handsome local and travel. Travel won out.

James had a ‘slowly-lose-the-will-to-live’ job in England and a future he felt he’d already destroyed. Fueled by crippling debt and a deteriorating relationship with his father, James fled to Australia in search of a better life.

Though their lives are heading in different directions, Stef and James fall in love in Sydney and ditch the carefree single life to forge a path together.

Can the two navigate their way through red-tape, relocation, miscommunication, and a last ditch, make-or-break trip to try to save their relationship, or will this be their last adventure as a couple?

Spanning thirteen countries and four continents, The Backpack Years is a story about how far we’re willing to go to be with the one we love.”


“Stefanie Wilson was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. Since she was a girl, she has been blonde and ditsy. Her super patient husband has shown her how to use the remote a million times, and she owes him big time. Though a seasoned traveller, her hometown pride and her love of a Primanti's sandwich keep her connected to her roots. She babysits her niece often and patiently makes up treasure hunts to keep her occupied. She currently lives in Pittsburgh with her broodingly handsome husband, James. The Backpack Years is her first published work.”

-Written by James Wilson

“Born in Warrington, England. Since he was a boy, he has been an accident-prone, illness-prone hot mess. His saint-like wife has nursed him back to health countless times, and he owes her big time. He has almost lived more of his life outside Britain than in it, but his love of football and a good fry-up keep him connected to his roots. He calls his mum often and patiently listens to updates on who won bingo. He currently lives in Pittsburgh with his smoking hot wife, Stef. The Backpack Years is his first published work.”

-Written by Stefanie Wilson


Part memoir, part love story, part travel adventure.

The book alternates chapters written by the two co-authors with the tale told from their point of view. In the beginning they are two separate young adults, each trying to find their way, figuring out who they are and what direction they want to take their life. Then (kind-of-a-spoiler alert) they meet each other, which over time leads them to change and refine their life goals.

Whether you’re a fan of memoirs, real life love stories, or vicarious travel experiences, you’ll find something to like in this book Mixing them all together adds a few twists to the other pieces, resulting in a unique book and an entertaining read.

Buy now from:            Amazon US        Amazon UK


Some adult language.

Chapters written by James use UK spelling conventions.

Format/Typo Issues:

Review is based on an ARC (advance reader copy) and I can’t judge the final product in this area.

Rating: **** Four Stars

Reviewed by: BigAl

Approximate word count: 90-95,000 words

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for the review, BigAl! We are so glad you liked it.