Author: Kirsten Hubbard
Publication Date: March 13, 2012
Source: Thanks Netgalley and Delacorte!
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Summary: It all begins with a stupid question:
Are you a Global Vagabond?
No, but 18-year-old Bria Sandoval wants to be. In a quest for independence, her neglected art, and no-strings-attached hookups, she signs up for a guided tour of Central America—the wrong one. Middle-aged tourists with fanny packs are hardly the key to self-rediscovery. When Bria meets Rowan, devoted backpacker and dive instructor, and his outspokenly humanitarian sister Starling, she seizes the chance to ditch her group and join them off the beaten path.
Bria's a good girl trying to go bad. Rowan's a bad boy trying to stay good. As they travel across a panorama of Mayan villages, remote Belizean islands, and hostels plagued with jungle beasties, they discover what they've got in common: both seek to leave behind the old versions of themselves. And the secret to escaping the past, Rowan’s found, is to keep moving forward.
But Bria comes to realize she can't run forever, no matter what Rowan says. If she ever wants the courage to fall for someone worthwhile, she has to start looking back. Kirsten Hubbard lends her artistry to this ultimate backpacker novel, weaving her drawings into the text. Her career as a travel writer and her experiences as a real-life vagabond backpacking Central America are deeply seeded in this inspiring story.
Review: I put off reading Wanderlove for a very long time. I believe I could have read it way back in August because I had it from Netgalley. But what did I do? I put it off. I regret that I did, but I'm so happy that I eventually picked it up. Wanderlove is more than fantastic. It is just SO good.
Bria is a wonderful character. Scratch that, she's more than wonderful. She's something that I don't even know how to describe. All I can say is that I just loved her character. She's insanely stubborn about somethings but so vunerable about others. I automatically loved her, even before I got to know her better during the course of the book. Most importantly, Bria felt like a real fleshed out person instead of a one dimensional character in a book. Hubbard made Bria pop off the page.
There's tons of other supporting characters and I felt like I knew them so well. Rowan and Starling are two backpacking siblings that you almost have to love. Rowan is, well, awesome. There's something extra special about his character that makes him worm his way into your heart, over and over again. Bria and Rowan had a wonderful friendship. I knew it would turn into something more than that but when it did it was so awesome.
This might sound a little silly but reading Wanderlove was almost like watching a movie. If Wanderlove doesn't make you want to travel I don't know what will. Hubbard made me feel like I was transported to Central America with Bria and Rowan, staying in grimy hostels and having lots of fun yet serious moments. I don't know how many times I can saw this, but it was just fantastic!
Wanderlove also has drawings. Drawings done by Kirsten Hubbard, herself! I was so impressed. They added even more dimension to this story. All I want to do now is go out a buy myself a finished copy. Then drool over the pictures.
Wanderlove is a special sort of book that makes the adventurous person inside of you want to come out. Simply stated: you cannot miss this book.