Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard
Release Date: March 13, 2012
Age Group: Young Adult
Received From: NetGalley
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 into 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.
I adore this book. Adore! I probably missed my opportunity to backpack a long, long time ago, but Wanderlove makes me feel like I was right there with Bria in Central America. I got to feel dirty and grungy right along side Bria. I saw all the sights with her and most importantly I fell for Rowan just like she did. What I’m getting at is Wanderlove is perfectly depicted. I felt like I was there and that made reading this book a wonderful experience.
It did take me just a little while to get into the story but once Bria and Rowan started connecting the book became very hard to put down. Bria was a great main character. She was easy to connect to and her problems were really realistic. I loved her almost cynical outlook on things. I laughed out loud on several occasions. Rowan is…just really fantastic. He’s intelligent and he has all the life experiences that Bria doesn’t have and that makes him irresistible. The connection between the two of them was undeniable. The feelings and tension between the two of them builds slowly throughout the book. I loved every second of it.
Another remarkable element of Wanderlove is Bria’s artwork. I had the galley on my Kindle so I was really surprised to see that. I always looked forward to seeing another one. It really added to the overall affect of the story. I can’t wait to see it in the finished book!
I can’t say enough good things about Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard. I highly, highly recommend it. Be prepared to take a journey through Central America with plenty of bugs and mud when you open these pages. Also be prepared to fall in love.