Monday, June 11, 2012

Review: Wanderlove

Title: Wanderlove
Author: Kirsten Hubbard
Date Released: March 13th, 2012
Pages: 352
Rating: 5 out of 5

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.

I totally fell in love with Wanderlove and liked it a lot more than Kirsten Hubbard's debut novel, Like Mandarin. I guess you could say it was full of life; Bria is basically going on an adventure in Central America. She goes backpacking with a complete stranger from Guatemala to an island off of Belize and along the way she finds herself and even finds love.

Wanderlove has got to be one of the coolest novels ever. I fell in love with the whole traveling part of the novel. Reading about the rainforests that and beautiful lakes that Kirsten Hubbard wrote about and that Bria went to made me want to go to Central America to visit these amazing places, despite all the mosquitoes and creepy, crawly bugs/insects. The descriptions were beautiful and made the whole book seems so relaxing, despite some minor tensions within Bria.

As the story advanced, I got to like Bria a lot more. Sometimes, I didn't like how she would lie in order to reinvent herself as a rebel, but the other times, she was really cool, and super talented (sketches of various things were scattered throughout the book). Rowan was super cool and his background story was pretty sad. His sister, Starling, was way too awesome as well. Basically, all of the characters were really cool because none of them could be stuck up since they're all backpackers living in a foreign country continent.

The whole story line really kept me intrigued, too. Bria and Rowan's adventure throughout Central America to get to Rowan's destination seemed pretty fun. Learning about Bria's past in little snapshots also kept the story going and gave a little background as to why Bria was on this trip in the first place. There was something always going on in Wanderlove that just made the whole novel fascinating to read.

I absolutely loved Wanderlove. It was filled with just the right amount of adventure and romance to keep me glued to the book. It also really got me into the mood for summer a couple weeks before I even got out of school. I would definitely recommend Wanderlove if you're looking for a great summer read!

Cover Review:
I really love the cover for Wanderlove. It's purple (!!) and just feels so free spirited and relaxing that you can't help but pick up the book.

Cleo :)

*Description and cover from
**Review copy borrowed from my local library.

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