Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (March 13, 2012)
Received From: Publisher in exchange for an honest review
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.
Wanderlove is the story of a teenager girl trying to be a little more spontaneous and exciting and a teenage boy more trying to be a little more in control. Bria is tired of everyone telling her how predictable she is, she just wants to let loose for once, to do something no one will expect. While on her trip with her tour group she meets an amazing groups of backpackers and somehow gets swept up in an amazing trip with them instead. Rowen, is trying to escape his not so great past by staying on the move, maybe stable Bria is just what he needs in his life, even if he doesn't want to admit it.
I wasn't sure what I was expecting going into Wanderlove, but I know I wasn't expecting to be so completely blown away by it. Every setting that Kirsten Hubbard described was brought to life so vividly. I really felt like I was there in each place with Bria, hearing the sounds, tasting the foods, getting the bug bites, seeing the people. I also loved getting to see little pieces of Bria's art here and there in the book.
Each character was so amazing I just don't know that I could pick a favorite. Bria was so strong. She went off on this adventure, even though she was scared and timid and she really discovered so much about herself and who she wanted to become along the way. Rowen is the sexy, tortured, bad boy. He is also, sweet, and he reads, and he is well traveled, and caring, and mysterious, and just YUM. What is there NOT to love about Rowen?? There is also all these small characters throughout the novel that are just so awesome that really help to make it the fantastic book it is.
I just can't find the right words to explain to you why I loved Wanderlove as much as I did, but I will say that it will probably be one of my favorite reads of 2012. Wanderlove - adventure, romance, travel, friendship, and so much more, but - to sum it up the way I feel - LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!