Monday, March 19, 2012

Review: Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard

Reading level: Ages 14 and up
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (March 13, 2012)
ISBN-10: 0385739370
ISBN-13: 978-0385739375
Received From: Publisher in exchange for an honest review
                          5 Butterflies

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.

My Thoughts:

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!!!
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  1. I put Wanderlove in my Amazon cart yesterday! (Just waiting for payday haha :) So glad you loved it! Now I am even more excited to read it.

  2. After you told me it was possibly your favorite of the year, I read it. I loved it. Great review!!

  3. I'll definitely have to pick this one up soon as I keep hearing nothing but awesome things about it. I love books where the main character discovers themselves or becomes stronger. Rowen also sounds all kinds of amazing. I can't wait to read this one. Awesome review :)

  4. Holy cow, I loved this book. So. Much. I really want to travel now! I loved the growth of the characters and how they all learned from themselves as well as the travel experience.

  5. I've been hearing so many wonderful things about this book, I need to get it SOON!!! Great review!

  6. I loved this too!! Really, I don't think I've read one bad review lol. And yes I agree, what's not to love about Rowan???

  7. I love a good backpacking story. This one sounds pretty goo, thanks for the great review!

    -Kate the Book Buff
    Recent Post: Betcha Didn't Know: Harry Potter Edition

  8. I cant wait to read this! I won a copy and I'm pretty sure as soon as it gets here I'm going to read it. So glad you loved it!

  9. Well after reading both you and Loretta's reviews today I know that I have to pick this one up. You two usually never steer me wrong!

    I'm glad this was such a great contemp, plus it counts for the challenge. I love killing two birds with one stone, so to speak. :)

    Thanks for the great review!


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