Wanderlove by Kirsten HubbardPublished by Delacorte Books for Young Readers on March 13th 2012
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.
For some people, travel equals to a vacation. But for Bria Sandoval, it’s more than just that. It’s a form of escapism too. When Bria meets Starling and Rowan, she leaves behind her tour group in order to experience La Vie Boheme and travel Central America as a true backpacker. Will the beaten path help Bria heal her broken heart, rediscover art and finally understand Wanderlove?
Let me tell you about the things I loved about this book: First, I loved the cover. When I stumbled upon this one in Goodreads, the cover plus the title both appealed to me very much.
Second, I loved topics which the book broached: Travel, art, and even a bit of literature. They kept me interested and made me want to go see places, draw and/or write about them. I was suddenly eager to wander too.
Third, I loved the characters. Bria, being the main character and all, was admittedly likable, almost lovable. I loved her passion for art. Like Rowan says, I loved it when she talked about art. Then of course, there’s Rowan. I liked that he was a reformed bad boy. You don’t get much of that in other books. I loved though how he is never without a book. I loved how knowledgeable he is with travel and I loved how insightful and philosophical he can be sometimes. Despite wearing a ponytail (which is, you know, ugh), Rowan is still swoon-worthy in this way. Rowan’s sister, Starling was also really awesome (letting Bria come along and all that) but was a bit idealistic for me. (Gotta admit, I wished several times that I could be as cool as her though)
Lastly, the story itself was nice, if not fantastic. I loved the way it was written (and Bria’s cool sketches and lists) and I loved the way it turned out. Kirsten Hubbard wasn’t big on romantic cheesy scenes but Bria and Rowan’s little moments were sweet in itself.
Wanderlove was a really good book. It was an amazing mix of culture, life and love and it will surely make you glad you read it.