Author: Kirsten Hubbard
My Copy: review copy via 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.
My Thoughts: REALLY FREAKING AWESOME BOOK THAT I LOVE AND EVERYONE NEEDS TO READ!
That pretty much sums up my thoughts.
Wanderlove is one of my all-time favorite books. I was so excited to read it because, as some of you may know, I traveled to Guatemala last year and will be going again (9 days!!) so Central America has a special place in my heart. It was so cool reading about Bria's adventures in places that I've already visited and I also added quite a few places to my “must-go” list, based on Bria's adventures.
My personal connection aside, Wanderlove is truly a spectacular novel. Kirsten Hubbard has a way of drawing the reader in and taking them on a wild ride. Even if you've never left the United States, I guarantee that you will be able to clearly picture the beaches of Belize or the markets of Guatemala.
Bria may be my new favorite protagonist. I saw so much of myself in her that it was really quite scary. She is the girl that everyone considers being and few are. I loved her spunk. I also loved her drawings throughout the novel. By the time you are finished, you will feel like she is your best friend. The other characters, particularly Rowan, are just as wonderful. In fact, can I just have Rowan as a Christmas present? He is far from your bad-boy-turned-good and I loved it. The relationship between the two of them is so perfect – it's not rushed or unrealistic – and I just wanted to jump up and down in a few parts.
I really cannot say enough good things about this novel. I love, love, love, love, LOVE it. Seriously. Go buy yourself a copy RIGHT NOW. But, be warned, a severe case of wanderlust may ensue!