Friday, 9 March 2012

Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard

Kirsten Hubbard
Delacorte Books for Young Readers
[March 13, 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.

I think I'm in the minority when it comes to Wanderlove. I enjoyed it quite a bit, but I didn't LOVE it.

Bria as a character doesn't stand out much to me. I loved that she was an artist and her background definitely added a level to the story, but to me it kind of felt like those two things defined her. Maybe that was the point, but I wanted a character, not an experience and a talent. Bria changed and developed and became more like a person, but I never fully connected with her.

I did enjoy Wanderlove. The descriptions of all the countries were so well written and it worked together really well. There were lots of little things and characters who made it all flow and it was gorgeous. It was different and wonderful watching Bria grow into herself in this environment. Kirsten Hubbard obviously knew what she was writing about and it showed. Wanderlove was fun but also deeper than I imagined it would be and I really enjoyed it.

As for the romance? I...wasn't crazy about it. I liked Rowan and everything, really. And there was some good tension between them. But I didn't fully see what they had in common or why they would fall in love beyond having good tension and being together.

Wanderlove was a really good story, but I just don't think it was the right one for me. Maybe it's because I just couldn't understand any of the characters most of the time. But I'm pretty sure I'm in the minority for this, so check it out for yourself! OR (we're going to try something different), you can check out these reviews and use them to help you too:



  1. I think the best part of Wanderlove was the traveling and the experience of being in an area that I don't read about. Usually the books I read that involve traveling take place in Europe.

    LOL I liked Rowan as a romantic lead, but he could get a little bit annoying.

  2. AHHH! So excited for this one. :D I've seen so many lovely reviews for it, and the excerpts Kirsten read aloud for the release day were fantastic. I can't wait to read it. Also, I'm a big big fan of sibling relationships in books, so I suspect I will love that.

    Awesome, awesome review.



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