by Kirsten Hubbard
Published: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: March 13, 2012
Pages 338Source: Netgalley and Purchased Copy
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.
I honestly don’t know how to begin to review this book. To say that I adore it would be an understatement and wouldn’t do it justice. Without trying to be overly-dramatic, I can say that it has changed me in so many ways. It took a few days to read it when I could have easily read it on one day -- devoured it. But it deserves more attention than that. There are many eye-opening moments, little bits and large chunks of wisdom, that even at my age - almost twice the age of the main character, Bria - I feel like there are opportunities just waiting for me to seize. That may include traveling, but also embracing something that I want to do but I am terrified to attempt.
(I've deleted several sentences here and I try to share my thoughts about Wanderlove.)
Wanderlove is an easy story to get swept up in because of the authentic, believable characters, but also because of all the intricate details of what Bria sees and experiences during her travels. I embraced Bria, Starling and Rowen and being young and adventurous and spontaneous - and it felt like I was traveling along with them (and made me wish that I was).
Even before I ever finished reading Wanderlove, I was telling people how much I loved the story. I wanted them to want to read it too. When I didn't get the response from my friends and family that I wanted, I took my excitement to Twitter (because that's just what you do now days). Here's what I shared:
If Wanderlove by
@kirstenhubbard is sitting on your shelf unread, pick it up and start it now! It is fantastic #readnow #loveit
@GReadsBooks it makes me want to pack a bag and hit the road
Forget the trashy beach books,
#Wanderlove should be your go-to summer read @kirstenhubbard
I loved all of the illustrations included throughout and Bria's journal entries. I am completely inspired by Wanderlove - this is the book that I want to write. I will read it again and again. It's definitely in my all-time Top Ten favorite books.
Disclaimer: I requested and received an e-galley of Wanderlove for review from Netgalley. I did not read the book within the allotted lending period. This review is based on the final finished copy. I was not compensated for providing a review. Thoughts and opinions are my own.