Sunday, March 18, 2012

Wanderlove by Kristen Hubbard Review

Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard 
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. 

My Review

First I have to say that this is the first book I have ever read by Kristen and it will not be the last! I absolutely loved her writing and the story caught me right from page one and I could not put it down. I also loved how she nailed it with the descriptions of backpackers. I have a few friends who do it and love it. They go all over the place and help out and live off of basic necessities we take for granted. 

Wanderlove drew me in for so many reasons. One Bria is recovering from a broken heart. She has just graduated high school and is deciding on where to go to college when she decides she will take a trip. She is supposed to be with a traveling group but when she lands in Central America and meets a boy Rowan and his sister Starling she decides she will take the road less traveled. 

As Bria and Starling get close Starling tells her she is going to her other job volunteering and that Bria should stay on the journey across Central America with Rowan and look after him. Bria thinks it's a bad idea because she can't even take care of herself but she agrees because she wants to see the prettier sides of Central America and she wants to get to know Rowan because he is very secretive and quiet.

As Bria and Rowan travel they learn to confide in one another and share their secrets with one another. Just as they are getting close something happens and Rowan runs and Bria is determined to find him with the help of Starling. As Bria sets out on her own to find Rowan she discovers things about herself that will bring her closer to healing from the pain of her breakup and the feelings she has for her family and most important how she feels for Rowan. 

I loved this story because it tugged on so many of my emotions. Bria had to deal with her broken heart but she also had to deal with the fact that she was mentally being abused by her ex-boyfriend. Plus she had family issues that she needed to come to terms with. When she did she was able to open her heart and love. This is a must read and I heard Kristen has some other great books out there so I will be reading them soon.  

The song that made me think about Bria and Rowan is Breakeven by The Script

Thank you to Netgalley for allowing me to read this ARC copy of Wanderlove!


The Insouciant Sophisticate said...

I could not connect with the characters but I love your choice of song! I <3 The Script!

Tee said...

Thank you, I love that song! This kind of book is hard for some to get into. I loved it because I really know about traveling and backpackers so it was interesting to add the love thing in there with friendship. It is true that you do gain friendships that last forever when you are backpacking because you learn to depend on them. At least you gave it a go! :)