Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Release Date: March 13, 2012
Challenges: Sophomore Challenge, Completely Contemporary Challenge
Rating: 5 stars
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 love those books that on page 2 you are already in love with the story and the characters and are so excited to read the rest. Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard was one of those books. Within the first chapter I was completely sold, and I loved every page that followed.
I just loved the storyline. The story is a mix of the present, past, and rules of traveling, which was so much fun to read. There were also these simply awesome drawings dispersed throughout the story. Wanderlove made me want to pack up and go travel today, and made me about 1000x more excited for my potential study abroad next spring. Wanderlove really takes the readers on a journey along with its characters. I loved all the places Rowan and Bria went throughout Central America, and all the experiences they had.
The characters were wonderful. I loved Bria. She had such a great story to tell. I loved that Bria had to courage to go try this trip, as I am not spontaneous and would have major anxiety over doing such a thing, but what Bria did is something I would just love to do. Rowan was just as complex as a character as Bria, with his own past that he is trying to escape. He was witty and quite charming. I feel like Hubbard just nailed both Rowan and Bria and the relationship that unfolds between the two.
This was a stunning sophomore novel from Kirsten Hubbard. It’s one of those books that I will now be pressing into the hands of everyone I know. It had beautiful writing, an awesome plot, and characters to die for. I really just loved Wanderlove, and now I need to go pick up Hubbard’s debut, Like Mandarin.