Friday, March 23, 2012

Review: Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard

Title: Wanderlove
Author: Kirsten Hubbard
Publisher: Delacorte Books For Young Readers
Publish Date: 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. ~ Courtesy of Goodreads

Okay, I'll admit, I wasn't very interested in reading Wanderlove at first. The story seemed interesting enough, girl finds love while in an exotic location. But it wasn't until I read the first few pages that I realized just how interesting Bria's story really was. As soon as I picked it up I was hooked.

Bria is such an honest character. She just wants to travel, and the more people tell her she can't, the more she wants to do it. She's scared just like everyone else is, tries to take the easy way out and go with a prepackaged tour group. But her artist's nature seems to take over and she can't help but do what comes naturally. She explores. She looks for the beauty in the world around her. As Bria says, speaking of her father's only experience traveling,

"What's the point of travel if you never get off the train?{Wanderlove, Chapter 2}

So she runs off with some backpackers to really travel!

I've always loved the idea of running around the world, only taking what you can carry with you. It's so fun to read about people actually doing it. I think what's even more intriguing is the fact that Kirsten Hubbard is actually a backpacker. She's experienced what Bria is experiencing and that definitely comes across in her writing. Hubbard's descriptions of Central America are so beautiful. It doesn't sound like she's describing places, but actual experiences. Through Bria's eyes Hubbard lets the reader experience what people on vacations usually miss out on. The details of the world around them. It's the difference between taking a photo of a brick wall or going up and touching it. She's seen and appreciated what Bria is experiencing and that made me appreciate reading it even more.

Wanderlove made me laugh and got me all choked up at certain parts. I had a perpetual smile on my face through most of the book. Rowan and Bria's witty banter is not something you want to miss out on! Honest, the first words out of my mouth when I finished the book we're, "So cute!!"

I just adored Wanderlove and I encourage, no I demand, that everyone read it! I couldn't put it down even if I'd wanted to, and trust me, I didn't want to put it down. I wanted to crawl inside of it and visit ancient Mayan ruins right along side Bria!

Check out Wanderlove at these great websites!


  1. Sounds like a great book for a travel lover! I think I might add this one to my list... sounds like a good read and your review was great :)

    Megan @ Storybook Love Affair

  2. I want to read this book so bad. To be a bit of a vagabond is my dream. ;) I just think I like bathrooms and showers a bit too much!


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