Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard

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Author: Kirsten Hubbard

Release Date: March 13, 2012

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Summary (Goodreads):
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 Thoughts:

This story starts off with Bria wondering if she has it in her to actually get up and leave. She almost regrets that decision when she sees the 'vagabond' group that she's stuck with.

While in Central America, she meets a guy named Rowan (who she's attracted to), and he invites her to a backpacker's hostel for dinner. She accepts (who wouldn't want to if they were stuck with her group)? Afterward Rowan's sister, Starling, asks her if she'd like to backpack with them, and once again she accepts the challenge. They travel/backpack across Central America, and Bria sees more than she would've saw while with her tour group. Through stolen backpacks, camping in the jungle, and giant bugs Bria learns what it means to forget about her past with the help of Rowan and Starling.

I though that this book was a great find/read! As you've probably seen from my Standalone challenge list, I challenged myself to read it. I really only picked it because I had picked it out from my library, so I was like 'what the heck'.

I liked how they traveled all around. It was like I was with them while they went place to place. I think Kirsten's writing was extremely descriptive. Especially about the colors, and giant bugs, and food. It was almost like I could taste the food, hear the sounds and people, and feel the rain water pouring on me.

This book was as much about Rowan as it was Bria. It showcased Rowan's struggle to forget his past, as was Bria's (trying to forget her ex). I liked how Bria was trying to prove to everyone how she could do it; she could travel to another country, she could take back up on her artist skills.

I almost forgot: Kirsten put in drawings of things that the main character (Bria) had drawn. I thought this was a great addition. Sometimes when I'm reading books, I also wonder: what did that thing look like? What did (character) draw? With this book, I didn't have to think that.

I think that this book deserves 5 hearts! :)

5 hearts

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