29 March 2012

YA Book Review: Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard

Release Date: 13 March 2012
Publisher: Dealcorte BFYR
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Get a copy! Amazon | B&N

Goodreads description:
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.
My Thoughts...
Bria's finally taking a chance--she's doing something just for her that other people don't actually think she has the guts to do on her own.  However, a guided tour through Central America with a group of middle-aged, fanny-pack wearing tourists isn't exactly what she had in mind.  Then she takes the ultimate leap and sets off on and adventure with backpacking siblings Starling and Rowan.  Traveling this way, Bria just might find what she's been looking for all along...

No one seems to have seen the lake. But how could they have missed it? It was the color of a gas flame, so blue it nearly stung my eyes.
-p31, eARC
The characters in Kirsten Hubbard's sophomore YA novel captured my full attention from page one.  Bria is trying so hard to break out of the shell that she's put herself in and find her way in a world that's disappointed her. She let a boyfriend and friends dictate who she thought she was and now she's struggling to figure out what she wants to do with her life. She's already abandoned her art school dreams and her friends abandoned their travel plans.  Her journey is really unique and captivating.  The side characters also added a lot of flavor to the story.  From Rowan and Starling to the overbearing travel guide, Marcie, and the Swedish bad boy, Jack, each character has a special place in the story and thus Bria's journey.
"See, wanderlust is like itchy feet...It's when you can't settle down. But Wanderlove is much deeper than that...it's a compulsion. It's the difference between lust and love. ... Wanderlove is about forgetting hte bad things and focusing on the good. Out with the old and in with the new."
-p72-73, eARC
The combination of travel and art in this novel really captivated me.  I adored all of the descriptions of the places that Bria went and Hubbard's writing really took me there. I felt like I could really "see" the places in my imagination and it gave me quite the itch to go back to Central America and travel like Bria, Rowan, and Starling. I've also found recently that I really enjoy art/artists in books (well, really, Graffiti Moon made me think that I might and this book proved it).  There's something about that being included in a book that adds a layer that I really appreciate.
"But what I do know is this: you got to find your own places. The places you get, girl, the ones that stick in your heart. And if you're lucky, you find people to share them with"
-p239, eARC
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I would highly recommend that you check it out.  It's worth every moment that you spend immersed in its pages and then some.  The beautiful writing, settings, characters, and artwork make this a great springtime read (but be warned, it will probably give you or reignite the travel bug...).


Giselleco said...

I've been so psyched to read this I swear I have ONLY read great reviews on it! IT sounds like such a wonderful story. Great review Jessi!

Raimyrawr said...

I lvoed this one too and really wanted to slap Brias ex boyfriend! haha 

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