Thursday, March 1, 2012

review: Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard

pub date: March 13, 2012
publisher: Delacorte
pages: 352
source: NetGalley
appeals: travel, romance, strong characters, adventure,
content: drinking and swearing (about 4 f-bombs)

(I finally get to post this review! I read Wanderlove in August last year and wrote the review soon after. It's been patiently waiting for this day. And it's finally here!)

I LOVED this book. I finished it at 2 am and the next morning I went back and reread my favorite parts. Which proved difficult since it was from NetGalley and on my nook. It wasn't so easy to browse, but that didn't stop me from trying.

I enjoyed Hubbard's first book, Like Mandarin, but this one I LOVED. I think it has to do with the older character and the romance in Wanderlove. But now I say with certainty, I am a Hubbard fan. I look forward to more of her books in the future. 

I loved the characters. This novel has flawed, strong, real, and wonderful characters. Especially Bria. From the very first page I was drawn in by Bria's voice. Like I mentioned, I stayed up waaaaay too late finishing it. But I just wanted to stay in Bria's adventures. I didn't want it to end. But then it did--all too quickly! She really grows as a person and I loved reading it.

Rowan's a great love interest. It's a romance that begins as an awkward companionship, developes into friendship, and deepens from there. Sigh. There were so many other characters that were just as real and wonderful as Bria and Rowan and I loved them all.

I loved the setting. I loved the art. I wanted more sketches. I looked forward to them showing up in the story and was so glad they made it into the digital ARC. I've really been wanting to reread the book, so I'm glad that in just a few more weeks I can. I can't wait! It's one I will be rereading again and again over the years. It was just that good.

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 into 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.

1 comment:

Bookworm1858 said...

I had the opposite reaction: neither this nor Like Mandarin really appealed to me. Maybe because I'm not really into traveling...