Monday, November 19, 2012

Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard

 Title: Wanderlove
Author: Kirsten Hubbard
Publisher: Delacorte Books
Release Date: March 13, 2012
My Rating: 3.5 stars
Pages: 338 pages 

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."- Goodreads

It is illustrated throughout  Wanderlove how well traveled and imaginative Kirsten Hubbard is. She's traveled in Guatemala before and it shows. Her description of the different places in the book are so well written and descriptive that I felt like I could just close my eyes and be exploring the Mayan villages of Guatemala. It was truly amazing. The writing in the story flowed very well and everything was described in such a manner that I always knew exactly what was happening. One of my favorite 
parts of the writing, besides the descriptions, was the dialogue. It was real and heartfelt and just fit the story perfectly.

Recently graduated Bria Sandoval is doing something she's only ever dreamed of: she's traveling in a foreign country. The only problem is that she's stuck with a tourist group filled with stuffy people that have no sense of adventure. So, when she meets Starling and her brother Rowan, she takes a chance and agrees to travel with them. She finds herself falling in love with Rowan while trying to get over her ex. Bria doesn't know it, but she's about to learn some very important things about herself and become a better person because of it. 

I had a hard time liking Bria at first because she lied quite a bit. She told her first lie on the 2nd page of the book. But I eventually got over it when I began to understand why she lied. Scarlet, however, 
was a completely different story. I liked her almost immediatly. She didn't take shit from anyone and wasn't afraid to be tough. I especially liked how she was always loyal to her brother no matter what he did. Rowan was a complex person. At first he appeared a little mean, but as I got to know him better I realized what a great guy he was.

Throughout the first part of this book, I had difficulties reading it. The story was a bit slow and I found Bria annoying. Once, I got over that, I enjoyed myself more. Another issue I had with the story was the ending. It felt a bit unbelievable to me. I felt that the story could've had an extra 100 pages to build up more of a relationship with the main characters. At the same time, the writing was superb and I loved the premise of the plot.

This book would be perfect for people who like ya contemporary books. Especially ones about journey's or books with the setting in a foreign country.

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