Title/Author: Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard
Publisher/Date: Random House – March 2012
Genre: Contemporary Young Adult
How I Received This: The publisher was kind enough to send me this!
Find Wanderlove on Amazon or Goodreads
What it about in a sentence or two: Bria decides to use the summer before college to trot the globe (err Central America) to reclaim who she is and have the adventure of a lifetime to help assuage the pain of her recent breakup. When her fellow globetrotters end up being middle aged, “by the guide book” type, she eagerly abandons her planned out trip for an invitation to backpack with two “real” global vagabonds who show her what self discovery on the road is really about.
Ever read a book summary and just get this overwhelming urge to keep screaming, “THIS BOOK IS SO ME!!” Yeah…pretty much that was my experience.
Before I go into my review you have to understand thing one thing about me. If I could, I would be a nomadic wanderer traveling the world for the rest of my life. I mean, read my About Me. If there’s one thing I love more than books, it’s travel. Soul shaking, life changing travel. And it always is. As I seemed to have put it way back when I made my About Me, ” I have this insatiable desire to be everywhere I’m NOT.” So you can imagine why I went batshit crazy about a book that asks, “Do you want to be a global vagabond?” Um why YES..yes I do.
Truly, Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard is one of my favorite books I’ve read this year or so! It’s got a little bit of everything — adventure, romance, friendship, self discovery, lush descriptions, & it even has DRAWINGS in it!! Like the realization of a good trip coming to a close, I started to panic when I realized I was nearing the end of this book…grasping for pages that weren’t there. I just wasn’t ready for it to end.
The story is so well written and flows so well at a perfect pace- much like the ebb and flow of a good trip. Hubbard’s descriptions of settings and “on the road” encounters are authentic & vivid; paying tribute to her exceptional travel writing abilities that abound with transportable qualities that make you feel every chicken truck ride or picturesque sunset. As beautiful as her travel writing is, I cannot speak enough about the way these characters are written and the very raw and believable growth we witness. I don’t know WHICH adventure was more satisfying to be honest.
Bria, Rowan, Starling and the characters along the way were so lively and memorable. Bria is someone who is so easy to relate to. She wants to be uninhibited, fight for the person she WANTS to be and just living in this shadow of herself that was partly created by her douche of an ex….but she’s got so much she’s holding on to. Watching her grow and start to rediscover herself was an exciting journey in itself. Rowan…oh Rowan. I wouldn’t mind being his travel partner as it seems we share similar travel philosophies….minus the fact that sometimes he seems a bit pretentious about travel. Travel is such a personal thing and when you are serious about it..I guess it’s easy to sometimes come off like that and wanting everyone to experience the way you do.
Can we just talk about the tension between Bria and Rowan? OH MY GOSH. I could feel my whole body clenching when I would hold my breath during their encounters. I just wanted to pluck them out of the book and smash their faces together causing them to smooch like I used to do with Barbie and Ken. YOU KNOW YOU WANT IT!
My Final Thought: Read this. If you love a realistic YA read that is a fun, light not lacking in substance, romantical tension that is done right and a romp across some of the most amazing places in the world…then you might want to bump this one up now! I’ll be singing the praises of this book for a long time to come. It’s more on the romance/self discovery side as I felt some of the travel aspects did start to fade into the background but, if you don’t go into this expecting something resembling a travelogue, you’ll be fine!
Have any of you read this book?? Any other books you’d recommend to attempt to satiate that travel bug?