11 March, 2012 | By: Rhee

Review: Wanderlove


Title: Wanderlove
Author: Kirsten Hubbard
Pages: 352
Published: March 13th, 2012

Summary: It starts with a 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.

Review: When I requested this book on NetGalley, I honestly had no idea what I was getting myself into. I had just seen that a few other people I follow had requested it and while the concept sounded interesting, I wasn’t sure that it’d be at the top of my reading list.

I was so, so very wrong.

Bria’s struggling to get away from memories of a bad breakup and the looming, overwhelming concept of college rushing in just around the corner. She and her boyfriend, Toby, ended up badly and her dreams of going to an art school with him were destroyed by the breakup, so she’s off to another country in search of a much-needed vacation, only to find that she’s ending up with more than she expected. I jumped into this book, a little bit scared to travel with Bria, but mostly excited at the chance to escape into a country that I’ll probably never visit through a book that I normally wouldn’t have picked up off a bookshelf. Travelling with Bria down to Guatemala was an exciting experience, but ending up on the Global Vagabond tour was not. When Bria signed up for excitement and a chance to explore a new country, she didn’t expect to get saddled with a trip full of elderly people and end up just stopping at main tourist attractions.

To be quite honest, I didn’t either.

But then Bria meets Rowan and Starling and her entire trip becomes a new experience. Up to this point, I was just liking the novel, but Bria’s chance to start backpacking around a country she knew nothing about (and even go to another new country) was what made me fall in love with the novel. The experience and the desire to take a journey like this was overwhelming and I found myself clinging to this novel, forcing my nose closer and closer to my Kindle as I followed Bria everywhere she went, and experienced all of her emotions.

Overall, this novel far exceeded my expectations. I knew, based on others’ reviews, that I was going to finish reading Wanderlove and like it, but I never even knew just how much I was going to love. The chance to jump into uncharted waters and just experience fun was something so thrilling and breathtaking that I couldn’t bear to tear myself away from this book!

When I was nearing the end, the last thing I wanted to do was actually let it end, but the ending itself was just as amazing as the rest of the book. The descriptions in the novel were so beautiful that I could picture the scenery and all I want to do now is take a month off of life and go down to Guatemala and Belize and just explore the entire world. I can’t imagine a better idea of what to do for the month of April! Unfortunately, it’s not happening, but I know that the second this book hits the shelves, I’m getting a copy to have on my shelves. If I can’t backpack in real life, at least I can in the literary world, travelling alongside Bria and her companions through the exciting world of Central America.

Rating: ★★★★★ 5/5 Stars

3 responses:

Shanon (Escaping With Fiction) said...

This book sounds way better than I thought it was going to be initially! Bria seems like an awesome character that I would really like; especially since the reader can live vicariously through her. Fantastic review! I'll definitely have to read this one! =)

-Shanon @ Escaping With Fiction

Rhee said...

I thought it was going to be just an adequate book, but I really, really ended up loving it. (: I think a lot of it had to do with the way the author detailed the scenery. It was wonderful.

Thank you for commenting (:

Tristan said...

I also LOVED this book! I had requested it off of netgalley a little skeptical on whether or not I would like it, but Wanderlove ended up being one of my all time favorite books and I thought it was amazing! Great review!

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