Thursday, February 23, 2012

Review: Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard

Published by: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Kirsten Hubbard
Release Date: March 13th 2012
( Barnes & Noble / Goodreads )
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.
*An eARC was provided to me by the publisher/NetGalley for review purposes*

As soon as I read the synopsis for Wanderlove I knew it was going to change me. I’ve always enjoyed traveling books and I have to say this is the best one I have ever read. Not only was it a traveling book where I felt like I was honestly there, but the love story behind it had me week in the knees. There is just so much more to this book than traveling and love though. It is about finding yourself when you thought you couldn’t be found, and learning that sometimes you have to face forward and use the past as a stepping stone to move on.  A journey has never taken my breath away such as Wanderlove has, and I must tell you all to get ready for a ride that will leave you wondering if you have even found yourself yet.

Suffering from not only a terrible breakup but losing her art as well, Bria Sandoval has never felt more lost in life. But one brochure with one question [Are you a Global Vagabond?] changed her life forever. Fast forward a few plane rides and a less than thrilling touchdown that brought to light that instead of backpacking, Bria Sandoval was stuck with a tourist group. Not the ideal trip that she had in mind. But once Starling and Rowan enter the picture Bria’s trip takes a turn she never knew she was ready for. Trading a tour bus for the unknown of backpacking and learning just what the heck Wanderlove is, Bria is going on one trip she will never forget.

When it comes to books that you absolutely adore, the hardest thing to do is write a review, so I will try my best here. When I opened this book the first thing that hit me was the artwork that was done by the author. Seeing as that our MC Bria is a use to be artist it was very fitting and, pleasantly, it shows up more and more as our story goes on. The words were jumping off of the pages at me as I read and I can only thank that to the fact that the author of this book , Kirsten Hubbard, is a backpacker herself. That gave this book a huge advantage and felt so real I had to keep pinching my arm to make sure I wasn’t there myself. Artistic and amazing with her words Kirsten Hubbard had me hooked.

I wasn’t only enthralled with the scenery but with the cast as well. Bria was easy to connect to, as being at one point or another we have all been lost [physically or emotionally…] There were times I was reading and I just wanted to help shove her along and get her out of the box her ex put her in. There was so much in her wanting to be let out but Bria was scared of it. Like I said, connecting with Bria had never been easier.  Oh, and then there was Starling and Rowan. A brother and sister pair has never made me laugh or enjoy myself like these two did. Starling never ceased to amaze me as the pages turned and Rowan…oh, what can I say about him?! Dreamy, thoughtfully and moving forward with his life, this man had my heart from the first time I saw his pony tail. Who wouldn’t fall for a tan backpacking god?

When all is said and done this book wrapped itself up perfectly. Squirming in my seat I couldn’t contain my emotions and I am pretty sure I let out a scream or two when I was finished. I know this is a standalone book but I have gotten so attached to these characters I would kill to just read what happened when everything was over… But I think ending on the note we did made it so much more amazing and inspiring than anything else. All I want to do with my life now is go backpacking and hope to find myself like Bria and Rowan found themselves. Kirsten Hubbard, you have infected me with a traveling bug I may never be able to get rid of, and I thank you for it. Don’t pass this one up folks, you just may want to get infected with the traveling bug too.

Five Finding Stars
[I'm behind on life. Gone backpacking]
**** **** **** ****
Ah people! This book was amazing and better yet it comes out on my birthday!!! If you are into traveling book or just a book about moving forward in life then DON'T forget to click on the B&N link above to pre-order it. You don't want to miss out on this one.


  1. I've stumbled upon this book by accident (ok, ok, I lie, it was today, during WOW-ing) and I already love it. After your review I know I made a good choice by adding it to my TBR pile!

    Great review (and I hope your backpacking is going smoothly ;))!

    Agnieszka @ Nook of Books

  2. Ahhhh! I was thinking of buying this one. Now, it seems I must. It's apparent this book completely moved you. I'm so happy you loved it. I'm adding it to my "must buy" list.
    Awesome review!

  3. Bah! I TOTALLY agree with you! I just finished this book not even 5 minutes ago, and I am so in love. I love Rowan and Bria. I love Central America, backpacking, diving, art... LOVED this. I want to go travel everywhere now, and find myself. And get lost and fall in love. You hit the nail on the head with this review. Now I have to figure out how to write mine! Haha!

    - Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl