14 June 2013

Review: Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard

Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard

Published: 13 March 2013 by Delacorte

Pages: 338 (hardcover)

Genre/s: YA, Contemporary, Romance, Travel

Source: Own Library

Synopsis

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.

My Thoughts

I've always wanted to go backpacking, but I totally lack the guts and ability to sleep in shady dorm rooms.  And travel with a backpack.  And not plan everything to a minute, obsessive detail.  And I'm a hotel snob.  Even glamping is out of my comfort zone.  

 So you'd think that a book about backpacking probably wouldn't do it for me, but that's not true.  It taps into everything that I wish I could be, but I'm pretty much aware that I never will be - reading is the ultimate in vicarious living, and Kirsten Hubbard pretty much had it all for me in Wanderlove.

The only downside was that I didn't particularly like Bria - I found her slightly whingey, and although she's brave enough to shrug off the middle-aged tour group she signed up for and goes backpacking with a couple of strangers, she's still holding onto some pretty intense issues that she couldn't shed with her rolling suitcase.  Yes, there needs to be character growth but the growth was just too slow for me - I wanted to see her blossom more in the middle of the book, rather than just towards the end.

Despite the fact that the character growth felt a little uneven, I really enjoyed Bria and Rowan's stories, and the way that they interacted with each other, and the growth that they both went through as people, Bria using travel as a way to rediscover who she really is, and Rowan to find out who he wants to be.  

But aside from the fact that Bria and I weren't really on the best of terms, I loved the actual story of Wanderlove, the drawings (which I wanted WAY more of), the travel and the overall feel of the book - I just wanted to keep reading and I was a little sad when it ended.

Even if travelling au-natural isn't your cup of tea, I can still definitely recommend Wanderlove - it's a sweet, fun and beautifully written story that was perfect for a sunny afternoon read.

6 comments:

  1. I'm the same as you! I'd love to go backpacking...but trying to let go of that control is way too much, lol. This one sounds like a great read even with the uneven growth. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

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    Replies
    1. I love the IDEA of it, the reality would drive me bonkers lol.

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  2. Bahahah, I feel the same way about backpacking. It has an allure, but pretty much everything about it I would actively loathe. It's just not for me.

    Tee hee, you said whingey. That's so foreign! *grins* I definitely need to read this at some point. Someday.

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    Replies
    1. It's like any 'adventure' type thing - sounds awesome but I'd hate it every single minute. And would consider breaking into 'nice' hotels to shower.

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  3. Replies
    1. I think you'd love this, it's so much fun :-)

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