Review: Wanderlove by Kristen Hubbard

Wanderlove by Kristen Hubbard

Wanderlove was so fun to read. The story is everyone’s fantasy I think: to throw off the structure of a guided tour and to make instant friends in a strange place. The travel descriptions were perfect – enough to give you a sense of the scenery, but not too much to lose your attention. Reading parts of it brought back memories of my own trip to the remote areas of Costa Rica when I was 21. Although that trip, a medical mission trip with my college professor, was a lot less fun than Bria’s trip. This book left me wanting to go to Belize ASAP.

This book is the ultimate YA summer read. I read it in less than two days. The plot hooks you in right away. It’s all adventure with little back story to bog it down. Hubbard does a great job of only telling what you need to know when it’s relevant. And compared to the other books I’m reading right now, this was a welcomed change. The characters of Bria and Rowan have a lot going on, and their struggles with their own history and with trusting and opening up to each other gave depth to the story.

There was something about the writing style or the combination of art and travel or the friendships that reminded me of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, one of my other favorite YA books.

Read it. It’s well worth your time even if you’re not usually a fan of young adult fiction.

Rating: 5 Stars

This review was originally published on Mom’s Radius.

Kirsten Hubbard
Young Adult Fiction
Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers
March 13, 2012

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.

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