Wanderlove

Wanderlove

Book rating: 05 Hardback

By (author) Kirsten Hubbard

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  • Publisher: Random House Inc
  • Format: Hardback | 338 pages
  • Dimensions: 153mm x 217mm x 34mm | 458g
  • Publication date: 13 March 2012
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0385739370
  • ISBN 13: 9780385739375
  • Illustrations note: black & white line drawings
  • Sales rank: 111,934

Product description

"Are you a Global Vagabond? " No, but 18-year-old Bria wants to be. In a quest for independence, her neglected art, and no-strings-attached hookups, she signs up for a tour of Central America--the wrong one. Middle-aged tourists are hardly the key to self-rediscovery. So when Bria meets Rowan, devoted backpacker and dive instructor, and his outspoken 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 through Mayan villages and remote Belizean islands, they discover they're both seeking to leave behind the old versions of themselves. The secret to escaping the past, Rowan's found, is to keep moving forward. But Bria realizes she can't run forever. At some point, you have to look back.

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Author information

As a travel writer and young adult author, KIRSTEN HUBBARD has hiked ancient ruins in Cambodia, dived with wild dolphins in Belize, and navigated the Wyoming Badlands in search of transcendent backdrops. She lives with her husband and their dog.

Customer reviews

By theEPICrat 31 Mar 2012 5

At first cover glance, wanderlove appears to be a feel-good book. Peaceful, hopeful, wishful... but what the cover does not say is that readers will be taking a trip into Central America and fall in love with not only the scenery but also the characters. Which is a travesty because wanderlove was absolutely perfect for anyone with that itch to travel!

THE GOOD BITS

{Bria} I think our shoes have got to be the same size because I swear we travel the same wavelength! Her artistic nature resonate so close to home with me. It is hard when one's talents gets crushed by someone else, and I admire Bria as she struggles to figure out if art is worth giving up over a stupid boy. I adored the sketches scattered throughout the story - and I think that anyone with creative juices can easily sympathize with Bria.

{A journey worth a thousand steps and a few scrapes} I think Bria had the most perfect travel experience - not because she had booked an official tour, but because she had the balls to throw away the travel guide and truly embrace the backpacking lifestyle. I have never been anywhere nearly exciting, but I know several people who have - and seriously I can picture Bria, Rowan, and Starling quite easily. I would probably be in the same "uncool and untried" state as Bria, and I hope to be just as fortunate to meet the "cool travel kids" to take me under their wings.

{Sweet bud of a romance} Delicious, delicious tension - and I totally LOVED how Kirsten Hubbard handles Bria and Rowan's relationship! I am all for the friends-first philosophy, and watching Bria and Rowan get stuck together against both their better judgments is totally worth the wait! The combination of Rowan's mysterious past and Bria's love-gone-wrong one created an impressive wall that they each had to break down. My favorite scenes involve them sitting in a hammock and simply talking.

THE BAD BITS

{The "no strings attached" storyline} I braced myself for Bria to be a wild child, especially at the very beginning since I did not know what to expect from wanderlove. I can understand why Bria might choose to use Central America as a way to nurse a broken heart - but, given how much Bria and I are like mind-twins, I simply cannot fathom meaningless hookups for her. While I am glad that this storyline did not take that direction, I do not quite understand why it entered into Bria's travel itinerary.

THE OVERALL

I left wanderlove with a big, goofy grin on my face - and perhaps a few more dreamy-eyed thoughts about when I would follow Bria's footsteps into the world. wanderlove makes the allure of traveling all the more tangible for anyone who dares to make it happen, and it also reminds us that sometimes the best travel plans are those left to where the wind blows or the heart desires.

By MissPageTurner 13 Mar 2012 5

One day I went through the list of e-books on my e-reader and my eyes fell on WANDERLOVE. By then I didn't know why I had requested it in the first place and didn't expect too much of the book. I started reading it... and suddenly couldn't stop. I'm more than glad that I got the chance to read such a hyper awesome book!

Bria and Rowan are two of the most wonderful YA protagonists of all time. And we get to experience Central America together with our protagonist Bria. This trip during which she literally leaves well-explored and well-known roads and follows a different path is her chance to make new experiences and discover herself. She's definitely someone I would appreciate as company on my travels (Rowan is of course more than welcome to join me, too). She's bright and talented, but yet has to become a lot more self-confident and believe in herself.

Rowan's her company on that trip, travel guide, friend and maybe more?
He is a character with depth. Rowan is very secretive, a character trait which stands in contrast with his urge to wander the wide world and explore new territories.
We'll also find out more about him in the course of the story. I liked how Bria and Rowan began to trust each other and confide in the other more and more with each new stop on their journey. And I so wished for them to come together, to experience a wild new love burning between them in front of the exotic background of Central America. I suggest you read WANDERLOVE yourselves to find out what really happens;)

All the places Bria and Rowan visited felt so incredibly special and vibrant with life thanks to an excellent writing by Kirsten Hubbard.
The story is further illustrated with skilled and beautiful drawings that show moments of the trip. I was happy every time I turned the next page to find another drawing.
Where do the drawings come from? Bria of course! Drawing is one aspect of her past that you will also learn more about during her big adventure.

WANDERLOVE felt very personal and alive and I guess that comes from Kirsten Hubbard's strong connection to the story and main elements of travelling and drawing which are part of her life, too. You'll never want this journey to end!

THE VERDICT

One of the early reads in 2012 that made a strong impression on me that will last. WANDERLOVE fuelled my travel desire and definitely left me longing for the whole wide world. I cannot wait to backpack through Central America one day. Thank you Kirsten for gifting this beautiful story to us readers!

By Pragya 12 Mar 2012 5

Wow - not really about the book but about the fact that I finally finished a book. Recently I have been in a phase where I keep itching to start a lot of books but none gets finished. So this was a marvel. And it does have to say a lot about the book too.

As always I never read a book blurb. Some random quirk of mine. I want to unravel the book without knowing anything about it. And it really worked for this one. Mmm, I am still reeling with the aftertaste, salty like the ocean but sweet like a drink.

A beautifully penned down book, some lines are really well written and thought-provoking. But what I loved the most was the concept of the book. So fresh, new and interesting. It was like I was on a different kind of a journey myself. A beautiful journey you tend to get lost in.

I don't know what more to say without revealing anything about the book. I loved all the sketches in the book. Wished there were more, though. :)

The book has it all, there are funny lines to make you laugh, the serious bit too, and some deeply profound lessons stated with such simplicity that you don't feel like you are being lectured because you understand the reality and appropriateness of it all. Am I making any sense? I don't know. But the book does.

And the most wonderful part of the book, it all feels real. Nothing is bookish or made-up or fantasized, it's all, you know like, it can happen to anybody. I guess the reality also comes from the author who sketches and backpacks and knows all about places, so she has put so much of herself into the book, it's like you are there with the characters who, by the way, are very well defined and you know them, up close.

Wanderlove, do you know what it means? You will know when you read the book, the meaning is beautiful and apt. What a great word to coin.

I think you really have to read the book to know what it's about and why it is so fascinatingly beautiful.

There are some lovely lines that make me shiver from inside (in a good way), like-

"I recall the rasp of charcoal on newsprint, the chewing-gum stretch of a kneaded eraser, the precarious bite of a razor blade in a new pencil. The vibrancy of fresh watercolors squeezed from a tube. A new sketchbook, cracked open to flawless white. The way the smell of turpentine made me feel simultaneously sick and excited."

And did you know the difference between envy and jealousy? I didn't. Here it is-

"Envy is when you want what someone else has. Jealousy's when you also don't want them to have it."

Some more beauty-

"Hearing about vacations is like hearing about dreams - no one cares except the person who's experienced them. Without tastes and scents and context, they're meaningless."

"What you love the most is what you have to fi ght the hardest to keep."


You want me to make it short and sweet? Simple, go read the book!

By K 05 Oct 2011 4

I was thrilled to be offered an Advanced Reading Copy of Kristen Hubbard's Wanderlove, which will be released by Delacorte Books for Young Readers in March 2012. Given my absolute obsession with travel and young adult writing, this was quite a momentous occasion for me and it certainly did not disappoint. Indeed, I read this over the course of a day, while simultaneously reliving my own glorious travel experiences from the confines of my bed.

Wanderlove centers on Bria, who is propelled to travel after finishing her final year of high school and a messy, emotionally turbulent break-up. Having abandoned her great love of art, Bria feels unmoored and entirely lost. Despite her naysaying friends, she heads off on a Latin American adventure with a tour company and a grey-brown windbreaker in tow. Yet she finds herself watching the 'real' travellers, the free tattooed and tanned youth, with some envy as she is shipped around on her guided tour. Cue Starling and her secretive, insular brother Rowan, who 'save' her from the tour and take her off the beaten Latin American track, finally helping her rediscover her self through experience.

I absolutely devoured this book and simply could not stop reading. It is so rare, especially in Young Adult literature, to find a novel where the setting becomes so evocatively tied to the narrative. I was transported to a part of the world that is quite removed from my Australian context and spent the remainder of the day researching how I might travel there. The descriptions of the travellers and the detailed process of travelling captured me completely, and I truly identified with the thoughtful Bria who experiences the youthful crisis of indecision. Rowan was a sweet, charming character and was not too sappy or unrealistic for a young man with a troubled past. Equally, the inclusion of humor lightened the tone of the book, to make this work a refreshing piece with a wonderful ending. Oh to be so young and have the whole world at my feet again!

This work isn't entirely perfect - I found Rowan's secret dragged a little and the inclusion of art jolted me out of the narrative, although it definitely added to the experience of reading. However, Wanderlove is really a unique premise and is so valuable in that it is likely to inspire many young adult readers to go out and experience their world. I now look forward to reading Hubbard's earlier work, Like Mandarin, which I have already ordered.