I received this book from the publisher through NetGalley for an honest review
Random House Children's Books
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 that 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.
Genre: YA Contemporary
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Simply put, this is a must read that every reader should be scrambling to get their hands on. A truly inspiring tale that is going straight up to the top of my favorites pile!
The characters are so real! The feeling of being lost, of drifting through life without a purpose or destination makes Bria and Rowan incredibly relate-able, building a camaraderie between reader and characters. I even felt that sometimes Bria was an extension of myself, I thoroughly connected with Bria and Rowan which has forever endeared Wanderlove to me. There are realistic situations, realistic reactions and most importantly, realistic characteristics. Rowan is a slight mystery, but he's not overshadowed by it. He's still somewhat accessible which makes him more human than many male main characters.
The plot line is a sweet, slow-building anticipation. It starts out fantastic and just keeps getting better and better. I was in awe the whole time I was reading. The imagery instantly sends you to Central America, plunging you into the cultural aspects, blinding you with the colors, bringing to life an experience that is hard to have by just reading. As you read, you get immersed in the art attribute that Kirsten Hubbard provides by quoting artists, to including her own drawings as Bria's interpretation. It's another facet that let's you in deeper without shoving you there. I was wrapped in a euphoric calm the entire story, marveling in the superbly written dimensions that made me laugh, cry, sigh and every emotion in between. Wanderlove is the kind of book that at the end, an audible, satiated sigh will escape with a hint of a smile on your lips. Possibly a singular tear will travel down your cheek as you realize your time with Rowan and Bria has come to an end. Yes, it is THAT amazing!
Wanderlove transcends it's pages, it is otherworldly in it's chaotic simplicity that reels you in effortlessly. This book will experience many re-reads throughout my existence. I hope that other readers feel for Rowan and Bria as I do.
Wanderlove is available for purchase(ebook and hard cover) on March 13th from Amazon
and Barnes & Noble