Monday, February 20, 2012

Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard

Kirsten Hubbard
Release: March 13th, 2012
Pages: 335 (hardcover)
Publisher: Delacorte Books
Source: Netgalley
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 more at Goodreads.  
Sometimes you have to lose yourself in order to discover who you are and exactly what you're capable of. For Bria Sandoval, she hopes to find the newer, better version of herself in Central America. Only, her original plans go astray when she decides to follow Starling and Rowan through the more interesting (and so not in a tour brochure) parts of Central America. Along the way, Bria finds that there's more to discover than she originally realized....

I liked Kirsten Hubbard's debut, Like Mandarin, and I expected something similar for her sophomore novel...and it blew me away. Like petals from a dandelion floating in the wind, I was simply along for the ride when reading this lively story. Wanderlove is the story Hubbard was meant to write, and it's easy to see that she put heart and soul into this story. The narrator, Bria, is likable from the start, and her growth throughout her journeys only adds to that. The locations are wonderfully depicted, and my imagination ran wild with them. Simply put, Wanderlove has easily become one of my favorite novels. 

Highlights: The artwork gives Bria and Wanderlove more depth and uniqueness1. Every aspect rings true - every single character, each exotic location, and even the story itself. Rowan and Starling revealed themselves to be more layered than I originally gave them credit for. An inspiring story, lovely writing, endearing characters - everything is a highlight in Wanderlove.

Lowlights: Predictable moments? Nearly every contemporary novel has predictable moments, so I can't fault this story for that.   


1 I wish there had been more drawings, because I loved them so much. Why can't all novels have drawings?


Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes and Nobles / The Book Depository


  1. This one sounds so good and books with drawings are awesome so that's definitely another plus. I'll be sure to pick up a copy when it comes out. Great review!

  2. I'm adding this to my TBR pile right now. It sounds amazing! I loved Like Mandarin. Her writing is just so compelling!

  3. Awwww, this books sounds CUTE CUTE CUTE!! <3 I remember seeing a little bit about it before but never enough to get me intrigued, so your review just made me fall in love! It sounds so beautiful! :) A likable protagonist and endearing characters are two things that I always look for in an amazing book!

    Awesome review, Lea! I'm really glad you liked this one -- I'm excited to read it now! :)

  4. I really enjoyed Like Mandarin, so this one was already on my wishlist - but your review makes me want it even more!

    Great review, Lea! :)

  5. These seem like cute and fun read. I'll have to check it out. Nice review.

  6. sounds cutesy/ me likey
    rad review girl

  7. Wow Lea, beautiful reviews! Loved the petals-in-the-wind analogy:) I've read nothing but glowing reviews for this book, and while it didn't hold much appeal for me previously, it certainly does now. I want to experience this one for myself!

  8. It's so interesting to hear different perspectives. I've only read one other Wanderlove review and it was pretty negative. Thanks for making me take a second look!

  9. Wanderlove blew me away, too! I wasn't expecting it to be quite as emotional as it was. Bria's backstory was heartbreaking! I loved the illustrations, too. Great review, Lea! :)
    - Lauren

  10. I love how Hubbard's extensive travel experience (and love of travel) really shines through in this story. I read the ARC ebook version and, even though the illustrations were in place, know I missed out on that aspect. Definitely going to read this again, this time in the final version. LOVELOVELOVEd this story. Great review.

  11. Wow I didn't know WanderLove had drawing in t. You can see them in Netgalley? Really cool, must read this one next!

  12. Wonderful review! I can't wait until my copy comes in the mail so I can re-read it! :)

  13. OMG I want to read this soooo bad. :) Great review!!!


  14. I've always been interested in the sort of "finding yourself" story, so this book sounds like something I'd really enjoy. Furthermore, I remember hearing a lot of good things about Like Mandarin awhile back. So glad you enjoyed this one! :)