Thursday, May 24, 2012

Review of Wanderlove

Goodreads Summary: "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.

Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard is one of those books that I just want to clutch to my chest while I whirl around in circles singing, "These are a few of my faaaaaaaaaaaaavorite things!"

A few of these favorite things:

There were book references! I'm totally book-obsessed, in case you haven't already guessed, and the fact that there were so many random allusions to other books (and not just the classics that I'm used to books alluding to, I am a Literature major after all) just made this such an enjoyable experience. I mean, amazing books on their own invoke amazing reactions in their readers and when they link up with others...its as if they are feeding off those emotions, the author is telling you that this is it...this is what he/she is trying to convey. Its magical.

The sketches that were scattered throughout the various chapters. They were whimsical, simple and fitting not just plugged in to make the book seem 'arty'. They added to the allusion that you were reading Bria's sketchbook/diary. You felt as if you were in on those precious, private pages of hers getting a glimpse of something real.

There was a bad boy...the yummy kind complete with ponytail and tragic-esque past. And his name was Rowan...which in my opinion just adds to the bad boy me, he's reason enough to pick up this book.

Kirsten Hubbard, while painting a beautiful picture of the places where they travelled, didn't make it out to be a perfect world. She could have painted that picture, only half of the picture really, and cut the bad things out but she left them in...and not just for a little dash of flavor. The fact that their travels weren't perfect, that things didn't always go off without a hitch, that the bad was mixed with the good really made this book stand out for me. It was real.

I remember being a little girl in elementary school, as soon as I knew how to write, clutching a tattered spiral bound notebook to me and spending my recess writing. I wrote all the time. In class, out of class, while I was waiting to be picked up, lunch, snack-time, you name it and I spent the time writing. I wrote poetry, short stories, novels, sketches, memories, sometimes even little diary. I was never without a notebook. And then I hit college and the big roadblock hit. Until that moment, until that boy, I wrote. It was me. It was my release. It was my life. Because of this I felt a strong connection with Bria, even without this I could slip into her shoes, that shy girl who always did her own thing...quiet, off on her own. The good girl struggling to go "bad".

I always love books that I can relate to and I really felt that I could slip into Bria's shoes, not only slip into them but even walk in them for a distance, and best of all feel better for the journey.

Thank you, Angela (of Reading Angel) for making me abandon ship on homework, housework, and all of those other in progress books to devour this in a single sitting. I will never doubt you and your exclamation marks. For those of you that don't already know, the exclamation marks never lie.

Rating: 5/5

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