Thursday, February 9, 2012

My Thoughts: Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard

Published: Delacorte Books (March 13, 2012)
Pages: 352
Format: Hardcover
Series: No
Source: NetGalley
GR 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 into 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.

My Thoughts: So sometime not long ago, I got a borderline incomprehensible text from Anna telling me about Wanderlove and its glory. Usually, when she geeks out over a book, I know I'm in for something special.

- Before hearing about Wanderlove, I thought to myself, "well this looks like a nice little book about travel."

- After Anna's text: "I think I have to read this because obviously it's going to be steamy with lots of XOXOXs and hopefully more Xs than Os and maybe a couple XXXs."

- After finishing Wanderlove: "AHHHH IT STARTS IN MY TOES, MAKES ME CRINKLE MY NOSE WITH ALL THE GOOD THINGS!" but also "I shall take this time to quietly reflect on how Kirsten Hubbard should change the title of this book to WTF Are You Doing With Your Life, You Mundane Human Being? THIS is How It Should Be Done."

I've never in my life given a crap about travel, because the uncertainty of shower availability scares me. But after reading Bria's story about her past, her attempt to run away from her past, and finding herself again in the entire process, my perspective has changed. I love how Bria's painful past was slowly revealed throughout her journey. This book is SO not just about romance. It's about giving the finger to everyone else when it comes to your happiness, because that's something we're responsible for. For real, I was GIDDY with all of the empowerment packed into these pages. It left me feeling like I could conquer the friggin' world.

So I know I said the book isn't JUST about romance, but that doesn't mean that it's not worth mentioning. Because Rowan is a delightful specimen. And he has a touch of my favorite qualities: tortured and pensive. But don't worry, there's hope for him yet. And all fans of the Slow Burn (can I get a hell yeah?), there's something that will tickle your fancy. All fans of the good boy, there's something for you, too. Guys, this love interest is multi-faceted. Just like the story.

Wanderlove has something for everyone. A sure-fire way to cure any reading slump.

(By the way, its release date is MY BIRTHDAY.)


  1. I absolutely LOVED this book. I adore Kirsten. And it releases the day AFTER my birthday :D Pisces unite!

  2. Ohmygosh, this sounds like something I'd LOVE!!:)

  3. I love travel books and I've book hearing nothing but amazing things about this one. I'll definitely have to pick up a copy when it comes out. Great review :)

  4. LOVED this book so hard. I'm thankful for Anna urging me to pick it up asap, as well :) As much as I love to travel, the thought of being in the jungle & showering with a bucket scares the crap out of me. I just don't know if I could do it!

  5. I LOVE THIS BOOK. I read it in December (thanks to NetGalley) and it is SO good. I absolutely enjoyed it!

  6. YAY, I'm gonna read this one soon and I have to admit that I'm a little excited about it. But when you mention slow-burn and crinkling of toes and stuff, perhaps I need to read it sooner? With all the X's and O's and stuff. Hmmm. I shall have to think on this as I quietly move this up on my TBR. Higher and higher. Slow buuuuurn. Yessirree.

  7. THIS IS WHY I LOVE YOU. You get me.

  8. I was already dying to read this book. I saw a lot of good reviews on Goodreads and I also realized that the book contains drawings made by the author.How cool is that! (The author posted one on Goodreads). Anyway the story sounds beautiful and with your review added to the pile of good ones I'm even more excited, if that's possible.

  9. I've read one great review after another of this book. I seriously cannot wait to get my hands on it.. It sounds like it's right up my alley.

    Love the empowerment you mention, and giving the finger to everyone else. Often I find myself trying to put other peoples happiness before mine, I used to think that was the right thing to do.. I have learned over the years that my happiness comes first, then I worry about others.

    And YES to the shower fear. I went camping once... ONCE... probably never again. Unless it's in my yard.. and I have a fear of porta potties too.. thanks to jackass. I would be more likely to pee my pants that use one of those things.

  10. First~ HELL YEAH on the slow burn! LOVE that!
    Second~ YAY! So glad that you loved this one. It made me want to travel back in time and do over my summer after High School!

  11. Happy ALMOST birthday.


    Rowan was dreamy, even with the dreads, it takes a certain character to cause that feeling (Marcus Flutie what up y'all).

    I am so so so so glad you loved Wanderlove.

    ALSO F-YES to the XXX, too bad Wanderlove didn't have more of that hahahaha.

  12. I loved this book so hard. The Bria/Rowan dynamic was drool-worthy. I loved it!

  13. For some reason it takes a little convincing to put pretty much any contemporary on my TBR, but this is definitely convincing. I really need to read this one. Maybe it'll change my mind about travel too. Being away from my comforts scares me :P