by Kirsten Hubbard


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780385739375
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 03/13/2012
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 5.84(w) x 8.54(h) x 1.18(d)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

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.

Read an Excerpt


Day 1


Travel companions

Overpriced organic fruit & nut bar from airport terminal
Ergonomic travel pillow
Phone with astronomical roaming charges
Sketchbook (knockoff Moleskine)
Assortment of pens and pencils

Left behind

Old version of myself

As soon as I see the blond girl bouncing down the aisle, I know she's heading for the empty seat beside me. It's just my luck. A woman in a floppy hat already fills the window seat. After three minutes of laboring at a sudoku puzzle, she starts to snore—even though our plane's still at the gate of LAX.

The girl tosses herself into the seat with a gusty sigh that practically rattles the double-plated windows. She's wearing a stretched-out sweater and drawstring pants, her dark blond hair in a sloppy pile on top of her head. Her fingers are covered with wooden rings.

I'm wearing quick-dry khaki capris, a crispy Windbreaker, and hiking shoes that make my feet feel like Clydesdale hooves. They're brand-new. Like my too-short haircut and my purple suitcase, along with everything in it.

I'm pretty sure the woman in the window seat is wearing a tent.

"So where you headed?" the girl asks, wedging her skinny knees against the seat in front of her. I shut my sketchbook and slip it between my legs.

"Guatemala," I reply, "same as you."

"Well, obviously. But where in Guatemala, exactly?"

"All over the place."

"Where first?"

I grasp for a name and come up with nothing. I never read the itinerary for my Global Vagabonds group tour. "I don't really travel with a set plan. It's too restricting."

She raises her eyebrows. "Is that right?"

Once I start, I can't stop. "I've found it's the best way to travel. Heading to whatever place intrigues me, you know? If I feel like sunbathing, I go to the beach. If I'm hungry for culture, I hike a Mayan ruin. I'm a photographer, really."

What I am is full of shit. My mom gave me the camera for my birthday last month, with a warning not to tell my dad. Just like the stack of art books my dad slipped me last year, when I was preparing my portfolio for the art school I'm not attending. I think their secret presents make them feel like they're each gleefully undermining the other in their endless uncivil war. At least I get consolation prizes.

"You're a photographer?" The girl's blue eyes widen. "How old are you?"


"You must be really talented."

It's the really that gets me. She doesn't believe me. And why should she? It's not like I look particularly well traveled. Or talented. Whatever that looks like. My Windbreaker makes crunching noises as I shift away. I should have brought a better jacket, something funky and artsy. But even in the days I considered myself an artist, I never had the guts to dress the part.

Plus, the Windbreaker was on my Global Vagabonds Packing List:

1) photocopy of passport

2) under-clothes money belt

3) crispy Windbreaker the color of gutter water

And like always, I followed the rules.

Just when I'm about to implode with embarrassment, the woman in the window seat taps my shoulder. "I couldn't help overhearing," she says. "I'm traveling in a big group. I could never travel like you do. I think you're so brave."

I grin. "Thanks! It's no big deal . . . I just know how to take care of myself."

I think I sound pretty convincing.

It all began with a stupid question:

Are You a Global Vagabond?

The cashier at the sporting goods shop jammed the pamphlet into my bag, like a receipt or a coupon for a discount oil change, something easily discarded. But to me, it seemed like an omen, appearing the exact moment my resolve started to crumble.

Blame my wilting willpower on my best friends, Olivia Luster and Reese Kinjo. They've never agreed on anything—except backing out on our trip.

The trip had been my idea in the first place. We'd chosen Europe, the obvious choice for eighteen-year-old travel virgins fresh out of high school. But after just a couple weeks of emailed images of the Louvre and La Rambla, links to online travel guides and airfare deals, Olivia and Reese dropped by my house. They never hang out together, so instantly, I knew something was up.

"We've decided we can't travel with you this summer," Olivia said. "The timing's just not right—we're sorry."

I sat on my bedroom floor involuntarily, like someone had snipped my marionette strings.

"Look, Bria—we're not trying to be assholes," she continued while Reese's nonconfrontational eyes scanned my ceiling. "We're only thinking of you. You're just not in the right headspace for traveling. Remember what happened on your birthday last week?"

"Yeah, I remember," I said, annoyed. "You almost fell off the balcony flashing half of Tijuana in the hot body contest—"

"I'm talking about the fifty billion kamikazes you threw back before puking in the taxi on our way home. You're lucky we didn't get into worse trouble than that. What if it happened in Czechoslovenia?"

"There's no such place as Czechoslovenia."

Reese, who hadn't gone to Mexico and probably never will, squatted beside me. "We just don't think you're in the right headspace to take a trip, Bria," she said in that amateur philosopher's voice that makes my eyes spiral. "You and Toby have been broken up for, like, six weeks, and you've barely left the house. You didn't even go to prom. You're obviously still healing—running away isn't going to expedite the process."

"You guys don't get it," I protested. "I need this . . ."

They waited, but I couldn't continue.

"We're really sorry, babe," Olivia said. "We'll have an epic summer right here in town, all right? I'll find you a new boy before college—or several. Remember, no strings!"

Reese waited for Olivia to leave, then gave me one of her feeble, girlish hugs. "Maybe we'll travel next summer. After a year of college, we'll have so much more perspective for a trip like this, anyway." A piece of her black hair fell into my open mouth.

As soon as my bedroom door shut, I noticed the plate of raspberry bars on my nightstand. A typical Reese Kinjo gesture: reconciliation by fresh-baked goods. I've known her since second grade, Olivia since eighth. They're like the opposite poles of my personality. Mild-mannered, responsible Reese is who I used to be, while in-your-face Olivia's who I want to be—with a few sharp edges dulled. We've never been a threesome. More like two twosomes, with me in common. I should have realized the three of us traveling together would have been uncomfortable, to say the least. And spending boatloads of money to serve as a pal's crying shoulder is a lot to ask. But why couldn't we have figured that out earlier?

I guess it's good they never learned my real motivation for heading abroad.

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Wanderlove 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 36 reviews.
pagese More than 1 year ago
It's funny how often a book can be on your radar before you truly pick it up and look at it. I've seen this one countless times, but I never read the description until it was included in an email offering the book for review. I thought, hey I like to travel, sounds like it might be a fun read. I'm so glad I agreed! I think I loved this book as much as I did because I really identified with the main character, Bria. No, I didn't go off on my own in Central America, but something kind of similar (and under similar circumstances). The entire book made me relive the experience and reminded greatly of a friend I haven't seen in 10 years. She reminds me a lot of Starling in this book (in fact at the current moment, my friend is in the The Democratic Republic of the Conga). I loved the way Bria behaved in this book. She may have been hurting over a guy, but took steps to get past that and move forward. Granted not everybody takes such drastic measures, but I admired the fact that she could do it. I also laughed that her tour group was so far from what she thought it was going to be. I enjoyed that she sucked it up and decided to go off the beaten path to really experience what Central America had to offer her. I found her journey to be exciting and made me miss the travel opportunities I may have missed in my youth (I don't see myself traveling like this as I grow older). I found myself attached to Rowan as well. Rowan was hiding something, and I knew it was something big that probably got him into a lot of trouble. I liked that Bria was hesitant around him, but was really trying to push him as well. I wanted to know all about him just as much as Bria did (even if she wouldn't admit it to herself). I wasn't surprised at the details of what happened, but I was more than happy to take the journey to learn them. And overall wonderful book. It was crafted beautifully and I loved the attention to detail. It made me want to go backpacking through Central America...off the beaten path of course!
epicrat More than 1 year ago
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.
TheBookLife on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Everything about this story makes me want to embrace life and have some adventure. All of the places that Bria and Rowan travel to are described with such beautiful detail that I imagined I was right there with them. The characters are nowhere near perfect and a lot of their past mistakes define who they are when we come into the story, even though they are trying their best to run away and pretend the past doesn't matter. The book takes place over just a few weeks, but the relationship that forms between Brian and Rowan doesn't seem forced or unrealistic. They start out completely unsure of eachother and it takes a lot of time and conversation for them to even start to begin to trust each other. I loved that we got to see some of the memories that shaped the Bria we meet in the beginning of the book. They are worked in so well and they give us extra insight into her. We don't get to see into Rowan's mind like that, but we learn plenty about him through his interactions with Bria.This book takes place in some beautiful settings and places of great history, but the story is truly about the characters and their journey. There is a lot of emotion wrapped up in this pages and Kirsten Hubbard wrote it beautifully. I felt for them and experienced the emotions they were going through at any given time. In the end Bria is just a girl who is trying to let go of the things holding her back and becoming the girl she always thought she would be. And Rowan is just a guy running from his past, because he's too afraid to stop long enough to deal with it. I loved these characters and I loved their stories. Definitely one to read and re-read.
myheartheartsbooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Wanderlove is one of those books that you hear about, and immediately love the idea and can¿t wait until it is published. Then you read it, and it beyond what you hope for and imagined. Bria wants a change from her old life, after a bad breakup, so she signs up for a trip with a tour group. It¿s not what she expected. How change she change, when the tour guides are afraid of drinking the local water? Bria¿s life really begins to change, and it starts with an invitation from this mysterious boy. Before Bria knows it, she¿s backpacking through Central America and seeing the world in a way she has never seen it before. Besides the writing, I think the best part of this novel is the drawings that Hubbard has included. It really helps aids readers in the watching the process of Bria¿s transformation. I simply adored this novel. There aren¿t any dull moments, and the page start turning on its own. You can see Bria¿s transformation. It¿s truly inspiring. It also presents a lesson, it doesn¿t matter what your age is, you can make a change in your life, you just have to want it, then make it happen. Bria is so insightful, and presents a different way at looking at things. You can¿t help but want to befriend the transformed Bria. Another of favorite aspect of this novel, is the tension between Bria and Rowan is palpable throughout the entire novel, and the intensity quietly but surely builds. Their relationship is so¿sexy, not just physically, but it¿s like a dance, that neither of them know that they are dancing, until the are in the middle. Their attraction is electric. Watching develop is the most fun part of the book hands down.This is a great read. Definitely check it out. The pages will fly past and before you know it you¿re done (and probably want to read it again). I can¿t wait to see what¿s next for Hubbard, if Wanderlove is any indication of her writing abilities. This book was just great from start to finish.
ashelynnhetland on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Last year, I was one of the first people to receive a Like Mandarin ARC, Kirsten¿s debut. I fell for that book hard. Maybe because it was set near my town of Wyoming or that it was strictly about friendship¿something I had been craving at that time. So when I heard that Kirsten¿s sophomore novel was about traveling, I was ecstatic. Ask any of my friends and family, and they¿ll tell you that I want to travel. That I want to visit every historical place on this world, go to Antarctica (Madeleine L¿Engle¿s Troubling A Star is one of my favorite books) to dine with penguins, to go to Central America and speak their language (My Spanish? No bueno.), to go to Europe and backpack around every country I can. According to Rowan, Starling, and Bria, I¿m inflicted with Wanderlove. And I couldn¿t be happier, even if the farthest I¿ve traveled is to Baja, California. (I will go farther, I swear, I will!) I love Kirsten Hubbard¿s writing so much that I was never scared to begin Wanderlove and find out I didn¿t like. I trusted Kirsten so much that I completely forgot that Wanderlove was in a different boat than Like Mandarin. All I could think about was: ¿Wanderlove¿s on NetGalley and it¿s read now omg omg omg. iPad, where are you?!¿ Because, y¿know, I¿m always losing the iPad. Bria Sandoval is someone I connect to¿not the rotten relationship part, but the art part. The longing to get far away. The fact that she has Hispanic heritage (high five!) That she doesn¿t know a lot of Spanish. It was so easy for me to read about her journey. And Rowan? Omg, swoon. I freaking loved him. I believe I was thinking ¿Kiss him¿ after they met. Because kissing is awesome. And he¿s cute, but a jerk; he has flaws, so he¿s not perfect. I really liked all the characters. Hubbard does an amazing job with making her characters 3D, and after finishing her books, I want to read it again because I miss the characters so bad. AND THERE ARE DRAWINGS! drawings are awesome.Wanderlove is recommended. Everybody should read this. But a warning: you might be inflicted with wanderlove afterwards¿I was! Still am. I want to go backpacking around central America.
BookSpot on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It¿s been a little while since I¿ve read a book that I¿ve loved so much I want to take it around everywhere with me, hold it in everyone¿s face and say, ¿Read this!¿ (Whether they¿re interested or not.)Wanderlove is one of those books.Bria¿s trip all began with one simple question: Are you a Global Vagabond? She¿s not but she¿d like to be.Bria Sandoval (and is that not a name you¿d love to have for prospective Global Vagabond¿ing? It¿s perfect?) signs herself up for a guided tour of Central America ¿ hoping to find some find some independence, maybe some cute boys for a no-strings hookup or two. The spur-of-the-moment decision comes after Bria¿s break-up and its effect on her art and admission to art school.Only, she¿s signed up for the wrong tour. Instead of the group full of spontaneous, young backpacker type travelers, Bria finds herself stuck with a bunch of middle-aged fanny pack wearers. Going from Point A to Point B in a van, never noticing the scenery around them, is not what Bria had in mind. So, when she meets backpacker and dive instructor, Rowan and his sister Starling she grabs the chance to leave her group behind and explore with them.While Bria¿s trying to prove to herself she doesn¿t have to follow all the rules, Rowan¿s trying to get back into following them and Starling, well, she seems to make some of her own. Together they¿ll travel across remote villages and islands, discover the beauty of the Caribbean Bria would not otherwise have seen, and come across creatures she might rather not have. All the while, Bria and Rowan will discover they have a lot more in common than they might think ¿ or want to admit.And Bria, will realize she can¿t just run away from everything forever.The fact that Kirsten Hubbard has also written some travel books and travelled so extensively may, at least partially, why Wanderlove is so absolutely brilliant. I can easily see Hubbard being like an Ernest Hemingway for young adults - or just for the present day. Her novels bring us so brilliantly to the locales they¿re set (Belize, especially, and Guatemala in the case of Wanderlove) that not only are you fully there, as a reader, with the characters but it makes you want to see them in person. If you¿ve already been to any of the places, reading Wanderlove feels like going back ¿ and makes you want to plan an actual trip back ASAP.Yet without great characters, the setting wouldn¿t have meant anything. Bria (aside from her perfect traveling name) fits the book so well. I love that she¿s not a fearless, jump-into-everything traveler who just goes for everything right off. It makes the story easier to relate to in some way. While Rowan and Starling do know how to do everything, Bria is just discovering it with readers (well most). It¿s incredibly enjoyable to come along for the ride ¿ or rides, walks, hikes, etc as the case may be here ¿ as she discovers not only how to do things in terms of traveling but also discovers so much more about herself, too. The artwork that is part of the book, Bria¿s in the novel but Kirsten Hubbard¿s in reality, is beautiful and such a great accompaniment to the story. Bria¿s art is so much a part of the story that it¿s fantastic to be able to see it as well as read about it. (And it¿s great, great art, too.)As previously stated I love, love Wanderlove and can¿t say that enough. I really hope you will buy it, get it from your library (and realize how much you love it and need to buy it), borrow it from a friend, read it!!Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for my digital galley.
booktwirps on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
How much do I love Kirsten Hubbard¿s writing? When I read Like Mandarin I knew I was going to be a long-time fan. She completely captured me with her vivid writing and realistic characters. Wanderlove was no different. As a reader, I instantly connected with Bria as she set out on a trip to Central America ¿ alone. Bria has just finished high school and recently ended a very toxic relationship. She and two of her closest friends decide to take a trip abroad as a final hurrah and as an attempt to help Bria heal, but when her friends bail on her, Bria decides she¿s going to go anyway. When Bria gets to Central America, she quickly realizes that this trip may not be as exciting as the brochure made it out to be. Everyone in her tour group is older and the tours seem to drag. Aching for a real adventure, Bria sets out on her own and meets Rowan, a former bad boy hoping to put his past behind him. I really loved the dynamic between Bria & Rowan and how well they complimented one another. I also liked the fact that though Rowan helps Bria on her journey of self-discovery, he isn¿t the main reason behind her change. Bria definitely grows throughout the book, and it was refreshing to see her do so in a realistic way. As expected, Ms. Hubbard¿s writing is flawless. She writes with so much love and compassion for her characters and settings they practically come alive right in the room as you read. Her attention to detail and her fluid, descriptive prose pull you in and don¿t let go until the last page. I could go on and on for hours about this book, but I don¿t want to spoil any of it for you. I highly recommend checking this one out, and if you¿ve not read Like Mandarin, you really should. Kirsten Hubbard is one of my favorite authors and I think she should be one of yours, too! (Review based on an Advanced Reader¿s Copy courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley)
ilikethesebooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Choosing this novel as my Standalone Spotlight for March should tell you right off the bat how much I loved this book. I tore through it in a day and a half, loving each new colorful and descriptive scene and accompanying beautiful drawings, each new revelation and all of the fluctuations in relationships. What I loved most about Wanderlove is how it made me feel. I felt utterly restless, like I would just get up and jet off to Central America in that moment (but alas, being a minor and a lack of funds stilted that plan). This is a great vacation read, because it will make the reader long to be somewhere new, to explore, and to live by the flow just to see where life takes you.Something really unique to this novel is that scattered throughout the pages are little drawings done by Kirsten Hubbard herself. Not only were they beautiful, but they really helped to set the scene. What was interesting (and happy making) was that Hubbard's drawings of her characters were almost exactly how I pictured them. She really does a great job at describing the characters she dreamed up, as well as the very real places she borrowed for her story. If you like travel, or romance, or coming of age, or adventure stories, you should really read Wanderlove. If you like none of those things, I suggest you try to broaden your horizons :)
Dukiebri on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Wanderlove, simply put, was breathtaking. This book tugged at my heart and just really resonated with me. It made me want to wander, and it made me want to love. I was captivated from the very beginning, and I have wholly fallen in love with this book.Wanderlove tells the story of an 18-year-old named Bria Sandoval, who is desperately looking to escape her life in California. She has always loved art, but after a disaster of a relationship with her jealous boyfriend comes to an end, Bria finds herself unable to do the one thing that brought her joy. In attempt to reclaim her art and find some independence, she spontaneously plans a trip to Central America with the Global Vagabonds. Unbeknownst to her, these Global Vagabonds are not the rugged, seasoned backpacking adventurers she thought they would be, but rather a group of older tourists sporting suitcases and sunscreen-white noses. When she comes across siblings Rowan and Starling, who just so happen to be backpacking veterans, she decides to live on the edge, ditch the group and her suitcase, and travel with them. Throughout their explorations and travels in the Central America, Bria learns more about herself, rediscovers her art, and finds love.Hubbard has written an astonishingly beautiful story in Wanderlove. This book is so much more than a girl who finds love abroad, or a girl who matures and achieves self-actualization through her travels. Bria¿s story made me feel so much, and there were honestly moments where I thought I was feeling too many feelings. The end of the story almost had me in tears!As the main character, Bria was amazing. I understood her need to get away from the impasse at home and reclaim her love for art. I liked how when someone told her she could not do something, she was determined to prove to them, and even to herself, that she could. She is stubborn, and even a little snarky at times, but that is just who she is. It is almost scary how well I connected to her character. Her moments of wondering what the future holds for her resembled mine from a few years back. I had similar doubts and concerns, enabling me to connect and relate with her, and I got really invested in her story. Rowan was also perfect in his own way. Looking to escape a past chocked full of wrongdoings, he lives by his self-made policy of wanderlove: live in the present, look to the future, and never look back or dwell on what has already come to pass. He is adventurous, confident, and just downright swoon-worthy. While his demeanor says he¿s uncaring, he is actually extraordinarily kind, and he is always there for those he cares for. I feel like nothing I say does him justice! I just loved, loved, loved him.The chemistry between Bria and Rowan was excellent! Their relationship starts out rather rocky, with Rowan being a rather unwilling tour guide and Bria being standoffish. It takes a while for them to start opening up to one another, and very slowly, their relationship builds into friendship and then something more. I really liked how their relationship progressed slowly, for it made their feelings for one another seem real. They both have trust issues resulting from past relationships, and it takes them some time to feel comfortable around each other. They are also a great balance for one another. Rowan helps Bria become more audacious and adventurous while Bria shows Rowan the benefits of trusting someone and never running from the past. They really complement one another, and I loved watching their relationship develop.It would be wrong of me to not talk about Hubbard¿s prose and extensive details. This book is packed full of beautiful descriptions, more than I have ever come across in any book, and it provided a nice touch to the story. An artist pays attention to the little things, such as people, clothing, and even lighting effects, and these details just helped define Bria¿s character and her love for art. The descriptions were breathtaking, and they made me feel like
jacindahinten on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
vag·a·bondVerb: Wander about as or like a vagabond.Noun: A person who wanders from place to place without a home or job.Wanderlove¿s essence revolves around this word¿vagabond. Vagabond is my new favorite word. This word keeps popping into my head. This book makes me want to jump on a plane, bus, or train and just travel the world without knowing where I want to go.Bria decides to travel Central America and visit Mayan ruins¿this brought me back to when I visited ruins on my trip to Mexico. I wanted to go back and visit again. Wanderlove gave me a bit of a traveling bug. I felt like I was sitting next to her for the entire trip. Kirsten Hubbard describes the scenery and places Bria visits beautifully! Her writing style did remind me of her debut novel Like Mandarin, but I ended up loving Wanderlove more. Of course on this trip, Bria meets a boy and that boy is Rowan¿a backpacker. They both have feelings and prior situations they need to overcome and get past. Some of my favorite parts of Wanderlove were the journal entries, traveling lists, and drawings. I forgot to mention Bria is an artist. This is something I¿m starting to crave in young adult books. Many readers are fans of music in novels, but I¿m a fan of art in any form. It is a topic I¿m more familiar with so it is easier for me to connect with the story.If you¿re a traveler or always love the idea/thought of traveling this book is for you. If you¿re an artist or love reading stories involving art this book is for you. Or if you just love a bit of romance, this story is for you. I felt so good while reading this story! I have an inkling that if you¿re in a reading slump, Wanderlove is the perfect book to pull you out of it!
stephxsu on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When Bria Sandoval sets off for Central America after her high school graduation, she only wants to escape her life: her emotionally manipulative boyfriend has just broken up with her, and she fears that she has lost her love of art forever. Along the way, she meets Rowan, an alluring, experienced backpacker with a past that he seems to want to move on from. Can these two young adults find what they need in the gorgeous landscape of Central America¿and one another?Drawing on her own experiences as a backpacker, Kirsten Hubbard pens a story that is not only rich in exotic descriptions but also in a pair of damaged yet wonderful lovers. The main issue that I had with Hubbard¿s first novel, Like Mandarin, was in my lack of connection with the underdeveloped characters. Fortunately, I didn¿t have that problem with Bria or Rowan. Oh, I¿ll be honest: they are two so very private, very introspective individuals that at the beginning I was worried it would be yet another story with pretty descriptions and bland characters. But even if I didn¿t immediately love the characters, I certainly admired them: Bria may be in a rough place in her life, but she still maintains an irrepressible spark of wit and gumption in her narration, and Rowan¿s aloofness hides a sweet and utterly real young man. Their attraction to one another (yeah, okay, we¿re not going to lie and say we didn¿t see it coming, so this is not a spoiler) develops gradually, which initially threw me off, because I¿ve become (sadly) accustomed to insta-romances in YA, but which, by the end, I wholeheartedly appreciated.WANDERLOVE¿s setting in the culturally and environmentally colorful world of Central America certainly adds uniqueness to the story, but ultimately this is a romance¿a sweet and subtle and absolutely wonderful one that I can think back on with a smile. For those who are constantly on the lookout for a good YA romance, WANDERLOVE should be on your radar.
summerskris on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Wanderlove: a title as beautiful as its story and the action for which it was named. The story follows Bria on a journey to heal from a bitter breakup, a chance encounter with a couple of backpackers, and her subsequent decisions to change herself for the better. The various locations that Bria visits on her backpacking journey seem to follow Rowan's plans; however, she learns something new about herself at each stop. Both Bria and Rowan are running from their past. While they may grow to enjoy each other's company, Bria and Rowan also share a mutual discomfort about their past and with sharing their innermost thoughts with others. At first, they talk about nothing of importance and merely accept each other as travel companions forced upon each other by Rowan's half-sister Starling. As time passes, they grow more comfortable around each other, and they develop feelings that they didn't think were possible. Some may see this as another book about summer romance, but it is more to me. Wanderlove is about finding yourself and accepting yourself no matter what anyone else says about you. It is about breaking free from the past and living for the present, with expectations and hopes for the future. Bria's problems are ones that pretty much all teens face: she is angry and resentful; she lacks confidence in herself; she wants to prove her independence. Her thoughts and feelings are entirely understandable, and it is easy to relate to Bria. Kirsten Hubbard is an amazing writer, artist, and vagabond backpacker. I enjoyed reading about Bria's traveling experiences. I am insanely jealous of her and Kirsten. In fact, I'm tempted to take off for Central America this summer and bring along my copy of Wanderlove with me as a guidebook. Too bad Bria already found Rowan, or I would be looking for him during my stay. He is sweet and gorgeous. Think maybe I'll run into them? I could use some weathered backpacking friends, especially ones like them!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have been looking for more travel-centric books that take place outside the typical Western world, and WANDERLOVE fit the bill perfectly. I'm honestly surprised that it took me so long to finally read it. One of my favorite things about the story was how much Bria's relationship woes and college worries influence the trip that she took as a way of escaping these problems. No matter how hard she tries to reinvent herself--by running away with a pair of backpackers or diving back into art--she can't quite manage to leave behind the person she was. The descriptions of Central American rain forests and beaches were beautiful, but Bria's struggle to find herself was what carried the story for me. I loved seeing her drawings crop up on the page as she found her way back to art. I swooned with her over Rowan, and the feeling she starts to develop for him. Mostly I hoped she would find her way again. Getting lost with her was a real pleasure though, one that honestly made me wish that both the book and Bria's journey were longer.
KateUnger More than 1 year ago
This book was so fun to read. The story is everyone's fantasy I think: to throw off the structure of a guided tour and to make instant friends in a strange place. The travel descriptions were perfect - enough to give you a sense of the scenery, but not too much to lose your attention. Reading parts of it brought back memories of my own trip to the remote areas of Costa Rica when I was 21. Although that trip, a medical mission trip with my college professor, was a lot less fun than Bria's trip. This book left me wanting to go to Belize ASAP. This book is the ultimate YA summer read. I read it in less than two days. The plot hooks you in right away. It's all adventure with little back story to bog it down. Hubbard does a great job of only telling what you need to know when it's relevant. And compared to the other books I'm reading right now, this was a welcomed change. The characters of Bria and Rowan have a lot going on, and their struggles with their own history and with trusting and opening up to each other gave depth to the story. There was something about the writing style or the combination of art and travel or the friendships that reminded me of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, one of my other favorite YA books. Read it. It's well worth your time even if you're not usually a fan of young adult fiction. http://momsradius.blogspot.com/2015/05/book-review-wanderlove-ya.html
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really gives you the travel bug
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of my favorite YA contemporaries (I would leave a pen name but the button is not working!) The main character Bria just graduated, but she is a long way from knowing what she wants. Her travel experience is so relatable; thinking she is adventurous on her tour, only to find she is lumped in with a group much older and less adventurous than she wishes she was. She takes a chance with some backpackers and goes the more Lonely Planet route. Though the whole time, Bria struggles with how she sees herself, how she wants to, and attempts to reconcile the two. The imagery of her travels is just beautiful, and also very real (hot busses, missed connections). The romance feels natural and not gimmicky. Really lovely book!
kristinja73 More than 1 year ago
I've read Wanderlove twice now, and each time the feeling to get up, find a back pack, and travel to Central America overwhelmed me.  Bria, a freshly graduated 18 year old, decides she wants to travel. See the world--with her boyfriend, except, well, he was now the ex-boyfriend, so scratch that, she'd go with Olivia and Reese, her two best friends. But they bailed on her too. Determined not to spend the summer crying over Toby and fussing over which of her friends she would hang out with, because they didn't exactly like each other, she became A Global Vagabond... only better. She boards the plane, headed for Central America, ready to explore the sites when a whimsy girl plops down beside her. Starling is flouncy and curious, friendly. Overly so considering Bria has not a freakin' clue what she's spewing from her mouth. What Bria doesn't realize is Starling is an experienced backpacker and Bria is only causing herself to look like a fool every single time she spoke. Only one foolish thing to bite her in the butt, right? Well, not quite, but when Bria meets up with the tour group she's traveling with, they're all middle-aged and not at all what she pictured. Every single minute of their day is planned, the Vagabonds are filled with rules of where you can go, what to eat, who to talk to, so basically it was like living at home, only worse. I enjoyed Wanderlove with all my heart. Bria's experiences, even the ones I shook my head at, feeling a secondary embarrassment for her--when Rowan invited her to dinner--were ones I wished I'd been smart enough to take on right out of high school. Travel, even by backpack. My family camped, I was no stranger to the wilderness. The time learning to take care of myself away from my family would've been some dang good therapy. Though I cannot imagine my mother's face if I told her I was going to Central America to backpack my way from one place to another. I'm actually smiling thinking about it now. Kirsten Hubbard's words carved a miraculous world and filled the pages with beautiful, but sometimes, broken characters. Starling, the optimistic friend and sister who never let anyone flail, lost and wondering for too long. Rowan, the charismatic prankster who had had his share of fun and, equally, his share of trouble, who wears his heart on his sleeve, wove his way into my heart. Making me angry one moment and causing my body to shake with laughter the next. And Bria, the brave heroine. She's never whiny, and takes to the world of backpacking with the grace of ballerina.   I'm certain some parents would not appreciate what I took from this story, but the advice I've given my oldest--and will give my youngest when she's there--is to really experience all you want in life when you are young. Travel, have fun, but most importantly, no matter how you do it... keep learning. Education, in all its forms, is invaluable.
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Evilous More than 1 year ago
Wanderlove is a story centered around 18 year old Bria Sandoval. After a breakup with her boyfriend and her passion for drawing seemingly lost Bria decides to book a trip to Central America and see the world. This impulse leads to a guided tour that isn’t at all what she expects and hardly the key to self-rediscovery. Then in town Bria meets Rowan, a real traveler, a backpacker who knows how to really travel authentically along with his sister Starling she seizes the chance to ditch the boring group and go off the beaten path. At the start of their threesome journey Starling has to leave and sticks Bria and Rowan to travel alone. It’s clear that Rowan has secrets and a past that is full of shadowy secrets. Bria must come to terms with why she really ended up there and how to find a way to move on because you can’t run from your problems forever. I must say I’ve always sorta fantasized about backpacking with a group of trusted people through countries and seeing the real stuff, not just the tourist traps. But alas I am a creature of technology and comfort and never thought I could hack it as a true backpacker. Still the idea of Wanderlove, the theory/idea discussed in the book, is captivating. This book though, it depicted what I really think it would be like to be there. The good, the bad, and the crazy. The setting changes with each passing place on the journey but each one comes alive. The waters so clear and beautiful I want to dip my toes in. The towns, streets, hostiles, all described so realistically I could see it in my mind and feel like I was there because that’s as close as I’ll get. I like daily hot showers, just saying. Then there are the drawings. Bria is an artist and even when she isn’t drawing she still thinks about it, describes it in her mind as if her hand held a pen. Each character has their own unique attributes that make them their own. Some may have things in common, some are stereotypes but that’s life. I feel that if I ever were to get over my aversion to the lack of amenities that I would want to travel with someone like Rowan and Bria. This book too me on a journey and honestly put something new on my bucket list.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The way it was written, the relatable storyline, and the diverse characters all make this a wonderful book! Very inspiring!
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DanicaPage More than 1 year ago
An irresistible, adorably written YA novel. My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: First off, I'd like to thank the publisher and Netgalley for letting me review this book. I had heard great things about this book and had been dying to read it for months so when I got the e-galley, I was absolutely ecstatic. This book seemed like it would be absolutely incredible. After forty pages, I was beginning to wonder if I would be the one who wouldn't like this novel. However, after a few more pages, that fear quickly dissipated. I absolutely adored this book. I don't really know why. I can't pin down one aspect of this novel that I especially liked...I just liked everything in the novel as a whole. Every aspect of this novel combined together and created an incredible read. I read this in one sitting and was thoroughly intrigued the entire time. This was Hubbard's sophomore novel and was the first novel I read by her. I can firmly say that this won't be my last novel by her either. I loved the way this novel was written. I loved the characters. And I loved that the novel centered around two vagabond travelers--the good girl trying to go bad and the bad boy trying to go good. That right there hooked me. In Summary: A beautifully written contemporary realistic young adult novel that I highly recommend. This novel is definitely one of my favorites of the year. Warnings/ Side-notes: Minor swearing with a few instances of some heavier swearing. Some references to drugs and sex. However, this novel is still relatively clean. It's definitely one that some people might not want to read. However, I really enjoyed it and thought it was relatively clean. The Wrap-up: I really enjoyed this novel. It lived up to the hype. This novel was one that I really loved and am glad that I got to read. Definitely recommend this one. Love, Danica Page