The Compulsive Reader: Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard

Friday, March 30, 2012

Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard

Bria has spent senior year looking forward to traveling with her boyfriend before they head off to art school...until he breaks up with her. Bria is determined to travel, so she signs up for the Global Vagabond tour throughout Central America. But she is massively disappointed to find herself stuck in a touristy group that doesn't have any interest in experiencing real culture. Plan B? Taking a leap of faith by ditching the tour group, trading her suitcase for a backpack, and joining veteran backpackers Starling and Rowan for a trip that will change her life.

Kirsten Hubbard's second novel is a luminous story that will make you want to stuff the essentials in a bag and head out into the world. Bria is such an engaging and complex narrator. She doesn't have a lot of self confidence at the beginning of the novel, and she's deeply hurt by the abusive relationship with her ex. But she has more backbone than you'd expect—she stands up to Rowan when they first meet, and she takes back control of her life when she decides to take off with Rowan and Starling. But that doesn't mean she's over all of her problems. When Bria and Rowan are forced to travel alone, figuring out through trial and error how to get along, they slowly become friends and open up to each other. The chemistry between them is fantastic and believable, and the only things that top it are Hubbard's vivid descriptions of Central America's wildlife and culture. She captures the wonder, apprehension, and exhilaration of travel so well. The expected drama and impact of other secrets Bria and Rowan keep from each other have their negative and positive consequences, resulting in Bria reclaiming her confidence and independence and a lovely finishing scene. Wanderlove is the rare sort of book that will charm you completely—do not miss it.

Cover Comments: I love the design of this book. While the cover doesn't blow me away, I do like the composition and the purple. The best part is that there are pencil drawings done by Hubbard throughout the book--so cool!

Review copy provided by publisher.


Unknown said...

This book makes me want to travel to exotic places! I'm glad you enjoyed it as much as I did. Great review!

Kristilyn (Reading in Winter) said...

I loved this book, too ... and the drawings! It was quite a nice read. :) Makes me want to travel.

Mary Preston said...

I love the idea of the pencil drawings!!

Jessy said...

I'll probably want to pack up and go somewhere after reading this book. Sounds like a book I'll really like.