Friday, March 9, 2012

BkRv :: Gotta kick up the highway dust / Feel the grass that's green

Kirsten Hubbard
@kirstenhubbard :: website

YA | Contemporary

FIRST LINE :: eARC :: As soon as I see the blond girl bouncing down the aisle, I know she’s heading for the empty seat beside me.


SUMMARY :: from the author website
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.
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!

{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 “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.

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.



  1. love this review!! <3 My EXACT feelings for this book. I freaking loved it, and I've been dying to reread it and scratch the itch of wanting to travel (except after I finished it, I really badly want to drive to central America and travel around. Sigh. WANT to travel so badly!)

    Ashelynn @ Gypsy Book Reviews.

  2. I've been hearing so many good things about Kirsten Hubbard. I need to start reading her books!


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