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.
I didn’t have any expectations going into this book but I’m happy to say it is now one of my all time favourite books. It’s a book to get lost in if you’ve ever dreamed about travelling. There were so many things I could relate to in Wanderlove and it definitely struck a personal chord with me.
Bria is one of the few female characters I found to be totally relatable. She goes on this trip in search of herself and ends up receiving so much more than she bargained for. We all want a life changing trip like that and it’s handled in a beautiful way in this book. I loved Bria, I liked the way she talked and stood up for herself against Rowan and Sterling. I liked that she had the courage to explore new places and leave her tour group for an exciting adventure. Her feelings towards art dug at me and made me realize how much I missed drawing. I loved Rowan’s craziness and confidence but I really enjoyed the different sides to him – his contemplative moments and the meaning of books to him.
I loved the development of Rowan and Bria’s relationship, it was slow and sweet. There were tender moments and at times they were slightly frustrating but they felt real. It was the subtle interactions and changes in their friendship that I loved the most.
I also loved the setting and Kirsten Hubbard’s writing only made my desire to go on my own trip even stronger. I live in the Caribbean so it was delight reading from the perspective of a traveller. The way the buildings, the people, the streets, even the buses and food were described I felt like I could relate it back to my homeland. I could visualize everything and Kirsten Hubbard’s beautiful illustrations only added more meaning to Wanderlove. The only problem I had was that I felt like it ended abruptly but that may be due to me just wanting more of the story.
Reading Wanderlove made me reflect on myself and face issues I had been avoiding for a long time, it’s a great feeling when a book brings out these personal feelings so I’m very grateful towards Kirsten Hubbard and I urge everyone to read Wanderlove.