Author: Kirsten Hubbard
Release Date: March 2012
Published By: Delacorte
Goodreads Rating: 4.36 stars
Review: 18-year-old Bria signs up for a guided tour in Central America in hopes of discovering herself, but she finds herself stuck with middle-aged people in fannypacks. Soon, though, she meets intoxicating backpacker Rowan, and joins him off the beaten path. As they travel through Mayan villages and remote islands, she realizes that both of them are seeking to escape a past, but the more she tries to look forward, the more she knows that sometimes you have to look back.
Whether you love travel or prefer to stay at home, WANDERLOVE is a lush and gorgeous novel that anyone can enjoy. Although backpacking elements are of course explored and discussed at great length, the story goes beyond that and has a certain resonation that lends a universal quality to it. Emotion is infused with the characters and plot so that every feeling is projected straight from Bria to the reader as she struggles to find herself and perhaps something more.
An intriguing aspect of this novel were the pictures, drawn by the author, that were sprinkled throughout the book. They were lovely and perfectly fit the story, complementing the beautiful prose and adding a hidden dimension to it. These, combined with the larger-than-life characters and the complex intertwining of subplots, lead to a story that is at once wild, carefree, and laden with reality.
While WANDERLOVE lacked the gripping quality of Kirsten Hubbard's debut novel, Like Mandarin, it told a story that was brimming with exotic locales, an enviable romance, and self-discovery, all with an air of authenticity stemming from the author's personal experience. This is adventure, love, and perspective, wrapped up in a small but rewarding package, and not one to be skipped over.
I received a free copy of this book for review. This is no way affected my review.