Jun 22, 2014

Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard

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.

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After finishing high school Bria wants to go on an adventurous trip. Her friends don't want to join her, so she books a tour to Guatemala on her own. When she sees the group she's supposed to travel with she knows she has signed up for the wrong thing. Her middle aged travel companions are boring and as soon as Bria meets Rowan and his sister Starling she leaves the group to go backpacking with them. Because Starling has to work Bria's left alone with Rowan for most of the trip. Are they able to connect or will their pasts keep standing in between? Traveling isn't always easy, but Bria learns quickly and she starts to like it more each day.
Bria is sad, she's been hurt by her ex boyfriend and he took away her greatest love, art. During her trip Bria slowly finds herself again. It takes time to heal and to feel good about herself. Because of the backpacking with a guy she's only just met she keeps having to face new challenges. I liked seeing that transformation and how Bria slowly conquered her fears. I loved the traveling theme, just going somewhere and see where you'll end up. The story is very good, but there's something extra special about it. The drawings in this book are amazing. I couldn't stop looking at them. I liked how the relationship between Bria and Rowan evolved. They both needed time to open up and the reader only slowly finds out what's happened to them. This made and kept me curious. Wanderlove is a wonderful coming-of-age story with an artistic touch.

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