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review: Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard!

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.
>Note: I don't think this summary does the book justice at all.

♥ Favorite Line(s):
It's so hard for me to pull lines out of Wanderlove. All of them are favorites because of context and everything that's established up to that point in the story. It's more the feel of the lines rather than the words themselves if that makes sense.

Although I really love>
"Rowan's fifth travel rule:
Prices are relative. So is poverty. So is happiness."

My thoughts:
I am head over heels, unabashedly, immeasurably, completely, utterly in love with Wanderlove. Added to the List of Books I Would Marry If It Were Legal. Definitely.

I love the happy bits and the sad bits and really love the bits that make me think. I love Bria and Rowan and Starling and hate hate hate Toby. I love the feeling I had after finishing the book. I love that I started rereading it instantly. I love that I'm actually starting to really plan the trip I've been "planning" to take next summer before college. I really love that Wanderlove made me want to travel again.

Wanderlove is one of those books that either hits you like a bike or a bulldozer. I'm still recovering. It's poetic without being over the top. It's amazingly descriptive without dragging on for days. It packs one hell of a punch regardless if you've gone through similar situations or not.

I won't lie, I haven't read Like Mandarin yet {although now I'm anxious to get my hands on a copy}. The only thing that made me want to read Wanderlove was the travel aspect. I love books about road trips and travel and things of the like. I expected adventures and hidden gems and discovering new worlds, but what I didn't expect was how much I completely adored the characters and their stories.

Bria roped me in, almost literally. I felt at any moment she would pop from the pages and head off to find Rowan and Starling roaming as well. The voice! So crazy amazing. Bria is so easy to relate to, so genuine. As are almost all characters. I mean, I've never transported drugs or been a volunteer teacher in Central America, but I felt like I might've in another life. That's how real the characters were for me.

Bria's art, all drawn by Kirsten herself {multi-talented ninja that she is!}, was one of my favorite aspects and added so much to the story. I've read too many books in which art or poetry or writing music is a love of the protagonist yet we never get to actually sample any of it. Books are more than just words for me and seeing different media included was fantastic. I find it so cool that Kirsten drew everything herself, as well! The art kept that part of Bria's storyline front and center and, I think, helped me better understand her.

The plot is completely thrilling. Even sitting in a hammock seemed like an action sequence. Bria is so very aware of everything and therefore so are we. After reading Bria's descriptions of their adventures I instantly wanted to hop a flight to Guatemala with a backpack so I could see them myself.

Overall Wanderlove is compelling and wonderful and funny and cool and I loved every bit. Just thinking about it makes me go a little bit like this>

It's like...the gazelle of YA books. If that makes sense. Which I don't think it does. But I'm having trouble describing how quietly awesome Wanderlove is. It's not a blood and body bags and leather kind of kick ass. It's like the ninja kind. The 'you don't know it's hitting you until it does' kind of awesome. Which is even better.
    Summing it up:
    Wanderlove rocks my world. If you don't read it when it comes out, *le cough* March 13th, I may not be able to be your friend anymore, lovelies.

    "I've Got Friends"-Manchester Orchestra,