From Goodreads: 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.
I’m a sucker for beautifully written contemporary YA, especially when the story is set somewhere warm and beachy, and ESPECIALLY when there’s a slow-burn (read: realistic) romance involved. In these ways, Wanderlove is a triple threat. Kirsten Hubbard’s sophomore novel is simply lovely. Fully realized, perfectly imperfect characters. A setting that will give you a severe case of wanderlust. A hot, angsty, incredibly literate boy with a dragon tattoo(!). Wanderlove immersed me in its story, in its world. It made me feel like I was on vacation, and because of that, it was utterly unputdownable.
Bria is an every-girl protagonist in the very best way. She reminds me of ME when I graduated from high school, and that put me immediately on her side. Bria spends much of Wanderlove second-guessing decisions, suffering from crippling self-awareness, and yearning to be something more, something different. With help from Rowan, Bria gradually becomes more comfortable in her skin (and in her past mistakes), and she grows into a remarkable person, one I want to know. Kirsten Hubbard illustrates (literally) Bria’s transformation by sprinkling gorgeous drawings throughout the text. They’re an added bonus to an already beautiful book that I highly anticipated as I read.
In case you missed it, I discussed Wanderlove‘s glorious setting for March’s YA Book Club post… You should totally check it out! And, when you’re done with that, please please PLEASE pick up a copy of Wanderlove. I suspect you’ll adore it as much as I do!
Check out what my fellow Bookanistas are up to today:
Elana Johnson more than “likes” BEING FRIENDS WITH BOYS
Nikki Katz is crazy about CREWEL
Stasia Ward Kehoe adores BREAKING BEAUTIFUL
Tracy Banghart takes a shine to A MILLION SUNS
Jessica Love is wowed by WELCOME CALLER, THIS IS CHLOE
Debra Driza marvels at MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH – with giveaway
Tell me: What’s your favorite travel-inspired novel?