Sophie's Reviews > Wanderlove

Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard
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Jun 22, 12

bookshelves: badass-main-character, be-still-my-ya-loving-heart, memorable, swoon-worthy-guy, writing-gorgeous, contemporary-ya, defied-expectations
Recommended for: People sick of insta-love and who want a real journey
Read from May 22 to 24, 2012

Edit: I've finally put an order on this book in Amazon! I get to hold it and flip through its tattered pages and smell its book smell soon!

This review also appears on my blog.

There needs to be a destination, even if it's way off in the haze of my unlived life. And in that life, I'd like to be an artist.

I have a headache from reading this book. I think this is one of the few times where I'm pleased, despite the pounding in my head.

I honestly didn't expect the impact this story would leave on me. Maybe a few iguanas, some rain forest talk, barracudas...But Hubbard managed to make this into something profound. She brought the eternal problem of discovering yourself to South America, and in the process, she made something beautiful.

To begin with, the main character, Bria, has incredible character development. Over the course of her stay in various places of the wilderness, she develops her own independence and confidence in fighting for what she loves. Of course, she is pretty pitiful in the beginning, but I found it adorable instead of irritating. She has a voice that's completely sincere. As a teenager, I can completely sympathize with the way she feels: torn between places. Her connection to her art reminded me of how much I love my own writing and the possessiveness that comes with our own personal creations. Also, I loved the little pieces that Hubbard would slip in that made Bria so much more believable. For example, there's this one part when she's trying to put on her summer dress in front of Rowan and two other girls and gets stuck before she can get it all the way on. It's stuff like that that makes me believe that the author really has gotten into the mindset of the characters she's writing and knows that it's not just pretty words that makes a story: it's voice. And I'm happy to say that Bria's is an especially enjoyable one to read.

Onto Rowan. Damn, does he sound like a delicious piece of man meat. Despite his ponytail. Ha. I loved that he had his own problems, and that his bad boy past hadn't turned him into some dark poetry-reciting maniac (It has happened in other books. I would know.). Throughout the story, he comes off as someone truly likable and sweet, with a big heart and secrets of his own that he won't share unless the right person comes along. I loved tracking how he changes and opens himself to Bria throughout the novel, and I'm thankful that Hubbard never made their love story easy. Caution: whenever Rowan and Bria seem to be getting along better, don't get your hopes up. Something, be it Scandinavian giants or seasickness, will probably mess it up. Those who've read this book know what I'm talking about. But it all comes down to the issue of trusting someone else, not just with your safety, but with who you really are. That's why those who are sick of insta-love and unrealistic characters should read this book. There are real discoveries of what it means to exist in this world, and what it takes to step out of the comfort zone and pursue dreams that are actually worthwhile.

Not only do we have a hilarious, lovable, and begrudging travel couple, we have the beautiful backdrop of South America and the Caribbean. After all this, I have a hankering to visit there. Although I would never backpack. It sounds brutal, and I like comfortable hotels. Yup. Anyway, the way Hubbard describes the seas and brilliant sunsets are so vivid, it makes me yearn to be able to experience it once in my life, too. The drawings that were included were a lovely addition, especially the last couple ones, which let me visualize what kinds of people Starling, Rowan, and Bria are. I'm actually considering buying this book, which is big, since I'm pretty stingy in buying books because I think I won't ever read them again.

In truth, I don't think any review I write can do this book justice. You'd have to read it to know why I love it so much. Just like Bria observes that people can't understand the beauty of travel unless they've done it themselves.

READ THIS BOOK. If you don't like it (which is doubtful), at the very least you won't have felt like you lost brain cells in the end.
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Quotes Sophie Liked

Kirsten Hubbard
“What you love the most is what you have to fight the hardest to keep.”
Kirsten Hubbard, Wanderlove


Reading Progress

05/24/2012 page 191
54.0% "I totally was going to finish all the other books I'm currently reading, but I didn't expect this to be so good..."
05/24/2012 page 327
93.0% "Everyone appears rushed. Power-walking between Kodak moments. Spending more time composing pictures than beholding the real-life panoramas in front of them. Finally, someone who gets why I don't like my dad trying to snap various angles whenever we go on vacation."
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Ariana (new) - added it

Ariana Wow, what a wonderful review. You really make me want to read this as soon as possible!


Sophie I did think this book was absolutely amazing. And even if you don't, I'm sure you at least won't want to throw it against a wall!


message 3: by Ariana (new) - added it

Ariana Many people loved it, and I am sure that I will at least enjoy it if not love it too :)


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