Tina's Reviews > Wanderlove

Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard
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's review
Aug 03, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: arc, ebooks, netgalley, 2012, ya, contemporary, best-2012
Recommended to Tina by: Nomes

Original post at One More Page

I love traveling. Granted, I'm not the most traveled person around, but I love being able to go to places. I love seeing new things, I love being (almost) anonymous in a sea of people who may or may not understand me. I love figuring out how a train system goes and how I can go from one place to another. The itch to travel hasn't been that big in me until I got to go to Europe last year, and ever since then, I've been thinking of other places in the world that I must see in this lifetime. There's something about being able to achieve a traveling dream that makes you want to travel again, especially while I still can. I've got a bucket list of places that I want to go to and while a part of me wonders how will I be ever able to afford all those trips, it does not stop me from dreaming.

I guess that's why Wanderlove was such a hit with me. Bria Sandoval wanted to be a global vagabond, especially after her senior year in high school spun out of control and left her lost. She signs up for the Global Vagabonds tour to Central America, thinking that she would be with people her age. But the brochure she read was wrong and she ended up being with a group of tourists that followed a too-rigid schedule for her to actually find time to rediscover herself. Then she runs into a group of backpackers -- real backpackers who go from one place to another with just the clothes and the bags on their backs -- led by dive instructor with a bad boy aura Rowan, and his humanitarian sister Starling. Bria takes the chance and joins them. It's the trip of a lifetime for Bria, and she hopes that somewhere along the way, against the backdrop of Mayan temples and Belizean islands, she finds exactly what she was looking for.

Again, I love traveling. But truth be told, traveling is kind of a cliche interest among people my age, at least from where I come from. Everyone wants to travel, because it's such a good way to spend money and to see something new. But I know that only a few of those people who has put "traveling" in their interests can actually quit their jobs, sell everything and just travel.

I know I am definitely not one of those people.

The backpackers in Wanderlove? They're the real deal.

I wasn't really expecting to love this book so much. I was just expecting to like it, but not really like it. But I was captured from page one. I loved Bria -- her doubts and uncertainties, how she pretends to be a well-seasoned traveler even if that wasn't true. I loved how different she was from the first chapter to the last, and how her fears can translate into something universal, even if I'm not an artsy person. Bria's need to escape is something everyone feels, and something that traveling can quickly fix, even if it's just for a while. I feel you, Bria. I really do.

Also: the romance. This is another one of those slow burn romances that just makes my toes curl with delight. :) While the build up to the romance didn't really span months like how it was in Flat-Out Love , it was still believable with all the time that Rowan and Bria spent together. I loved how they danced around one another, how their conversations can go from disliking each other to having a mutual understanding that led them to protect one another from people who do not understand them. There wasn't too much drama in how their relationship was built up, and I liked how it all ended, especially where it all ended. Wanderlove at its finest. :)

Finally, the setting. I think it helps that the author is also a backpacker, so the experiences and the places that the characters visited felt very real. I have to admit that Central America was never in my bucket list. After reading this book, though, I also wanted to pack my bags and go see the places they saw. Okay fine, I don't think I'll go backpack like they did anytime soon, but I so want to go where they went. Someday, someday. I'll go there. Maybe after I hit South America next year (World Youth Day 2013 is in Rio de Janiero -- wohoo!).

If you're ever one who's loved traveling, or one who's wished to travel but never got to, I recommend Wanderlove by Kristen Hubbard to you. I hope this book fills you with the same kind of love as Bria found and Rowan had, and that somehow, it also helps you find the place(s) in the world that would stick in your heart. :)

I leave you with this quote:
You got to find your own places. The places you get, girl, the ones that stick in your heart. And if you’re lucky, you find people to share them with.

Wanderlove by Kristen Hubbard will be out on March 13, 2012.
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Quotes Tina Liked

Kirsten Hubbard
“You got to find your own places. The places you get, girl, the ones that stick in your heart. And if you’re lucky, you find people to share them with.”
Kirsten Hubbard, Wanderlove

Kirsten Hubbard
“Envy is when you want what someone else has. Jealousy’s when you also don’t want them to have it.”
Kirsten Hubbard, Wanderlove

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

Kirsten Hubbard
“But all that's hugely unlikely -- with the exception of mosquito bites and sunburn. And yet even experienced travelers are still afraid.

"What everyone forgets -- even me -- is the people who actually live here. In places like Central America, I mean. Southeast Asia. India. Africa. Millions, even billions, of people, who live out their whole lives in these places -- the places so many people like us fear. Think about it: they ride chicken buses to work every day. Their clothes are always damp. Their whole lives, they never escape the dust and the heat. But they deal with all these discomforts. They have to.

"So why can't travelers? If we've got the means to get here, we owe it to the country we're visiting not to treat it like an amusement park, sanitized for our comfort. It's insulting to the people who live here. People just trying to have the best lives they can, with the hands they've been dealt.”
Kirsten Hubbard, Wanderlove

Kirsten Hubbard
“Travel is a matter of perspective.”
Kirsten Hubbard, Wanderlove

Reading Progress

August 3, 2011 – Shelved
August 3, 2011 – Shelved as: arc
August 3, 2011 – Shelved as: ebooks
August 3, 2011 – Shelved as: netgalley
January 24, 2012 – Started Reading
January 24, 2012 –
page 18
January 24, 2012 –
page 30
8.47% "...I want nothing more in the entire universe than to dive headfirst into the kaleidoscope of colors, to let them whirl around me until I become a fractal of light. (p.20-21)"
January 26, 2012 –
page 83
23.45% "Wanderlove is about forgetting the bad things and focusing on the good. Out with the old and in with the new. (p. 73)"
January 26, 2012 –
page 141
39.83% "Voyage of the Dawn Treader reference ftw :)"
January 28, 2012 –
page 195
55.08% "This is making me want to go to Guatemala and Belize. Hmmmm."
January 30, 2012 – Shelved as: 2012
January 30, 2012 – Shelved as: ya
January 30, 2012 – Shelved as: contemporary
January 30, 2012 – Finished Reading
December 26, 2012 – Shelved as: best-2012

Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by Laura (new)

Laura Hey Tina! I don’t know why I keep avoiding this one. No idea! Wonderful review. Love the quote! You have an amazing bucket list! :D Vatican City is on mine too. Perfect pair of red shoes! So hard –right? My thing is sneakers. The perfect pair still escapes me. Thanks Tina—I might pick this one up finally! :)

message 2: by Tina (last edited Feb 09, 2012 12:56PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tina Laura wrote: "Hey Tina! I don’t know why I keep avoiding this one. No idea! Wonderful review. Love the quote! You have an amazing bucket list! :D Vatican City is on mine too. Perfect pair of red shoes! S..."

I avoided this for a while, too, and then I finally decided to start on it last week. :) So glad I did!

My two week trip to Europe last year wasn't enough! Plus I really, really want to go to Rome, and then I thought, if I'm going to Rome, why not hit Vatican City too? :) And yes, the perfect red shoes! I've seen some nice red shoes but they're either too shiny, not the right shade or the heels are too much of a killer to wear comfortably. Oh well. One day, one day! :)

For sneakers -- I love Converse Chuck Taylors :)

Thanks for the like, Laura! :)

Sarah Another awesome review from you, Tina! :) I love to travel someday as well but I'm too much of a wimp to try to do it alone. I'm useless with maps and I'm not really the most "direction-oriented" person you'll meet. Anyway this sounds pretty awesome as well, so I'll be looking for this when it comes out. :)

Maru Can't wait to read this!! The setting seems amazing, and close to my home since I'm from Argentina :)

message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

Lovely review. :) I love your bucketlist on your blog--many of the places you listed were either places I went or want to go. :)

I've been to Rome, Paris, NYC and had amazing experiences in all of those cities. I'd love to travel to Vatican city, Prague, Australia, Barcelona (and Madrid), and Brazil too. :)

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