Nomes's Reviews > Wanderlove

Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Sep 21, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: 2011, mixed-feelings, art, travel-slash-road-trip, riding-the-older-ya-vibe, kindle, i-own

Gorgeously written and completely authentic (it comes as no surprise to me that Hubbard is a travel writer and backpacker herself) Wanderlove is a book that took me by surprise.

I have to confess, I got off to a rocky start with Wanderlove. From the beginning, I liked the prose (loved the cadence of certain lines). Hubbard writes fantastically, she gets right in under Bria’s skin, perhaps painfully so: Bria felt so inferior, so uncertain, at the beginning and the feeling was so perfectly conveyed that I felt awkward. It made me uneasy, watching her lie to impress, stumbling her way along. Enter Rowan, he had his instant charms, sure, but he irked me as well: that kind of suave confidence that comes from knowing you’re hot, being young and invincible and over-all knowing everything. It also did not sit well with me when Hubbard portrayed middle-aged (often overweight) tourists as inferior, ridiculous and people to be sneered down upon (from the backpackers perspective). Then again, perhaps this is how teens/young adults view regular tourists? It did not endear the backpacking culture to me.

Despite my initial reservations, there was a certain authenticity about the writing that drew me in and I decided to make it to 50% and see if it grew on me. MY GOSH ~ I am so glad I did not abandon this book. In fact, the second half so enthralled me that I ended up staying up past midnight to finish it off and I read the last page with a happy sigh ~ I really, really liked it.

Here’s what I loved (in the end):

The way Hubbard evoked all five senses, casting a kind of spell over the reader so I felt as if I were travelling (it gave me itchy feet)

The way Hubbard showed (expert) restraint in crafting the romantic subplot. It was the perfect amount of sexual tension, ambiguity and genuine connection between Bria and Rowan.

The crafting of the plot: it snuck up on me, all the little threads and foreshadowing which gave it a constant momentum. Even as I could see where many of the character arcs were headed, I was alongside them, hanging out to get there.

The illustrations. GUYS, they are gorgeous, evocative and stunning. It added so much to the experience, I looked forward to each picture. I can still conjure up the pictures even now, in my minds eye. LOVE.

Overall: okay, I know the beginning of my review sounded harsh, but don’t let it put you off reading this book. It is a stand-out of the year and I am so glad Kirsten Hubbard is writing for teens as I feel they will connect so well to her characters. I am really hanging out to see what she writes next. What a talented author, hey :)

First half of the book: it was okay (2.5 stars)
Second half of the book: oh, I loved it (4.5 stars)
Overall, well, I ended up loving it, so it gets 4 stars from me :)

thanks netgalley
18 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Wanderlove.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

September 21, 2011 – Started Reading
September 21, 2011 – Shelved
September 21, 2011 –
page 46
13.61% "I feel awkward on behalf of the MC while reading this :/"
September 22, 2011 – Shelved as: 2011
September 22, 2011 – Shelved as: mixed-feelings
September 22, 2011 – Shelved as: art
September 22, 2011 – Shelved as: riding-the-older-ya-vibe
September 22, 2011 – Shelved as: travel-slash-road-trip
September 22, 2011 – Finished Reading
December 3, 2011 – Shelved as: kindle
March 17, 2013 – Shelved as: i-own

Comments (showing 1-24 of 24) (24 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by K (new) - rated it 4 stars

K that for swap? I would also buy it from you - I have been dying to read it!

Nomes ha, well, i would swap it but i got the ebook from netgalley. it was automatic approval (when i got it) so if you sign up, you can get to download it instantly. i am only new to netgalley (this is the first book i got from it). it will expire on the publication date.


Aleeeeeza i was a little conflicted during the first half but damn that second half totes made up for it! i think part of the reason i loved this book as much as i did had to do with the suddenly fantastic, rainy weather in my city. :D

Nomes oh, i agree the second half was really awesome and unputdownable.

weirdly, i very nearly gave up around 45% (i really wasn't much into the beginning)

no idea how to make a final rating :/

Limonessa I really liked this.
No wait, I HATED it because it made me all nostalgic of my traveling days!

Aleeeeeza Lisa O. wrote: "I really liked this.
No wait, I HATED it because it made me all nostalgic of my traveling days!"

i loved it BECAUSE it made me want to go out and travel the world, ha! :D

Limonessa Aleeza wrote: "Lisa O. wrote: "I really liked this.
No wait, I HATED it because it made me all nostalgic of my traveling days!"

i loved it BECAUSE it made me want to go out and travel the world, ha! :D"

As you should Aleeza, get your backpack and go!

~Tina~ Great review! I really enjoyed this book more then I thought I would:)

Nomes Thanks Tina ~ I ended up liking it a lot more than I thought I would too :) (the beginning was a bit bumpy for me). also, I waited over 2 months to review it (why do I do that?) ~ but I still recall it all vividly :)

Jasprit Nomes you summed up my thoughts exactly with this book, I also found the beginning a struggle, but decided to plod through it and the illustrations are beautiful, they would look even better in the actual book! Great review :)

Nomes Thanks Jasprit :)

I kind of want to peek at the actual book (when it comes out). I initially rated it 3 stars, but am being generous with my 4 ~ It has still lingered a bit, even almost 3 months after reading it :)

That first bit was tough going though, hey. A couple of my friends abandoned it at the beginning (that was nearly me)

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Amazing review, Nomes. Since you and Lisa both loved this so much, I'll probably end up reading it at some point, despite my initial reluctance.

Nomes It really was good, very atmospheric and put me in the mood for travel. Did you get it from netgalley? when i got it is was a 'read now' one

also, there was some great swoony moments (didnt put that in my review) i ended up really liking rowan ;)

Reynje This is such a great review Nomes :) Glad you ended up liking it too!

I'm with you - I really like Hubbard's writing and I'm interested to see what she publishes next. Hoping its another upper YA - I think she really nailed the vibe in Wanderlove.

message 15: by Nomes (last edited Nov 11, 2011 04:17AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nomes I hope it is upper YA as well :)

I tried reading her debut Like Mandarin by Kirsten Hubbard & I couldn't get into it.

Reynje Yeah.. I haven't read that one, but the premise didn't really "grab" me either..

Aly (Fantasy4eva) I'm a little conflicted. Would I put up with a slow beginning for a great end. I don't know. But I think I'm leaning more towards a yes. Think i'd buy the book instead of the gally since it has illustrations. great review hun! :)

Nomes I think you'd still like it, Aly. And it wasn't so much that the beginning was slow, more that it just didn't feel like it was my thing (if that makes sense?).

the book would be better :) but the pictures still looked nice on my kindle :)

Cass -  Words on Paper Love the review Nomes! I'll be reading this after I get to my copy of LIKE MANDARIN. ><"

Nomes oh, cass ~ you haven'e read 'like mandarin' yet? i remember you counting down to it coming out! LOL.

i had a copy of like mandarin as well (got it from a swap). i only read a few chapters and knew it wasn't my thing. (have already swapped it on again). i really loved 'wanderlove' though :)

Cass -  Words on Paper I know! I jumped through hoops so that I could get a copy. I saw your 'review', it's a shame but I understand why that kind of thing might not appeal to you. I've re-organised my bookshelf (kind of) so now I've got a reading list (of about 25) for the summer. No matter what I end up thinking of LM, I can't wait for Wanderlove!

Good Golly Miss Holly For some reason this book has captured my attention, even though i haven't the slightest interest in the authors debut. It doesn't seem to be creating many waves amongst the blogosphere but damn, goodreads has some almighty rave reviews for this book. Can't wait for my copy to arrive :)

Nomes I didnt like the debut, either (nothing wrong with it, just nto a me book). this one was really great! hope you get to read it straight away :)

message 24: by Amber (new)

Amber Great review. I tossed the idea around about trying this one out. I think I'm gonna pass. Well said ;)

back to top