Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Wanderlove: A Review

 Picture Source: http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41GtnctYikL.jpg*

Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard
Source: NetGalley
Publisher: Delacorte BFYR
Publishing Date: March 13, 2012

Blurb 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.

Kirsten Hubbard lends her artistry into this ultimate backpacker novel, weaving her drawings into the text. Her career as a travel writer and her experiences as a real-life vagabond backpacking Central America are deeply seeded in this inspiring story

I chose this book because I loved the cover. I had a hankering for a YA contemporary, so when I saw this title, I thought, "This is what I was asking for."

My version of the blurb: When Bria, the artist, decides she wants to break out from the norm and travel abroad, she wasn't expecting a middle-aged tour group to be her companions. But after meeting a care-free, ponytailed, free-spirit, travel-bitten backpacker Rowan, and his sister Starling, Bria will find her own adventure and a way to find herself away from her fighting parents, best friends, and heart-breaking ex-boyfriend.

Genre: YA contemporary/romance. I wouldn't say contemporary romance because the story is a lot about traveling (the love of) and Bria finding herself. So even though romance is important in the book, there's a balance between the story and the romance.

The Cover: I like it. It caught my attention. It's simple, but effective. I think it's spot on to what the book is about, and Bria's description matches the cover perfectly to me.

The Plot: This book is travel heavy. If you're into travel at all, this is the book for you. I felt like I was in the islands with Bria, that Rowan was guiding me as much as he's guiding her. It's very setting heavy, because the fun of the book is that you're traveling without the plane fees. If you haven't been bitten by the travel bug, it might not be as interesting to you, but if you've even wanted to just pretend like you could up and go off to wherever, this book will be fascinating. Bria is a novice traveler on an exploration, and you can be too as you travel along with her and Rowan.

The Romantic Element: This book is definitely a slow burn in the romance department. Bria and Rowan travel, and you get little bits of them. You want to read the book to see if anything will happen between them, and it keeps you guessing if it really will.

Carry-on Factor: The descriptions of the setting made the book. Hubbard seemed well-versed in the places described, and after finding out that she really does know about back-packing, the book seems pretty authentic in that respect. I know I've gained knowledge about places, and in some instances, I feel like I could have been there.

Overall: This is a travel YA. If you've been looking for a no magic, backpacking adventure, then this is your book. From the opening, you're with Bria as she goes off the grid, finds friends, and tries to find herself. If that sounds like something you'd dig, then this book wouldn't disappoint.

Now for a song to write by, which is eerily perfect for this book, "Kihei Town" by The Throwdowns. I found this song randomly a while ago. I love the laid back vibe. Perfect for Wanderlove!

*I do not own this picture, book, or the book blurb taken from Goodreads. The use of these things are for review purposes only. 

Disclaimer: I did not receive anything in exchange for this review (or any review), although there are several Amazon affiliate links on this blog post.

Reminder: Don't miss out on a chance to win a copy of my book Glittering Ashes! Stop by my interview at The Character Depot and comment--that's all you have to do to enter. Drawing is Friday! Thank you much :)


  1. Sounds like an interesting book! And the title fits perfect with the novel's summary.

  2. Laura Marcella: It was interesting, and I agree, the title is spot on :)

  3. Hi, fellow campaigner! Looking forward to reading more of your reviews and finding out about your writing.

    xx Rachel

  4. Interesting how you were attracted to this book by the cover and yet Kindle books don't seem to attach much importance to covers.

    I'm a Campaigner and I'm new to this. Thanks for visiting and following.


  5. Hey Kelly! I was glad to see you where a campaigner too :) I don't know that I'd like this book, but I love the song you posted, as always ;)

  6. What a great way to simplify whether you would want to read this or not. I like how you point out, "This is a travel YA...if you want something that doesn't have magic and you travel a lot, you will like this."

  7. Hi Kelley. I'm a fellow campaigner. This sounds like my kind of book!

  8. This sounds like a future addition for my to-be-read stack since I love the romantic-adventure stories. Ever since I read Maureen Johnson's 13 Little Blue Envelopes, this category has me hooked. Looking forward to getting a copy. Thanks for the review!

  9. This book sounds like something I would buy. I'll look for it at my local indie. It has travel. I love that. Super review! Nice to know you fellow campaigner. (We're vagabonds right now. Traveling from blog to blog.) *wink*

  10. Nice to meet you fellow campaigner!

  11. I liked her first book LIKE MANDARIN, so I look forward to this one as well.

    Nice to connect with you today, Kelley!

  12. I like the premise of this book. I'll have to look for it. I want a copy of your book! I'm headed to the character depot!

    Thanks for following me. I gave you a shout-out on my blog! :)

  13. Hey, I'm in your YA paranormal romance group!

  14. I was worried after the hype died down for Like Mandarin that Kirsten Hubbard wouldn't get another book released. So happy to hear that I was wrong. Hubbard always chooses interesting premises for her books. Travel YA sounds perfect for readers burnt out on the magic releases over the summer.

  15. I really like travel books; this sounds like an interesting story!

    Thank you for the review!

  16. Hi, Kelley,

    I appreciate how you break up your book reviews into subheadings; it makes the reading experience an even more enjoyable one.

    Speaking of reviews, I loved the one Joy Campbell had on her blog for your book Glittering Ashes. Just the title and book cover alone are outstanding, and that's before we get to Page 1 and start reading!

    I'm delighted to be a new follower and appreciate as well your comment on Marlena Cassidy's post about The Underground Gift.

  17. Hi Kelley!
    Thanks for stopping by my blog! It's great to meet a fellow campaigner!

    Great review of Wanderlove! The cover appeals to me too - crisp and fresh!
    I love that you include a song to write by! Very cool.

  18. I like the setting of the book.

  19. Thanks for the review. This might not be my kind of story. But maybe I'll check it out.

  20. Thanks for the review. It sounds interesting, but like Theresa said, might not be my kind of story.

  21. I love your reviews... they're so infomative!

  22. Glittering Ashes is a beautiful title. Nice to meet you Kelley!

  23. Hi Kelley! I am a fellow campaigner!

  24. The cover is really pretty, and it caught my eye too. This sounds like a YA that could stand out from the herd, with its travel plot and setting-heavy prose. I think itd (quotation key is busted) a fun read when youre stuck on the subway or something and you want to get away from it all.

    Great review!

  25. Hey Kelly - I'm a fellow campaigner just stopping by to say hello. Great review and loved the video/song - I'll have to go look it up on itunes. I'm a new follower :)

  26. Hi there fellow campaigner. Just popped by to say hi and follow. Great review.


  27. I thought it might have a bit more romance than you read. Bummer. I will still read it though! :)

  28. Hi Kelley,

    I'm a new follower and campaigner stopping around to say hi!

  29. I've been hearing that YA contemporary is making a come back. I haven't been able to get into it lately, not sure what's going on with me. However, this novel sounds like it has a lot to offer--especially for the travel enthusiast.

    I'm glad to see you're doing the campaign, too! Yay!!

  30. Hi,
    Oh, thanks! ( :
    Sorry, I couldn't possibly give away my bloggers secrets! ( : That's a trick of the trade... Sorry! ( :

  31. Sounds interesting. I'm going to go check out your guest post, as well!

  32. Hi, I'm a fellow campaigner. Please, what is a mogul in training?

  33. Awesome review! Really thoughtful and comprehensive :) I bet the author is totally stoked!

  34. Hi from a fellow PB-MG campaigner!

  35. Hey, fellow Campaigner here. That book sounds right up my alley! Thanks for the wonderful information on it.

  36. Hi Kelley, I just read your interview on JL's site, which I found through the Campaign. Really enjoyed it and left a comment there. I'll be back for more of Writtled!

  37. Rachel Morgan: Nice to meet you, Rachel. TY for stopping by :)

    Rosalind Adams: Yeah. Covers are still an important selling point for me. Nice to meet another campaigner!

    J.A.Bennett: Glad you liked it :)

    Michael Offutt: Thanks! You're sweet to say that big :)'s

    Brooke Rosseau: Nice to meet you, Brooke!

    Dawn Malone: I hadn't read any before, but it's good for escapism

    Robyn Campbell: Glad you liked the review. I feel like a vagabond lol

    Liz: You too!

    Liz Fichera: I hadn't read Like Mandarin, but I had wanted to. You too!

    David Powers King: Aw! Thanks for the shout out and Book <3 :)

    Prerna Pickett: Hi! Nice to meet you, Prerna!

    Steph Schmidt: Very true. This book would appeal to that group

    The Golden Eagle: NP. Glad you liked it!

    Michele Fayard: You're amazing nice to say that. Thank you!

    Briana: Thanks, ad it's a really great cover

    DEZMOND: Yeah, setting is HUGE in this one

    Peggy Eddleman: I know, right?

    Theresa Milstein: NP. That's what reviews are for :)

    Alicia Gregoine: That's why I love reviews. Saves times in decision making :)

    Jeff King: I <3 your comments :)

    Adina West: Aw, thank you! You too, Adina!

    April Wilson: Nice to meet you, April!

    Marlena Cassidy: TY! Yeah, it's a good book to "unplug" by

    Lady Gwen: TY! Glad to have you and glad you liked it!

    L'Aussie: Hi, Denise! Thanks!

    Alleged Author: Oh, it has enough. Don't get me wrong, but she made about other stuff too.

    inluvwithwords: Hi! Nice to meet you!

    lindy: It's good break up all the paranormal reads--keeps everything fresh. Woohoo :)

    Romi: Ah, worth a shot :)

    Shannon Lawrence: It was, thanks!

    Cat: Mogul means successful entrepreneur/business person. Like a business person that becomes a successful bran--it's a dream :)

    Jolene: Thanks! I hope so!

    Beth Kamp: Hi back, Beth!

    K.M. Walton: NP. Nice to meet you!

    Katie Gates: Glad to have you, Katie! Thanks :)

  38. Oh, I see. I thought you were referring to a Mogul (Muslim dynasty of Turkish-Mongolian ancestry in India)