I've Caught the Travel Bug!

Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard

Release Date: March 2012
Publisher: Random House | Delacorte
Pages: 352 pages
Source & Format: Library; paperback

Sum It Up
Bria Sandoval wants to be a global vagabond. After a failed relationship that leaves her questioning herself, she's ready to escape. On a quest for independence and reclaiming her identity, she embarks on guided tour of Central America. You can imagine her disappointment when realizes that she'll be surrounded by middle-aged tourists in fanny packs that have no sense of real adventure. When she meets Starling and Rowan, she sense the chance to go off the beaten path. Bria's a good girl trying to be bad, and Rowan's a bad boy trying to stay on the straight and narrow. As they visit Mayan villages and Belizean islands, they discover that they're both trying to escape old versions of themselves. They both think the only way to avoid the past is to keep moving, but they'll soon learn they have to face the past if they want the best version of the future.

By Its Cover: Wish Upon a Petal
We've got Bria on the cover, and it looks to my like she's making a wish. While I like the cover, I would have loved something that spoke more to the travel aspect of this novel. It's definitely a backpacker book, and I wish the cover reflected that a little better.

Amen, Sister Friend: We Could Totally Be Friends
I'm a good girl. I follow the rules. I don't just take off on my own. And neither does Bria... usually. Until she finally decides to go out on a limb and take a chance. And I loved seeing her do it! She's struggling to find herself, and not in a cheesy way. She gave up so much of her identity and her love for art in her relationship, and now she's like a little girl lost. You can see her confusion and her desire to reclaim what she had hidden away. I'd also like to direct you to Lisa's review for an absolutely fabulous look at what was so great about Bria and her journey.

Literary Love: Face the Past to Embrace the Future
Bria and Rowan may butt heads a lot, but it's pretty obvious that they have potential. My favorite thing about them was that they develop a friendship. It's not just some magical travel potion that causes them to fall head over heels, and that made me happy. I was scared that it would be Bria just falling for Rowan for no reason, but it wasn't. They actually become friends. They talk about their issues. They avoid their pasts. They are opposites, but you can see that they are drawn to each other. Neither really knows what to do about the other, and I enjoyed reading about this type of relationship. It felt realistic and honest, and I thought that made for a really great read.

Word Nerd: Journal Entries
Wanderlove is written like a journal so you're getting to hear (or read, I guess) Bria's thoughts firsthand. You also get to enjoy seeing some sketches scattered throughout. I thought Kirsten did a great job of making Bria relatable. Her questions about her past and her struggles with her identity and how it related to guys were honest and thought-provoking. I definitely thought that the journal entries worked well for this coming-of-age novel.

Extra, Extra: Wanderlust
What am I doing? Oh, you know, just packing my backpack and putting on my shoes. I was ready for an adventure after finishing this book. I've never been to Central America, and I hope to remedy that someday. I've read that Kirsten Hubbard likes to travel, and it definitely shines through in Wanderlove. Honestly, parts of this book read like a love story to travel. And I fell for it hook, line and sinker. Bria's journey was incredible because she's experiencing new places and discovering herself at the same time. I loved that aspect of this book!

So Quotable
"What you love the most is what you have to fight the hardest to keep."

"Wanderlust is like itchy feet. It's when you can't settle down. But Wanderlove is much deeper than that... it's a compulsion. It's the difference between lust and love."

"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."

Bottom Line: A Great Escape
I really enjoyed Wanderlove, and it was a great escape read. If you like to travel, I think this is definitely a book you'll want to pick up. I have read some rave reviews of this one, and I can agree that it's a wonderful read. It wouldn't be one of my all-time favorites, but I'm glad to have read it. Bria's personal journey is authentic and relatable, and her travels had me ready to jet off on the next plane.


  1. Thanks for the shoutout!

    You nailed the literary love with this one. No instalove here, y'all. Attraction, friendship, and issue sharing ALL come first!

    1. I just love that you said y'all. My Southern heart just smiled real big :)

      And I LOVED that there was no instalove. It made this book even better!

  2. Word. I started packing my backpack too after reading Wanderlove. I just love love love Bria's inner journey. Like, I am a little bit jealous of all of her development and how much she grows and learns and changes, yet retains what makes her a good person - her art and such.

    Sigh. Plus the drawings! And Rowan! I'm like exploding with love for this one.

  3. I know! I loved that Bria grew so much as a character. I thought it was especially cool since the time right after high school and into college is often a huge time of growth. I grew up a lot going off to college and being on my own so I found Bria's journey and learning experience totally believable... she was just experiencing her development somewhere way cooler than college :)

    I loved the drawings, too! That was such a nice touch! And Rowan was totally my kind of bad boy. He was prickly and not always easy to be around, but he definitely had a heart of gold.


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