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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Will stir up your own love for travel, 8 April 2012
By 
TG "What I Read and What I Thought" (London, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Wanderlove (Hardcover)
Wanderlove works whatever your age or experience: For all the teens who haven't travelled yet, Wanderlove probably has them saving up for plane tickets and for adults like me, who backpacked a long time ago, it brings all those memories back and makes you appreciate how great it was. Kirsten Hubbard is also a travel writer and it's obvious that she knows her stuff - lots of little details about the hostels, the bus rides, the people, are exactly right and make Wanderlove feel so real - and Central America sound so amazing. I want to go to the Lobsterfest in Belize so badly now. I wonder how many readers Wanderlove will send there.

Of course, a beautiful setting is not enough for a novel if it doesn't have a good story and good characters to put there. Wanderlove, however, delivers both. The journey the reader takes with Bria and Rowan parallels the one the characters have with each other and is typical of people who travel together: Starting out as mostly strangers, but the fact that they're sharing so many cool experiences brings them closer and soon there's a special bond between them. Both Bria and Rowan are trying to come to terms with difficult pasts and they are so great together by the end of the book; they mature together and have this trust and understanding between them that's enviable. I really enjoyed spending time with them and this book overall.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting and really fun!, 17 Mar 2012
This review is from: Wanderlove (Hardcover)
Exciting and fun. A wonderful adventure that you will love.

Synopsis: 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.

Wanderlove is a beautiful story, told from the point of view of a young girl, Bria. She longs for a journey, to set her art free. The art that has been trapped inside of her for so long. The art that a boy ruined, but another can fix.

Bria travels to central America, in hope that she'll have a good summer before starting college. But she is irresistibly drawn to a drop-dead gorgeous backpacker named Rowan. Bria foolishly agrees to meet up with him and ditches her tour group, but when she turns up at the place they agreed on...He isn't there (UH OH!). Starling, Rowan's beautiful half-sister, befriends Bria and informs her with the news that there are no more boats to reach her tour group. Bria feels lost and alone, stupid and idiotic. She regrets her decisions. She regrets coming on this trip. But Starling's invitation for Bria to join her and her brother on their backpack adventure is too hard to resist.

This book will make you doubt your trust, it will make you think of about the world you don't know; the world you've never seen. It will make you beleive that there is always a good side to people, it depends on how deep you look. Kirsten Hubbard has done a brilliant job at delivering you a story that won't leave you for a long time.

Reading this book.....You will find the cure to Wanderlove.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Inspiring, 20 July 2014
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This review is from: Wanderlove (Paperback)
I was sceptical when I received the book and found what looked like a flimsy cheap novel. However as I began to read it, I soon found that I couldn't put it down! I read the whole book in about five hours all at once. If you are interested in travelling or inspired but Wanderlust (or Wanderlove, as you will find the book explores beautifully), then this book will only serve to fuel that need. I highly recommend it to both older teenagers and adults.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A delightful, artistic read!, 25 Jun 2014
This review is from: Wanderlove (Paperback)
After finishing high school Bria wants to go on an adventurous trip. Her friends don't want to join her, so she books a tour to Guatemala on her own. When she sees the group she's supposed to travel with she knows she has signed up for the wrong thing. Her middle aged travel companions are boring and as soon as Bria meets Rowan and his sister Starling she leaves the group to go backpacking with them. Because Starling has to work Bria's left alone with Rowan for most of the trip. Are they able to connect or will their pasts keep standing in between? Traveling isn't always easy, but Bria learns quickly and she starts to like it more each day.

Bria is sad, she's been hurt by her ex boyfriend and he took away her greatest love, art. During her trip Bria slowly finds herself again. It takes time to heal and to feel good about herself. Because of the backpacking with a guy she's only just met she keeps having to face new challenges. I liked seeing that transformation and how Bria slowly conquered her fears. I loved the traveling theme, just going somewhere and see where you'll end up. The story is very good, but there's something extra special about it. The drawings in this book are amazing. I couldn't stop looking at them. I liked how the relationship between Bria and Rowan evolved. They both needed time to open up and the reader only slowly finds out what's happened to them. This made and kept me curious. Wanderlove is a wonderful coming-of-age story with an artistic touch.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Sweet and fun, 28 July 2013
By 
Kat (Netherlands) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wanderlove (Paperback)
I've always wanted to go backpacking, but I totally lack the guts and ability to sleep in shady dorm rooms. And travel with a backpack. And not plan everything to a minute, obsessive detail. And I'm a hotel snob. Even glamping is out of my comfort zone.

So you'd think that a book about backpacking probably wouldn't do it for me, but that's not true. It taps into everything that I wish I could be, but I'm pretty much aware that I never will be - reading is the ultimate in vicarious living, and Kirsten Hubbard pretty much had it all for me in Wanderlove.

The only downside was that I didn't particularly like Bria - I found her slightly whingey, and although she's brave enough to shrug off the middle-aged tour group she signed up for and goes backpacking with a couple of strangers, she's still holding onto some pretty intense issues that she couldn't shed with her rolling suitcase. Yes, there needs to be character growth but the growth was just too slow for me - I wanted to see her blossom more in the middle of the book, rather than just towards the end.

Despite the fact that the character growth felt a little uneven, I really enjoyed Bria and Rowan's stories, and the way that they interacted with each other, and the growth that they both went through as people, Bria using travel as a way to rediscover who she really is, and Rowan to find out who he wants to be.

But aside from the fact that Bria and I weren't really on the best of terms, I loved the actual story of Wanderlove, the drawings (which I wanted WAY more of), the travel and the overall feel of the book - I just wanted to keep reading and I was a little sad when it ended.

Even if travelling au-natural isn't your cup of tea, I can still definitely recommend Wanderlove - it's a sweet, fun and beautifully written story that was perfect for a sunny afternoon read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wanderlove, 19 Jun 2012
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This review is from: Wanderlove (Hardcover)
I enjoyed this book so much. It felt really refreshing to read and I loved reading and seeing (through the sketches) the places Bria was visiting. I like how Bria's journey started very early on in the book, so as the reader we get pulled straight into her travels too.
The artwork was a great addition to the book as it really brought to life where Bria was and what she felt like. The author has done a great job in expressing her own passions of travel and sketching in Wanderlove, but it always felt authentic to the character in the book.
I can see myself rereading this in the future and would recommend it!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great contemporary about art and travelling, 2 April 2012
This review is from: Wanderlove (Hardcover)
I love books (obviously), but this hobby of mine shares my heart with art -- I love it, too. So, put them together? YES, PLEASE. In the past I read -and adored- Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley, which is another book related to art. I was thrilled to read another book with this same theme!

Bria decides to travel to South America. I immediately loved that adventurous part of her. I don't know if I'd have the courage to do that - scratch that, I probably wouldn't, at least not alone. That's why I had so much fun living that adventure with her. I enjoyed seeing the world through her artist eyes. There's something special and magic about traveling and discovering new places. And just imagining those beautiful places Kirsten Hubbard described in Wanderlove made my day.

Put apart from that but at the same time related to art, there was Bria's past. A tangle of feelings, hidden emotions, that come to life again on her journey. It was great seeing how Bria changed, really lived and grew stronger. The love story told in Wanderlove is so delicate, so sweet, it was just like a tiny flower I wanted to hold and protect with my hands. Okay, so maybe I didn't love Rowan as much as I'd had liked to, but I enjoyed reading about them anyways.

Don't push it back! Read Wanderlove as soon as you can. It's a beautiful story that will have you daydreaming and smiling through all the journey.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Get your backpack ready..., 13 Mar 2012
By 
O. Lisa "NightReader" (italy) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Wanderlove (Hardcover)
If right now, at age 35, I had to choose my nostalgia book of all times, I'd choose Wanderlove.
It was almost physically painful to read.
A forewarning though: if you are not the adventurous type, are not and never were interested in traveling with a backpack, but on the contrary think it's highly dangerous and unhygienic and are not interested in the nuances of this bohemian life, this might not be the book for you.

Bria Sandoval has just turned 18. It's the summer between her graduation and her college entry.
Only, there is no college. She has applied at the renowned Art School in California but, for some reason she is not going. Because you see, Bria is an artist who's lost the passion to draw. To make things even worse, she's just been dumped by her (artist) boyfriend, Toby.
In an attempt to snap out of this impasse, Bria decides to travel to Guatemala with a tourist group called Global Vagabonds. But once there, she meets Starling and her enigmatic brother Rowan, who convince her to ditch her group and her suitcase and travel with them as a backpacker for the remaining days of her holidays.
On the road from Guatemala to Belize, jumping from a chicken bus to a water taxi, lost in a market or simply lost in translation, Bria is forced to put to the test her confidence, her trust, her talent but most of all she will need face all her issues, free herself of her constrictions and of her past and just live the moment.

The reason why I loved this book is pretty obvious: it took me back in time. The places were not the same but the narration has such an unmistakable taste of reality that I really connected. Clearly, the author is speaking from personal experience, or she wouldn't know about wrapping backpacks with garbage bags, chicken bus rides (my worst one was from Maracaibo, Venezuela to Barranquilla, Colombia) or described a central/south American bus station so accurately. As a consequence of that, I connected well also with the characters, the "traveled" backpackers Starling and Rowan, for whom is valid the saying that "the smaller the backpack, the bigger the ego".
As for the MC, Bria, she is not very likable at the beginning. She comes out as a bit of a whiny, spoiled brat - though she kind of won me over with her "gutter water" Windbreaker - but she grows, she matures in the course of the story and, even though I wanted to kick her and her backpack straight into the Caribbean sea at one point, she eventually comes to her senses by the end of the book, making her a decent MC and a believable character.

I thought this book was really enjoyable, light but with a bit of depth - even social - and with a touch of exotic that makes it the perfect read for people who are looking for a bit of adventure, love, folklore and a well written story.
Oh, and I loved the illustrations by the author in the book, an added bonus that make this story even more dreamy.

My favorite quote, which is actually a quote within the quote:

" A painting doesn't have to have a profound meaning. It doesn't have to "say" something. We fall in love for simpler reasons."
Harley Brown
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4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect summer read, 16 Oct 2014
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This review is from: Wanderlove (Paperback)
I really liked this book! It was really sweet and enjoyable and a perfect summer read as well :)
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Wanderlove
Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard (Paperback - 12 Mar 2013)
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