Publish date: March 13th 2012 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
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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.
I think I had a huge problem getting into Wanderlove because I'd set the bar too high. I've been reading a lot of paranormal-type things lately, so I was excited to read a contemp. book, and one with a roadtrip? HUZZAH! I couldn't even fathom the idea that this would be anything less than perfect. So when I started reading it and found my attention drifting, I kind of just forgot about Wanderlove and only read about two pages a day for the first 150 pages or so. It was kind of ridiculous.
I felt like the beginning focused too much on Toby. Of course, after what he'd done, I suppose she would be focused on that all the time, so I can't really count that against Wanderlove.
And yet I do, simply because I wanted the story to move. All the focusing on Toby made me feel like the plot was already at a stand-still before the book had even really begun.
When Bria started her traveling, I was a lot happier. She wasn't as focused on Toby; she thought about other things. It made the book more interesting.
But I still felt like the plot was moving too slow. There was just so much I wanted to skim over, so much that didn't hold my attention.
Although I loved the fact that Bria was an artist. Kristin Hubbard did an amazing job in that aspect - she made it seem very realistic. Bria thought the way I think an artist thinks. She sees something beautiful, and she thinks about how she could draw it.
The relationship between Rowan and Bria was kind of amusing. They had plenty of reasonable conversations that could have easily taken place between people who were just friends, but then they have these sweet little moments and you would be rooting for them to just start kissing already. And Rowan was kind of funny. Not laugh-out-loud funny, but funny enough that I can deem him funny, if that makes sense ;)
(Also, I love the drawings in this book. Just sayin'. They were awesome and they really added to the story.)
The secondary characters were great. I loved how different they all were and how they all fit in perfectly. In some books it feels like secondary characters are put there for no reason, but not in this book.
Overall: I can see a lot of people liking this book. It's interesting, watching Bria heal, in a sense, throughout the book. The romance is very believable and not rushed, which I loved. I just didn't find myself interested with a lot of the book, probably because I couldn't relate to Bria very much. The book gets bonus points for being in present tense, though! :D I love books in present tense, and Hubbard did a very good job at writing it. 2.5 stars.