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 very much a homage to travel. We follow Bria as she embarks on a journey through Central America, although everything does not go as she had envisioned. I loved how Bria had this desire to prove to her friends, and to herself, that she is both adventurous and spontaneous, and even if she knows that’s not who she is, that is who she becomes as she backpacks around with Rowan.
The setting was my favorite part of this story. Every destination, from the breathtakingly beautiful to the downright dirty, is brought to life through realistic descriptions of both the places and the people who live there. And the best part of all? That Kristen Hubbard has drawn much of Bria’s art into the book! These are really good drawings, and I loved how it let me see the art along with the story.
Bria makes a very believable first-time backpacker, and Rowan is the perfect well-traveled bad boy gone good. The tension between the two grows thick, and I was really cheering for the two of them to just get it on already. But of course there’s more to the story than that. Bria and Rowan try to keep moving forward, but at some point they will both have to face their past.
I loved how, even as I was getting toward the end of the book, I did not know how I wanted it to end. The characters had to come to their own conclusion, and in the end it was the perfect way for the story to end. Wanderlove was not only an amazingly good book, but it made me very restless to get out to travel. I have three trips planned for the year, Las Vegas, ALA Anaheim, and Paris and Norway, but I am already thinking about a trip to Central America next spring!
What is your dream travel destination?
Gorgeous! I would definitely pick up this book based on the cover alone.
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ARC received from Netgalley
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