children's writer

Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard

Sep 1, 2011

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. 


You know that ache in your heart you get after reading a really good book? Well, that’s exactly how I felt after reading Wanderlove. At 4:05 in the morning, when I’d finally finished it, I knew for a fact that it was one of the best books I’d read in a long time.

I really don't know how to put into words how much I loved this book.  I really did, the beautiful Central American backdrop, Rowan, Starling, and Bria, really made this book special. I was rooting for them, all of them, the entire time. I wanted Rowan to finally come to terms with his past, and Bria with hers. I wanted them to experience a Wanderlove that was so good, they couldn't stand it.

The entire time I kept asking myself how Kirsten Hubbard managed to do it, capture so much light, sadness, and awe-striking beauty in just one book. It felt surreal. I felt like I knew these characters even the minor ones. And the prose was just as beautiful. There were sentences that I wished I'd bookmarked, written down somewhere.

Wanderlove is one of those books that you just can't put down. And for someone like me, who's hardly ever been out of her bedroom, it was a refreshing read. If I ever decide to backpack across Central America I'll bring Wanderlove with me. It would be my own little travel companion.

I loved the art, too. 

Expected publication: March 13th 2012 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers.

Review copy from Netgalley.
Image and summary from Goodreads

6 comments on "Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard"
  1. Wow, that's quite a glowing review. I'll definitely be looking for this.

    Thanks for the review.

  2. It really is. Thanks for commenting.

  3. Thank you for the review. This book sounds right up my alley.

  4. Thanks for reviewing this book, Tracey! I've been hearing so much about it and now I'm definitely going to check it out now.

    As appreciation for being one of my first followers and for your great posts, I've given you two blog awards here:

  5. hi tracey! I stumbled across this review in my google alerts, and it made my day. I'm so, so glad wanderlove resonated with you! thanks so much for your kind words.