Thursday, March 8, 2012

Bookanistas: Wanderlove

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. 



This book is magical. The truth of this story just made me ache, and I could relate so much to Bria. I never did a trip like this after high school, and it's a big regret I have. I think I was too scared to even consider it, and looking at Bria's adventures, I was probably not ready for a trip like this at her age. And that's the beauty of books, isn't it? That we have the ability to take a fantastic journey through Central America without even leaving our couch. That we can re-live that heartache of first love over and over again. That we can see the problems we have with ourselves in these fictional characters and recognize ways to fix them. 


Because I could see so much of myself in Bria. And not just my 18-year old self, but my current self, too. I think there are some YA books that read very teen, but this is one that I think transcends any age limit. I can see anyone seeing a bit of themselves in Bria and the struggles she has as she is on the cusp of exploring a new chapter in her life.



Not only is this book full of gorgeous words, it's also filled with gorgeous sketches. Bria is an artist, and some of her sketches appear on the pages of the book, thanks to Kirsten Hubbard herself. 
Look at how gorgeous that it! Beautiful illustrations like this are all through the book...but not so much that it distracts from the gorgeous words. 

I absolutely adored this book. It was like taking a grand adventure without leaving your couch, and it was like taking a deep look at another version of yourself.




Check out what the other Bookanistas are up to today...
Christine Fonseca  interviews PIECES OF US author Margie Gelbwasser

Carolina Valdez Miller adores WANDERLOVE - with giveaway
Megan Miranda celebrates SLIDE – with giveaway
Jen Hayley takes a shine to STARTERS
Stasia Ward Kehoe discovers THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN YOU AND ME
Tracy Banghart  gives a shout-out to SHUT OUT
Jessica Love wonders at WANDERLOVE

17 comments:

  1. Well said, Jessica. Reading WANDERLOVE was rather like taking a trip, wasn't it? It really resonated with me. I've always been a traveler, so I think in a way, I really connected with that wanderlove in Rowan, but so did Bria. Magical is the perfect word for this book.

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    1. It really was like taking a trip. I could see every one of those sights like I was right there experiencing them. Such a great book. <3

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  2. Wanderlove! Wanderlove! *fistpumps like a champ*

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  3. "That we have the ability to take a fantastic journey through Central America without even leaving our couch."-->Yes!

    and

    "I think there are some YA books that read very teen, but this is one that I think transcends any age limit. I can see anyone seeing a bit of themselves in Bria and the struggles she has as she is on the cusp of exploring a new chapter in her life."-->YESYESYES!

    This book resonated with me SO MUCH, and I'm happy to find others who have felt the same! ^_^

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    1. YES. I want to share it with everyone!

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  4. I can't wait to read this book. After college, my friends and I trekked around Europe for a month, and I have a feeling reading this will bring back those memories. And taking a trip around Central America with the characters sounds like so much fun!

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    1. If you have ever done the backpacking thing, then you will totally love this book!

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  5. Great review! Cannot wait to read this one. :)

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  6. This drawing is beautiful!!!
    This book has been on my radar for awhile but your review if putting it on a higher place on my TBR list :D Thanks Jessica for sharing!

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    1. All of the drawings in the book are just as beautiful. Kirsten Hubbard is so talented!

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  7. I can't wait to read this one. I love the cover, and I'm so intrigued by the travel aspect and the illustrations. And now that I know you think it's magical... well, it's just going to have to move on up my TBR list. Great review, Jess!

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    1. I think you'll really love this one, Katy. The writing is absolutely beautiful.

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  8. This is the second rave review I've read about Wanderlove tonight! I think it should go on my list. I'm all for a great travel story and this sounds like it would be right up my alley!

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    1. YES, this book is so perfect for anyone with an adventurous spirit!

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  9. I think that is my problem with some YA...they are very "teen." I'm having trouble with my current read because it is too "teen" and today's type teen w/ talk of Twitter and Tumblr, the stuff I typically try to get away from through books. This one sounds like a good one to add to my long list of books to read. Thanks!

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