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 by Kirsten Hubbard
Published: March 13, 2012 by Delacorte books for young readers via Netgalley
Source: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest and thoughful review.
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes and Noble
I have to say this; I loved the raw and beautiful writing style of the author. Her words were magical and I just wanted to hang on to every word I read and savor it.
Bria Sandoval has just graduated high school and is trying to figure out what she’s going to do with her life; she’s also dealing with having her heart broken. Bria and her two best friends decide that they needed a break and should travel to Europe in the summer before starting college. Her friends end up backing out and Bria finds herself booking a trip with the Global Vagabond Tour group for a three week excursion traveling the ancient Mayan ruins.
This is where Bria’s journey begins, she finds herself traveling to a foreign country alone to prove that she can do things on her own when everyone else doubts her. After the break up, Bria feels as if she has lost her way and what defines her as an individual. She’s trying to figure things out as she travels amongst strangers in Guatemala from city to city.
An unfortunate event introduces Bria to Rowan, a seasoned backpacker who invites her to a party at the island he’s staying at. This is where everything changes for her, she somehow finds herself ditching the Global Vagabond tour group and accompanying Rowan and his sister backpacking city to city.
She’s lost what defines her as a person, she’s lost her love for art and everything she holds dear to herself. This book was so much more than just a book about a girl traveling it’s about finding yourself and that things happen for a reason although you might not necessarily know what they are at the time. It’s about discovery and learning that you can overcome even what seems to be the hardest thing to deal with in your life at the time.
After reading this book, I wanted to do two things;
a. Pick up a backpack and go backpacking across Central America, even though I'm definitely not in my twenty's anymore.
b. I felt inspired to do something more, to not give up on something that I might love just because the circumstances aren’t right.
I absolutely adored this story; there was so much in the back story. The descriptions of her travels were beautiful and captivating. When Bria described locations I wanted to reach out and touch it, I wanted to take a deep breath and smell the air that she talked about. The author definitely has a way with words and painted the most beautiful story.
This book deserves 5 out of 5 stars.