Thursday, February 2, 2012

Bookanista Thursday: WANDERLOVE by Kirsten Hubbard

I'm so happy to be back to blogging this week just in time to feature a fabulous new contemp!  I fell in love with Kirsten Hubbard's debut, LIKE MANDARIN, so you can only imagine how excited I was to get my hands on an ARC of her second novel, which hits the shelves next month. WANDERLOVE is absolutely gorgeous, and I can't wait for more people to have a chance to read it.

From Goodreads:

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.

Kirsten Hubbard lends her artistry into this ultimate backpacker novel, weaving her drawings into the text. Her career as a travel writer and her experiences as a real-life vagabond backpacking Central America are deeply seeded in this inspiring story.

My Thoughts:

WANDERLOVE is a story of journeys--from one country to another, between being lost and found, from self-doubt to self-belief.  It's a story of uncovering your passion and letting go of the things that hold you back, and by the end it may just have you packing your bags to discover your own adventures and special places in the world. 

Kirsten Hubbard has such a brilliant ability to place the reader in her setting, and this is a setting I didn't want to leave.  From the crowded South American markets, to the busses and boats Bria travels on, to the lush tropical island and its crystal water, Hubbard paints a sumptuous picture with an artist's eye. Which brings me to another of my favorite things about this book.  Tucked within the pages are Hubbards own sketches, and they're absolutely beautiful.  They move and breathe and help tell Bria's story in a way that words cannot.

If you're looking for a way to escape the remaining winter months, or hoping to find a story full of discovery, romance, and heart, you'll want to pick this one up next month.  If you want to find out more about Kirsten Hubbard, check out her website or follow her on Twitter!

Or...if you're in the SoCal area, the WANDERLOVE Launch Party is on March 17th, at The Yellow Book Road in San Diego.  Complete details are here:

Curious what the other Bookanistas are talking about this week?  Go see!

Stasia Ward Kehoe interviews DIES IRAE author Christine Fonseca
Christine Fonseca interviews author Denise Grover Swank
Jessi Kirby and Jen Hayley are wowed by WANDERLOVE
Corrine Jackson is mesmerized by MAY B.
Debra Driza is entranced by HEMLOCK
Katy Upperman delves into THE DISENCHANTMENTS
Nikki Katz celebrates CINDER
Tracy Banghart marvels at JULIET IMMORTAL
Jessica Love spotlights SHINE


  1. So excited to read this. I've been intrigued since she first told us about it. EEP!

  2. This book sounds AWESOME! I can't wait to read it!

  3. Just finished this book, literally 10 mins ago, and WOW! I am in love with it. I adored the concept of self-discovery through the places Bria traveled to. Love! Love! Love! This is definitely going to be a book worthy to buy for so many on it's pub day :)

  4. I so adored this book as well! Great review.

  5. This book was magical. I adored it.