Wanderlove by Kristen Hubbard was such fun to read. I am not much of traveler, but I wish I could see exotic places. Being a grad student puts a damper on the whole having-money-necessary-to-travel thing. But I love to read about people on exotic adventures. I have been refering to "going to Belize" because of this book. I use it when I do something out of my comfort zone. I get a total kick out of it! Now, on to the book:
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 to 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. (GoodReads).
Originality: 7. I have never read a book set in ANY of these places. So this might not feel original to everyone, but I liked it.
Absurdity: 7. Ok, so striking off on your own in Central America as a high schooler is 99.99% the most ridiculous, unsafe thing to do. But hey, this is fiction. So its edgy and adventures and leads to dreamy love interests rather than killers.
Level of Paranormal Romance: 6. Rowan! Of course this former bad-boy is totally dreamy. What is the point of having a former bad boy who is lame and unattractive? T
Level of Harry-Potterness: 6. This is a basic story, but I am giving Hubbard bonus points for the very cool sketches. Sometimes I hate that stuff in books, but this wasn't corny at all. It made me feel connected to the story. and anyways, Rowan is a hunk--it is confirmed by the sketches :-).