Monday, March 12, 2012

Book Review: Wanderlove, by Kristen Hubbard

Wanderlove is just not my kind of story, so I had a hard time enjoying it.

Bria is trying to get over a break up with her boyfriend that was so devastating that it caused her to give up her dreams of art school as well. Her two best friends have backed out on their plans for a senior trip (great friends, huh?) and so Kristen has signed up alone for a group tour of Central America. She is surprised to find that most of the tour group are older adults, and when she meets some young back packers, she leaves the tour group to do an independent tour with these siblings, Rowan and Starling.

First, my problems with Wanderlove. It made me uncomfortable. I couldn't stand the irresponsible decisions Bria made throughout the book. I guess I'm not, and never was, and adventurous soul, so this just really cramped my enjoyment of the book.

Speaking as a parent, I couldn't believe how emotionally cruel she was to her parents, by not even taking a few seconds to send an email to say that she was OK. I understand she has issues with them because of their not even caring about her not drawing any more. But communication is a two way street, and she didn't begin that conversation either. I think this was such an immature thing to do that I spent the entire book ANGRY with Bria.

Wanderlove is about finding yourself, personal growth, dealing with issues, and all those other teen rights of passage. And Bria grows. Hubbard writes wonderful, believable characters, and other than some of the behavior I mentioned above, I enjoyed getting to know them. The romance is not the main focus here, and is  handled perfectly.

The pacing was great, the writing was beautiful, and the settings very visual. I will even go so far as to leave you with my favorite quote:

"I cry because I'm crying. Which means I will probably cry forever, in a Mobius strip of endless tears." (this is from the ARC, so subject to change.)

I liked the creative analogy, and since I"m a math teacher, I can relate. I can also relate to "crying because I'm crying." I think many of us have experience with that.

The adventurers out there will love Wanderlove (and they have--I've seen many rave reviews.) My only complaint is my personal relationship with the book, so I wouldn't hesitate to offer this ones to teens who love a great contemporary coming-of-age travel story.

Published by Delacorte, March 13, 2012
eARC obtained from NetGalley
352 pages

Rating: 2.5/5

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  1. Isn't it interesting how reading a book with a different lens can give you a different experience? I plan on reading this one during Spring Break since I don't have plans to get away and will travel vicariously. Thanks for a different perspective. :)

  2. Oh this is so interested -- I adored this book, but I can completely understand your perspective. Loved this review for making me think of a book from a different angle!

  3. I think I would be annoyed at the main character too, but maybe teenagers wouldn't? I remember being very self-absorbed at that age so maybe they wouldn't notice that she hadn't got in touch with her parents?

    1. Oh no, I'm sure it won't bother the target age group at all. That's why I would still recommend it to them. It's just funny how my perspective tainted my enjoyment of the happens....


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