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Wanderlove

Wanderlove
By Kirsten Hubbard
Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 2012
Source: NetGalley
Audience: Older Teens

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. 

Bria's biggest mistake: not learning about the country beforehand. Seriously. You need to know what you're getting into. It helps with culture shock, which she didn't seem to have. And I didn't buy that she was "trying to go bad" for a minute. But anyway.

This book was hard for me to read. Don't get me wrong, I really liked this book and definitely recommend  it. It's just that it hit close to home. I went on a trip too. My situation was very different from Bria's, but like her, I was simultaneously running from the past and future. (I honestly couldn't have said it better myself, Kirsten Hubbard. Well done!) Wanderlove was incredibly well written and a wonderful story, but it made me miss traveling. I think I'll need to actually buy this one, just so I can hi-lite my favorite passages. And book a flight to somewhere amazing.

Fans of Sarah Dessen will like this one!

Thanks, Delacorte and NetGalley for the review copy!

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