Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Book Review: Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard

Bria needs an escape. From her parents, from her friends, from her ex-boyfriend, from her life and its upcoming changes as she graduates and decides where to attend college. When she sees a sign in the sporting goods store for a Central American getaway with Global Vagabonds, she is instantly hooked and ready to travel.

She sees a picture in her mind of a care-free Bria, surrounded by beautiful travelers, discovering fantastic foreign locations, and hooking up with guys she didn't care about, because she is totally over Tobey (totally, totally, totally!). She also longs to escape her past as an artist, because it has brought her so much recent heartbreak.

But her fantastic fantasies of foreign travel are brought to a halt with a rather rude bump when she puts on her crispy grey windbreaker and meets the rest of her travel group, a herd of middle-aged tourists clad in fanny packs (fanny packs!).

When she loses her bag in the Mayan Chichicastenango, she encounters a backpacker/ diving instructor named Rowan. He invites her to La Casa Azul, a local backpacker haunt, for dinner, and following her night across the lake, and her meeting with Rowan's sister Starling, her true Central American travels begin.

She ignores the Global Vagabonds Rules for Third-World Travel, packs her new-to-her backpack, and sets off on an adventure that takes her to many places, from Laughing Caye to remote Belizean islands, losing the old version of herself along the way. You may have heard of wanderlust, but in her travels with Rowan, Bria discovers and shares in his philosophy of Wanderlove.

But is Rowan's wanderlove only an excuse to run from his troubled past, or is it a new outlook on life that Bria can use when moulding a newer, more adventurous and outgoing version of herself?

Complete with sketches by the author, Kirsten Hubbard, who is also the Central American travel guide for About.com, Wanderlove is a true escape. Pack up your backpack (and make sure it's a small one or the other experienced backpackers will mock you!) and prepare to travel through Central America with Rowan and Bria.

Check out Wanderlove,and catch the Wanderlove bug for yourself!

I'll see you @thelibrary!

- Blaine

(Who is currently reading Saundra Mitchell's The Vespertine in anticipation of reading her new book, The Springsweet!)

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