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Welcome to Paula and Sarina's Book Blog! Avid readers, hard core fan girls of fictional literary male characters, proud library captains. We started this blog because of our love for reading YA novels and decided to share our thoughts on the books we read. We hope you enjoy our blog and contact us if you have any questions :)

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Wednesday, 31 July 2013
Name: Wanderlove
Author: Kirsten Hubbard
Date Published: March 13, 2012
Grade: A

Goodreads Summary: 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.

Review: I just finished this book a couple minutes ago and I'm still stuck in this sort of trance. As I turned that last page, I was already on my way to the computer, prepared to write Wanderlove's review. 

The term "wanderlove" is described as "the places you get, the places that stick in your heart". Throughout the book, this term became more and more clear to me, and it hit me harder and harder, as if I were discovering it for the first time alongside Bria. "Wanderlove" can't exactly be explained; It's a sort of feeling that really makes you feel, like those breathtaking moments where the beauty cannot be captured by a camera, instead you just have to experience it. The book was a bit like that for me, I don't think I can do it enough justice by trying to write a really good review, you guys just have to read it and experience it for yourself. But I will try. 

This book blew me away. It was such a good read. I've always been a huge fan of travelling books... But this one was so different from the typical travel book where girl meets boy abroad, girl falls for boy, girl achieves some sort of self discovery, etc. Although Bria did basically end up doing all of those things, it was so much more than a cute novel about finding one's self. And the writing was incredibly good; the whole story flowed smoothly and perfectly from chapter to chapter, day to day, adventure to adventure. It is also the perfect book to read while on vacation because whilst reading Wanderlove, I had the craziest urge to jump on a plane and backpack around the world. 

Bria, the main character, is an eighteen year trying to re-invent herself. She signs up for an organised tour around Guatemala, in hopes that this new country will bring out a completely different Bria, one that doesn't have to face her ex-boyfriend back at home or the pile of art college admissions at her doorstep or her parents who don't seem to care about her. It's amazing to watch Bria decide to let go of the things that make her sad, and find herself again- bit by bit, drawing by drawing- Seriously, it's one of the most beautiful things about this book. Journeying alongside Bria and watching her not only learn about the liberating life as a backpacker, but also about love, is incredible, to say the least. Bria was so relatable and Hubbard did such a wonderful job of making the readers feel what Bria felt. I loved her as a character. 

The development and growth of Bria and Rowan's relationship is also a beautiful thing to experience. You know how a lot of books have a really frustrating chemistry between two characters who you just know will end up together? When the only thought that goes through your mind while reading their scenes is "KISS ALREADY OKAY!? JUST UGHH HURRY UPPPPP". Well, although Bria and Rowan (SPOILER, BUT NOT REALLY BECAUSE IT'S PRETTY PREDICTABLE) do end up getting together fairly late into the book, their entire relationship throughout the whole book is pretty magical to read. Not to mention, he's adorable.

Enchanting. That's the word that describes this book perfectly. It was enchanting. Inspiring and beautiful, Wanderlove is such a wonderful book about self-discovery, risk-taking, and being happy. It's an important reminder that our pasts do not define us. We cannot cling to our mistakes, but we should not run away from them either. Instead, we need to appreciate the present and look forward to the future. I can go on and on about all sorts of life lessons I've learned from this book, but I think you guys should read it and experience wanderlove for yourselves. A beautiful and extremely well-written story :') 

Happy reading!

PAULA :) 

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