It's no secret among my friends that I am the big Travel Girl. I have been to several states and several countries and have no intention of stopping anytime soon. In fact, I even have a travel blog -- On Wanderlust. I have been really bad with updating it, but I bring it up for this reason. I have always loved the word wanderlust. I feel it describes me so well, and it has this dark, mysterious sound to it as it's coming off of your tongue: wanderlust.
So, along comes Kirsten Hubbard and IMPROVES upon one of my favorite words. Believe it or not, I did not even make the connection to wanderlust and Wanderlove when I first saw the book. I just wanted to read it because I read that Kirsten Hubbard is a young adult author and a travel writer. This basically makes her my hero.
Wanderlove is the story of Bria, a recent high school graduate who has just broken up with her longtime boyfriend Toby. She plans to take an overseas with her two girlfriends, but they tell her they don't think she's ready and back out. But Bria decides to go anyway. She heads to Central America with a travel group, but ends up abandoning them in favor of traveling with two backpackers, Starling and Rowan.
As any good travel writing piece, Wanderlove makes you want to drop your life and run off to Central America. Hubbard is so great with the details of the destinations. She does not just tell you about them -- all five senses are awakened as you see, smell, touch, taste and hear them. Bria (and Kirsten) are artists, so there are some great sketches throughout the book.
Rowan and Bria are both broken characters. They both start traveling to run away from the pain in their pasts and both discover that they learn about themselves through the people and experiences they meet along the way. At points this book felt like it was trying too hard to be deep and meaningful. The insights and life lessons were sometimes too much: too long-winded and too over-stated. But I did like seeing the changes that Bria and Rowan brought about in each other.
Finally, I have not forgotten Wanderlove! Here is how it's described, courtesy of Starling:
"Wanderlust is like itchy feet. It's when you can't settle down. But Wanderlove is much deeper than that. It's a compulsion. It's the difference between lust and love."So, am I in wanderlust or Wanderlove?! Personally, I think I have been in both before and will be in both again. In the meantime, I hope there are books like Wanderlove to keep my spirit traveling between trips.
Wanderlove will be released March 13, 2012. Thank you to Netgalley for provided me with an Advanced Readers Copy.