Friday, May 11, 2012

Wanderlove Review

March 13th 2012 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
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.
Wow. I truly enjoyed Wanderlove.  I don't know if my review will do it justice, especially with the great synopsis above. I found everything good in YA contemporary fiction in this novel. I found real teens with real questions about life dealing with real situations. Yes, maybe you will not decide one day to just pack up a suitcase and head to Central America, but your journey can be small steps. Just take the first step, right? :)

Finding yourself is never easy, especially as a 17 or 18 year old, ready to head off to college. In Wanderlove, Bria, after a breakup with her boyfriend, a personal loss with something with something essential to her very core and future, decides to strike out on her own, not counting the tour group she signed up with, and have an adventure - to find herself, a couple of cute guys, and just live the good life. Too bad life has a funny way of turning what you expect on its head!

Wanderlove is about dealing with you you were, learning about who are becoming, and somehow accepting the two parts of yourself. If you happen to have an adventure riding in chicken trucks, seeing beautiful lakes, meeting fascinating people you will never forget, doesn't that just shape you into a better person (especially the chicken truck)?
FAQ for Kirsten Hubbard from her website:

*Name five random things about yourself.
I have a fraternal twin sister. I love to draw, but I fail at crafts — except, inexplicably, steampunk jewelry. I am a food hippie. Some of my favorite books include Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, Watership Down by Richard Adams, Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta, Feed by M.T. Anderson, Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, and The Road by Cormac McCarthy. I played water polo and worked in a pet store in high school. Yes, there were chinchillas.

*Why Wyoming? I was raised in Southern California, but the Wyoming badlands are in my blood. My mother grew up in a small Wyoming town, and we visited my grandparents there many times. I was fascinated with the small town way of life, and the starkly beautiful badlands.

*Where did you come up with the name Mandarin?
When I was 13-15, I was obsessed with unusual names. (Still am.) I also kept elaborate sketch journals documenting my life. In every volume, I created a different girl, who I drew comics about throughout the book. One of these girls was named Mandarin. Another was named Starling – a character in Wanderlove. I love paying homage to these imaginary girls from my past in the books I’m writing now.

*Did you have a Mandarin Ramey?
Not one in particular, but there were always girls throughout my teen years I longed to be like. There are still girls I long to be like! Such as Natalie Portman. She’s amazing.

*Where’s your favorite place you’ve traveled? That’s really hard. I’ll name a few: Utila, Honduras. Ko Phi Phi, Thailand. Ljubljana, Slovenia. Lake Tonle Sap, Cambodia. Budapest, Hungary. Boquete, Panama. Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, and the Belizean Cayes – both a huge part of Wanderlove. And of course, the Wyoming badlands.

*Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
First, embrace the power of setting – both on a large scale, and a scene-by-scene scale. Second, give your readers what they want, not what they expect. In other words, surprise them with a story that takes them unpredictably perfect places. Third, and most importantly, write that next book. Nothing helps beat the rejection blues like a new project you’re excited about. Don’t wait around! Keep writing, and writing, and writing.

*What’s your life philosophy?
Live simply so others can simply live. Also, Googling “baby sloth photos” helps cure every heartsickness.

No comments:

Post a Comment