Delacorte BooksSo here's a stupid question. Are you a Global Vagabond? That's what Bria Sandoval asks herself one day (after a breakup with her boyfriend, of course). She answers yes and decides to go to Guatemala. While there she meets the charming and handsome and mysterious* Rowan. (Rowan's sister is also there but only for about 20 pages.) The three leave behind Bria's tour group and decide to go to Belize so Bria can draw pictures of things and find herself.
Bria's got First World problems in a Third World country, basically.
Bria spends her time thinking about college and her future in America. She draws and thinks about art school. Rowan tells Bria constantly "When you're traveling you live now, in the moment." So she gets all cute by writing down Rowan's travel rules and not following them. These rules are listed throughout the book along with Bria's drawings.
(insert "I didn't know I was in love with this person until this moment" love story paragraph)
There's other parts that are charming as well: the descriptions of Central America, the descriptions of the food, the local customs, drinks, local sights, descriptions of other tourists, etc. There's also a barf part and a drunk part and a boat.
There's Kristen Hubbard's writing style which I fell into sync with automatically.***
There's a lot to like here.
And I like a good travel novel as much as the next guy, and I liked Wanderlove, but I spent the entire book trying to figure out what future this 18-year-old female character was going to pick. Because going into this one we all that there's only three outcomes.
1. Bria runs away with Rowan and never returns home.
2. Bria leaves Rowan and returns home.
3. Bria and Rowan die of dysentery.
Meaning that I completely missed the point of the novel.
Meaning that Kristen Hubbard is a saucy tart with a penchant for tricking her audience. To Kristen Hubbard: I see what you did here.
See, Wanderlove isn't a travel novel. Yes, its plot is about traveling through Central America, but this is much more of a "get the fuck over it and live your life" novel. This is a novel for getting over a shitty relationship. This is about a girl getting over a breakup and a boy trying to overcome his past. That's the kind of books I like.
Full Disclosure: I checked this out from the Louisville Free Public Library.
*Mysteriousness is the key ingredient in a male character these days.**
**Also, random tattoos.
***I don't know about other people, but I need at least 30 pages to adapt to a new authors writing style. It's something about learning how they use their comas and other punctuation.