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Monday, August 15, 2011

Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard

Expected publication: March 13th 2012 by Delacorte Books
352 pages
Source: ARC from Random House via NetGalley

This novel should come with a free one-way ticket to Guatemala, a ragged backpack, and a male companion who just so happens to be a cute diving instructor afflicted with Wanderlove.

Umm hmm, where can I get me some o’ that?

Although in all seriousness, Wanderlove is a perfect story for your typical escapist. Those familiar with Central American geography will recognize the countries Bria (what a lovely name) and Rowan (what a lovely boy -- Do I sound pedophilic? He’s older than me, OK?) trek through on their eventful two week journey. The descriptions make me want to jump into my (nonexistent) car and drive down south. One particularly striking scene is the Río Dulce, or sweet river, which apparently resembles the white flower-filled sea in Lewis’s The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Visiting that river is now on my bucket list.

Our two main characters -- Bria and Rowan -- are beyond endearing. Both are trying to run away from their pasts, and their chemistry is undeniable. We are spared any sort of desperate pining from either of them, which is a relief, since no one enjoys pining characters anyway. The two argue, they exchange stories, they list taboo subjects, and they have a fair share of comfortable silences. The girl with the lovely name and the lovely boy with the ponytail make a lovely couple.

To add on to that all that loveliness are the drawings included in the book. Since Bria is an aspiring artist, Ms. Hubbard supplied some of her own sketches to supplement the novel; the pictures are gorgeous. She could probably draw her own Wanderlove graphic novel if she wants.

Anyway, I’ve obtained a copy of Ms. Hubbard’s debut novel Like Mandarin and can’t wait to read something by this author again.

Rating: 4
delightfully scrumptious

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