By Kirsten Hubbard
Delacorte Books for Young Readers, $17.99, 352 pages
Wanderlove is an excellent sophomore novel by Kirsten Hubbard.
Bria signs up for a guided tour of South America, but when she arrives she finds herself surrounded by middle-aged tourists, leaving no one her age for her to connect with on the trip. She soon meets Rowan, a backpacker, and is intrigued by his attitude and outlook on life. Taking a huge chance, she ditches her tour group and heads off with Rowan and his sister on a tour of South America she will never forget.
Watching the relationship between Rowan and Bria grow is a delight, especially when they bond during the various traveling legs they have to do (bus, back of a truck, and on). Bria is on the quest for independence while Rowan is trying to get back on track from bad decisions he has made, and this dynamic is written very well. The most special part of Wanderlove falls in a unique category, however: author Kirsten Hubbard has included some of her own illustrations to accompany the text.
Clearly written by someone who has traveled herself, Wanderlove manages to combine friendship, discovery, and travel in a near perfect package.
Reviewed by Shanyn Day