Originally published at my blog Chasing Empty Pavements
Oh Wanderlove. This book was fantastic.
The Good: Ahh so many wonderful things to say about this novel! First I'll start with the cover of the book. This cover is simple and basic..and one would think this is how the book follows but by the end of this novel, this cover is so appropriate. It completely embodies the main character, Bria. I absoultely loved the premise of this novel. I loved the idea that this young girl is going on a traveling adventure against the wishes of pretty much everyone she knows and although she feels uncomfortable and like a fake, she sticks to her plan anyway. I adored the setting of the novel which is South and Central America. What a beautiful, wonderful, exotic place to be and to have a setting! Hubbard so accurately details the setting that I feel like I see the turquoise Carribean or feel the heat of the sun while standing on top of a Mayan Ruin. Exquiste the way she is able to bring Guatemala and plenty of other places TO the reader. I thought that the way everything in the novel happend seemed very natural and realistic. I felt that if Hubbard had tried anything BUT realistic...the novel would have seemed forced. Bria reminds me of the girl next door with a little oomph. The other main character, Rowan is a beautiful character. He represents the parts of us that we SHOULD embrace even though we often don't. He's complicated and sarcastic, condscending but totally justified. He's brilliant really. I love the interactions between Rowan and Bria and also Rowan's sister Starling. I think one of my favorite things about this novel is that even though there were conflicts...real conflicts...they weren't overly depressing and they weren't so complicated that things couldn't be fixed. They were problems any of us could face. It's so refreshing to see a novel with "real life" conflicts instead of the conflicts that come up with say... vampires or zombies or paranormal activity. (Don't get me wrong... I LOVE those books and enjoy getting away from "real life" problems.) I enjoyed the fact that after I finished the very last sentence of the book, I felt throughly happy and entertained. I did not feel drained from the exhausting plots, characters or themes...it wasn't one of those books that makes you think long and hard after it's done. There is something comforting in knowing that a book was written merely for the joy of being read and enjoyed. No further complications. I know I've said this before, but I'm a huge fan of ambiguous ending and I loved that this novel ended the way it did. Perfect perfect ending. Lastly, the theory that really ripples throughout the whole book is that of "Wanderlove," being so undeniabley, incurably in love with traveling and the beautiful ways of the land that you cannot fully commit to one place. I think it's an extremely interesting, lovely concept and although I don't think I could ever possess "Wanderlove" fully, it would be nice to have a touch of it now and again.
The Bad: Not much bad to say here! The one and only thing I wish was done better was the dialogue. Sometimes I felt it could be a tad bit cliche and little bit dramatic. That's it though!
I really truly loved this book!! I thought it was wonderful and I give it an A!!! Highly recommend it for readers who love traveling novels and books about different countries.
**I received this book free from the publisher through www.netgalley.com. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.