Hardcover, 352 pages
Published 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.
I do not read Contemporary. I’ve gone over the reasons why in my past reviews, so I’ll skip that here. But I have to admit, I could care less what genre this book is, it’s AMAZING! Just a truly fantastic story that I believe will enrapture all readers, no matter your preference.
Hubbard’s description of Central America made me feel as if I was actually there. She paints the most realistic, breathtaking scenes, while capturing the raw, not-so-elegant atmosphere, too. I’m not one to travel much, but the scenery in this story made me want to pack a backpack and go hiking. No lie.
If you’re still not convinced to give this book a try, I have one word for you. Rowan. *Melts* Oh girls, he is one swoon-worthy guy who will make you hop on a plane to CA. The simmering romance between Rowan and Bria was perfect. And hawt. Hubbard created so much tension between these two characters, and I clung to every almost kiss. I loved how they balanced each other, while also both seeking to discover and change. All I can say is this story is wonderful. I can’t rave enough!
A travel writer and young adult author, Kirsten Hubbard has hiked ancient ruins in Cambodia, dived with wild dolphins in Belize (one totally looked her in the eye), slept in a Slovenian jail cell, and navigated the Wyoming badlands (without a compass) in search of transcendent backdrops for her novels. She lives in San Diego, California.