Author: Kirsten Hubbard
Reading level: Ages 14 and up
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (March 13, 2012)
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Goodreads summary: 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 into 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.
MY views: Wow – not really about the book but about the fact that I finally finished a book. Recently I have been in a phase where I keep itching to start a lot of books but none gets finished. So this was a marvel. And it does have to say a lot about the book too.
As always I never read a book blurb. Some random quirk of mine. I want to unravel the book without knowing anything about it. And it really worked for this one. Mmm, I am still reeling with the aftertaste, salty like the ocean but sweet like a drink.
A beautifully penned down book, some lines are really well written and thought-provoking. But what I loved the most was the concept of the book. So fresh, new and interesting. It was like I was on a different kind of a journey myself. A beautiful journey you tend to get lost in.
I don’t know what more to say without revealing anything about the book. I loved all the sketches in the book. Wished there were more, though. 🙂
The book has it all, there are funny lines to make you laugh, the serious bit too, and some deeply profound lessons stated with such simplicity that you don’t feel like you are being lectured because you understand the reality and appropriateness of it all. Am I making any sense? I don’t know. But the book does.
And the most wonderful part of the book, it all feels real. Nothing is bookish or made-up or fantasized, it’s all, you know like, it can happen to anybody. I guess the reality also comes from the author who sketches and backpacks and knows all about places, so she has put so much of herself into the book, it’s like you are there with the characters who, by the way, are very well defined and you know them, up close.
Wanderlove, do you know what it means? You will know when you read the book, the meaning is beautiful and apt. What a great word to coin.
I think you really have to read the book to know what it’s about and why it is so fascinatingly beautiful.
There are some lovely lines that make me shiver from inside (in a good way), like-
“I recall the rasp of charcoal on newsprint, the chewing-gum stretch of a kneaded eraser, the precarious bite of a razor blade in a new pencil. The vibrancy of fresh watercolors squeezed from a tube. A new sketchbook, cracked open to flawless white. The way the smell of turpentine made me feel simultaneously sick and excited.”
And did you know the difference between envy and jealousy? I didn’t. Here it is-
“Envy is when you want what someone else has. Jealousy’s when you also don’t want them to have it.”
Some more beauty-
“Hearing about vacations is like hearing about dreams — no one cares except the person who’s experienced them. Without tastes and scents and context, they’re meaningless.”
“What you love the most is what you have to fi ght the hardest to keep.”
You want me to make it short and sweet? Simple, go read the book!