Thursday, March 8, 2012

Let Me Explain Why WANDERLOVE Is Now One of My All-Time Favorite Books (+ Giveaway)

As soon as I wrote that title, I realized I wasn't entirely sure how I would go about this explanation, any more than I could fully explain why I really love a fresh-out-of-the-fryer cheese empanada rolled in sugar. Everything about it just makes me...happy.

But I know. That's a lame answer. So I'll do my best. Bear with me.

Also, scroll down below the review to enter to win a SIGNED Hardcover of WANDERLOVE.


WANDERLOVE by Kirsten Hubbard

Goodreads summaryIt 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.



MY REVIEW

Do you remember when you first fell in love with reading? The book that did that for you? And then how every time you went to the library or to the book store, you tried to find more books just like that, to reproduce that feeling you had while reading THE book?

WANDERLOVE was like that for me. It gave me that same little thrill, the one that makes you forget it's just a book and that the characters and the places, while they may be real somewhere, are not, in fact, real real. It's the kind of book that you dive into and can't quite put down even though the number of pages are quickly dwindling, meaning your story is going to come to an end soon so it's making you crazy. There's just something about Kirsten Hubbard's books--I don't know what it is exactly--but it's a certain kind of magic, I think, that makes you forget the rest of the world while you're reading. Her LIKE MANDARIN was like this, too, although in a very different way. WANDERLOVE is..I don't know, lighter, I think. 

Romantic? Funny? Sweet?

Yes. All of these things. And yet WANDERLOVE doesn't feel like a rom com. While I cracked up at Bria and Rowan's brilliant banter and curled my toes and grinned like an idiot at the developing romance, there was a depth of emotion beneath it all that makes the story feel rather profound. Bria and Rowan are two lost souls, though they don't really think they are. It's not until they come together in the process of escaping their demons that they realize the past is not something that can be so easily shed simply by ignoring it--that they have to stop running from it in order to truly leave it behind and find themselves in the process.

Bria and Rowan are the type of characters that just jump off the page. Such distinct and vivid personalities, so easy to envision. Rowan is the kind of person that others gravitate to, confident in his own skin, content without outside validation; while Bria is the kind of person so many of us are, just waiting for the right moment and a degree of strength to discover the Rowan within ourselves. And yet as different as Bria and Rowan are, they play off of one another so beautifully--they just click, bonding over a similar (hilarious) sense of humor. I wish I could post a few lines from the ARC just so you could see for yourself.

And the setting...dang. Such lush, vivid imagery, it's like watching a movie unfold within the printed text of WANDERLOVE. Hubbard somehow seems to know exactly which details to insert that will have you feeling by the end of a chapter as if you have just visited a place. As if you have just touched, tasted, smelled, and soaked in the sights and sounds of Central America--and through Bria's eyes, it makes you feel as if you, too, have been transformed. After reading WANDERLOVE, I was ready to book tickets to Guatemala and Belize. Oddly enough, I even felt like I could go with nothing but a backpack and sandals and no itinerary.

Like I said, it makes you feel transformed.

WANDERLOVE is filled with hope and redemption and longing and heartbreak. But also with spirit and passion and beauty and joy. It is more than just a novel of unforgettable adventures. It is an unforgettable adventure in itself. WANDERLOVE is a book I know I will return to.

WANDERLOVE will be available March 13, 2012.

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And because I loved WANDERLOVE so much, I'm offering you a chance to win a SIGNED Hardcover copy. Just click on the link below to enter!

CLICK HERE TO WIN SIGNED Hardcover of WANDERLOVE

This giveaway is international and ends Thursday, March 15, midnight EST. You must be 14 years old to enter. If you win, you will need to provide an address for shipment. Under 18's must have parent/guardian permission to enter.

THANKS FOR ENTERING!




THIS GIVEAWAY HAS NOW ENDED. WINNER POSTED BELOW.

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Be sure to check out what the other Bookanistas are raving about today:



Christine Fonseca  interviews PIECES OF US author Margie Gelbwasser

Carolina M Valdez adores WANDERLOVE - with giveaway

Megan Miranda celebrates SLIDE – with giveaway

Jen Hayley takes a shine to STARTERS

Stasia Ward Kehoe discovers THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN YOU AND ME

Tracy Banghart  gives a shout-out to SHUT OUT

Jessica Love wonders at WANDERLOVE



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The winner of the signed Hardcover of WANDERLOVE by Kirsten Hubbard is:

Bookish in a Box


Congratulations on your win! Please email me an address to which I can send your awesome signed hardcover. Thanks so much to all who entered! I'll try to post a new giveaway soon.


59 comments:

  1. Oh I've been dying to read this one since I first heard about it. Your review made me even more excited for it! Thanks for the contest!

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  2. I'm totally buying this now. You should be the blurb on the back of the book! I remember thinking Kirsten was a master of setting in LIKE MANDARIN and it seems she has done it again. Can't wait!!! Thank you :)

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  3. I recently read and loved this book as well. I love travelogue type stories. Great giveaway!

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  4. Well, I am sold! It's now on my reading list!

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  5. I've run out of clever things to say about how good you are at this.

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  6. I love all the Wanderlove love :) I read the Netgalley of this months ago, and I couldn't put it down. I've been recommending this to everyone ever since. I even included it in my blog challenge as the Most Underrated Book! I want everyone to read this.

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  7. I read an ARC of this book and totally (did not expect to, but) FELL IN LOVE WITH IT! I am glad other people are having the same reaction!

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  8. DANG, I loved this book. I read it ages ago, like October, maybe. (guess who was the first non-beta/editor reader? this girl!) It was incredible and indescribable and BY FAR one of my favorite books. I can't wait to get my hands on an actual, hard copy.

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  9. I don't know how she did it, but she captured the ineffable, and for that I'll be forever grateful for her and this book! Definitely one of my all time faves, too!

    xoxo

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  10. I can't wait to read this book. I was such a fan of Like Mandarin, and I have a feeling that this book will be just as delightful. :)

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  11. I'm so anxious to read this one. I am a huge fan of books that take me somewhere I've never been and I can get lost there. It helps, especially since I can't afford a real vacation. ;)

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  12. Wow. After a review like that, I don't know how anybody could NOT want to read this book! Fantastic, Caroline. :-)

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  13. hi miss carolina! wow this sounds like a book my sister and one of my brothers could like lots. im gonna get my other brother to come sign up to win it cause im not old enough. :( hes a global vagabond for sure and been everywhere. hes the one i told you that was helping in haiti like you did.
    ...hugs from lenny

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  14. I haven't read any of her books yet - this sounds like a great one to start with. Thanks for the review and the giveaway!

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  15. I've read Like Mandarin, but I haven't picked up this book yet. Thanks for the review and giveaway! It seems like a lot of people are loving this book, and I'd love to give it a chance. :]

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  16. I wanted to read this already, but now... whoa. I HAVE to get this book, ASAP. I really need a distraction from all the hard stuff right now, and this sounds like the perfect thing!

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  17. Another book I've added to my Goodreads list because of you! (and I mean that lovingly) ;)

    Thanks for the review!

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  18. I've been dying to read this! Thanks for the giveaway!

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  19. I'm a traveling man and fancy myself to be a bit of a lover so I'm certain I would enjoy this book. Very nice review.

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  20. Wow, what a review! Who wouldn't want to read the book after checking out this post!

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  21. I already hit up Liza's blog for her review and now with yours, it's a must read!

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  22. i just reread this book a couple day ago and i plan on rereading it again next month--that's just how much i love this darn book. this part of your review really resonated with me:

    WANDERLOVE was like that for me. It gave me that same little thrill, the one that makes you forget it's just a book and that the characters and the places, while they may be real somewhere, are not, in fact, real real.

    in fact, the whole REVIEW did. i hope you don't mind if i copy paste it onto my own blog too :P haha, j/k. i am however having a hard time expressing my love for WANDERLOVE. how do you explain books that alter your viewpoint on life? seriously. so you can imagine how badly i want to win a copy!

    thank you so much for the giveaway, carol! you. rock.

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  23. I know I reviewed this book today, too, but I'm entering your giveaway because I would love a copy for my classroom. :-)

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  24. I think I'm in love with Kirsten Hubbard. She has created another fantastic and believable novel. Beautiful work. I need to get my hands on a physical copy!

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  25. I've heard such good things about this book. I can't wait to read it. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  26. My friends loved this book I really hope I can read it, soon!

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  27. Sounds great! I especially love the fact it has so many different and vivid settings. Looking forward to it.

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  28. This looks so good! Like Mandarin was so good and really the wanderlust has been hitting me lately so reading a book about it would be wonderful! :)

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  29. Great review! I loved loved loved this book and I SO WANT a HARDBACK COPY! I only read it through NetGalley and it would be awesome to have a copy myself! This is one of my favorite read last year and I so want this book. Thanks so much for this awesome giveaway! Yay for Wonderlove!!

    Xoxo

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  30. I really want to read this book! After reading this review, i want to read it even more!! Thanks for the giveaway!
    Madiha

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  31. You do such a wonderful job on book reviews! Thanks for sharing Wanderlove with us.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

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  32. I love your book reviews! I must say, I didn't feel particulary attracted to this book, but this post made me rethink!

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  33. The setting for this book sounds fab! Just the kind of thing I like to read about.

    Jai

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  34. I keep hearing how wonderful this book is - I can't wait to read it!

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  35. I hesitate to read romances because they can tend toward the sappy and shallow, but Wanderlove sounds both interesting (due to the world travelling) and sincere.

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  36. My word, that's some book review!

    Methinks I may have to purchase, Wanderlove!

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  37. Congrats to Kristen! I love her writing and have been looking forward to this one for a while.

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  38. Thank you so much for this fabulous giveaway! I've been wanting to check this book out for awhile now. If I don't win -- I still have a reason to go pick it up.

    Thanks again. You rock!
    Amy :)

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  39. Thanks so much for the contest! I lOVED your review :)

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  40. looking forward to the book. i have always love light-hearted young adult books. thx for ur review.

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  41. Wow, not only is the review excellent, but I really like how you organized the entry form, too. *tucks away for future reference*

    Thanks for the great review on what's sure to be an amazing read!

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  42. so excited to read this. on my TBR list!

    Sabrina Beilharz

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  43. Oh I've had my eye on this book and to hear you gush about it, I want to read it NOW!

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  44. :O :O I never heard about the author or the book but this is COVER LOVEEE! It's so beautiful! Fingers crossed!

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  45. I can't wait to read more about the setting in Wanderlove. Thanks for the chance t win a copy.

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  46. Welp. I'm adding this one to my list!! Excellent review, I'm salivating for it now ;o)

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  47. Just entered and Tweeted - this sounds like an amazing book!

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  48. DAMN, I want to read this now. That's the most convincing review I've read all day :) I am definitely shifting Wanderlove up on the priority list! Bria and Rowan both sound like such amazing characters and I can't wait to experience the settings. Thanks for the fantastic review!

    Sonia

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  49. I keep hearing such great things about this book. Can't wait to read it! Thanks for the review!

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  50. I want that to be my life... roaming around the world. Sigh. Going to Italy on Sunday, so that's a start!

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  51. Thanks for the giveaway, now I really want to read it. ;)

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  52. I love that this book is getting so much notice! After reading Like Mandarin I am beyond excited for this one.

    (I used to follow as thegirlonfire27 but I have changed my email address so I will be showing up as Stephanie27 and getting rid of the old name soon.)

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  53. This book sounds wonderful. I want to dive in.

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  54. Too bad I missed the giveaway, but I am looking for this book now for my Nook! This story sounds right up my alley. I want to travel now!!!

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  55. This book sounds great! I'm all into the sweet and light reads right now. Adding to list right now! Hope you are doing great, carol!!

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  56. Loved this review. Congratulations to the winner !:)

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  57. If you can't tell already, I ADORED this book. It's epic. And gorgeous. And if it doesn't make you want to travel, I don't know what will.

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