It all begins with a stupid question:
Are you a Global Vagabond?
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.
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'll be honest. I'm not much of a traveler. As a Sagittarius, I've
always read my horoscopes about what a natural traveler I am. It's why
horoscopes don't hold much stock for me.
I were a traveler, I'd be exactly like Bria. Which is why I love this
book so much. She's trying soooo hard to be a backpacker. She wants it
so bad. She wants to take risks. She wants to forgot the loser boyfriend
back home. But she just can't break her true nature. She just can't be
who she's not.
In the end, it's the experience of traveling that changes her. She learns from it, and she doesn't have to be someone else.
Great book, great character arc, great ending. LOVED IT.
Disclaimer: This review is cross-posted on my personal blog.