Wanderlove, by Kirsten Hubbard

Reviewed by Isabella, age 15, New Jersey
Sweet Designs Featured Writer

Featured Gold Star Writer Bio

18-year-old Bria signs up for a guided tour in Central America in hopes of discovering herself, but she finds herself stuck with middle-aged people in fanny packs. Soon, though, she meets intoxicating backpacker Rowan, and joins him off the beaten path. As they travel through Mayan villages and remote islands, she realizes that both of them are seeking to escape a past, but the more she tries to look forward, the more she knows that sometimes you have to look back.

Whether you love to travel or prefer to stay at home, Wanderlove is a lush and gorgeous novel that anyone can enjoy. Although backpacking elements are of course explored and discussed at great length, the story goes beyond that and has a certain resonation that lends a universal quality to it. Emotion is infused with the characters and plot so that every feeling is projected straight from Bria to the reader as she struggles to find herself and perhaps something more.

An intriguing aspect of this novel were the pictures, drawn by the author, that were sprinkled throughout the book. They were lovely and perfectly fit the story, complementing the beautiful prose and adding a hidden dimension to it. These, combined with the larger-than-life characters and the complex intertwining of subplots, lead to a story that is at once wild, carefree, and laden with reality.

While Wanderlove lacked the gripping quality of Kirsten Hubbard's debut novel, Like Mandarin, it told a story that was brimming with exotic locales, an enviable romance, and self-discovery, all with an air of authenticity stemming from the author's personal experience. This is adventure, love, and perspective, wrapped up in a small but rewarding package, and not one to be skipped over.

I give Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard 4 stars (of a possible 5).

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February & March Magazine Issues

March 15, 2012

The February and March issues of Sweet Designs Magazine are now online, featuring a combined 53 new articles and features!!

- Cover: Stephanie Lynn reflects on 5 years
- Cover: India (of Darn-licious knitwear)
- Life in the dumps (moving in with my bf)
- The difference between men and women
- Angels among us (parts 1 and 2)
- Arts graduates & the dark night of the soul
- Triple threat (how I survived my teen yrs)
- Dating isn't easy (my true story)
- How to turn not-so-great gifts ... (fashion)
- Ten reasons to love being single
- Taking the big leap (college)
- Valentine's Day (not what you'd expect!)
- The last of the cold (hopefully) (fashion)
- A month full of love
- Ten tips for successful airline travel
- Reasons I love writing for SDM
- Who needs love?
- They're not all the same
- The life I'm glad I don't have (fiction)
- Professional dress/ finding Fendi (fashion)
- An airport anniversary: a true story
- Inappropriate Facebook photos
- The perks of a big city (college)
- A night(mare) to forget (part 2)
- The Anita Blake series (book review)
- Saving June by Hannah Harrington (book)
- Under the Mesquite by GG McCall (book)
- The Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (book)
- If I Stay by Gayle Foreman (book review)
- My sweetheart (original poetry)
- Isn't it funny (original poetry)
- The stranger (original poetry)
- A winter wonderland (original poetry)
- One night valentine
- The thick envelopes (college acceptance)
- Southern love
- Healthy hair and vitamins
- It's a date (dating idea alternatives)
- The 30 hour famine
- School's out forever!
- Marching right back into spring? (fashion)
- Dear John
- When TV shows depict your life
- 3 Fun ways to rock spring's hottest trends
- Neglected teeth
- Starting something new
- Guy movies
- To hesitate or dive in?
- Deadly, by Julie Chibbaro (book review)
- Beastly, by Alex Flinn (book review)
- I don't care (poetry)
- Together, alone (poetry)

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