Wanderlove – Kirsten Hubbard

TITLE:  Wanderlove
AUTHOR: Kirsten Hubbard
RATING: 4 Stars


GENRE: Young Adult-Fiction, Romance, Travel
FORM: eBook, Netgalley, ARC
RELEASE DATE:  March 13, 2012

SYNOPSIS: On a quest of self-discovery and independence, Bria decides to take a guided tour of Central America the summer after her senior year. She wants to use this time to really see the world, but also she is using it as a distancing tool from the betrayal of her ex-boyfriend, Toby, and her constantly fighting, under protective, not concerned parents. She has given up the one thing that makes her truly happy, art, so now she is out to have a great time and let loose a little. That was the plan at least. The discovery that her tour group is made up mostly of people in their middle-age or older who are constantly griping at and protecting her, is when her plan first starts to go out the window. She decides to take a step out on her own when she meets Starling and her very cute brother, Rowan, both of which are well-traveled experience backpackers. Stepping out, Bria gets the trip she was hoping to get in the first place, and with a travel companion who is just as bent on leaving his past behind him.


REVIEW: Reading books about travel, especially spontaneous and outrageous travel, makes me want to pack my bags and go. Through the eyes of Bria, even the bad and ugly seems to shine in a brighter, more attractive light. She is able to see the beauty of the world in practically everything, and living this trip through her voice was wonderful. The traveling, however, is only the surface of the book. Both Bria and Rowan are working through their own issues. No matter how much they try and keep their past lives from one another, little by little things slip out and start unraveling.

I loved Bria’s unwavering respect toward Rowan’s privacy. Even when she didn’t have much of a reason to trust him any longer, she still refused to let people talk about his past without his say so. I loved Rowan’s pension for quoting books he’s read. Both have let the world around them and their experiences impact who they are in away, that despite the issues and trouble they’ve been into in the past, I was almost jealous. I wanted to be one of them, and to see and experience the world like they do.

The conversations about judgment and being judged were impacting to me as well. Their conversations were mostly about travel; just because you’re a backpacker doesn’t mean that you’re poor; and just because you travel on guided tours doesn’t mean you aren’t well traveled. I think their opinions and conclusions are applicable in many areas. They were also very human about it as well. Even once reaching these conclusions about not judging, Bria still struggled with it, misjudging Starling from beginning to end.

Of course there is the budding relationship. I loved the pace that Bria and Rowan moved at. Both of them were going through some major healing, dealing with their own issues. I loved that much of that healing was done together, and that made their relationship seem all that more real and sweet.


WHAT I LOVED: Rowan and Bria were both down to earth, believable characters. They were easy to relate with. I know I wanted to be their friend, and to go backpacking with them for the rest of my life. I loved the descriptions of Central America as well, even the big nasty bugs didn’t seem all that bad.


NOT SO MUCH: I felt Bria’s water fear went a little bit too far. I got the impression that what made her not want to get in the water was a result of something that took place outside of the water, in a car. She gave into drawling again before she went into the water, and to me, art was a much bigger deal, it was her life and what brought her joy. It was the area in which she was attacked repeatedly in, and then in the end what sort of broke things in the first place.

Voyager – Diana Gabaldon

Voyager (Outlander, #3)Voyager by Diana Gabaldon

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Summary:

Claire has discovered that Jamie has survived and makes the decision to once again go through the stones and try and find the one man she’s ever truly loved back in time.  This is a decision she cannot make lightly, as she is leaving her daughter Brianna behind, but her love for Jamie surpasses all other.  Life with Jamie is never boring, Claire finds herself in the middle of adventure and danger from the moment she steps back in time.

Review:

Have you ever gotten to the end of a book and thought, “man, I really want to know what happens next?”  I pretty much lived there as a kid.  I always hated when a book ended.  I have a feeling Diana Gabaldon felt the same way, because she takes her characters and keeps moving forward.  The Outlander series is extremely creative, and dramatic story.  Jamie and Claire find themselves in so many different odd scenarios, that sometimes I feel like it’s an episode of Forest Gump, you know how he had his hand in almost every major event of his time?  These books have so much motion to them, that you hardly realize that they are L-O-N-G.  Voyager was an approximately 36-hour audio book.  I feel like I have completed a Claire/Jamie marathon.

My honest opinion of this books and this series (I’m pretty sure I haven’t reviewed any of the other books); they are a great read.  I find I want them the most when I’m in a lull – I have so many books that I find I wait on through the year that if I need something to pass the time, I pick up a Diana Gabaldon book.  I’m not in love with them, however I have met plenty who absolutely LOVE these books and re-read them regularly, I just don’t fall into that camp.  I enjoy them.  They pass the time, and I really love the characters, and the stories.  I think that the only problem is – this is exactly what would happen if a book truly did just keep going on and on.  Eventually you’re like, really?  Can they ever just have a moment’s peace or just live for a few years without incident (but who would want to read THAT book???)  I have to spread these books out, because too much would be…well, too much.

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30 Nights with a Highland Husband – Melissa Mayhue


Thirty Nights with a Highland HusbandMelissa Mayhue
Genre: Adult Romance
Form: Mass Paperback Book

Scotland, 1272. Connor MacKiernan, a descendant of the Fae Prince, is a warrior who lives only for honor and duty. Though he’s vowed never to marry, that’s exactly what he must do to save his sister. Enter a little Faerie magic, and the search for a bride is on.

Denver, 2007. Caitlyn Coryell is having a really bad day-she just discovered her fiance with another woman! Imagine her surprise when she puts on some sexy lingerie and an antique pendant and Connor appears in her bedroom, begging for her help. He offers a simple yet outrageous adventure: travel to his time, marry him, and return home.

But nothing’s simple when Cate is trapped in the thirteenth century. The wedding’s delayed, someone’s trying to kill her, and in the middle of all this, she realizes she’s falling in love with a man who can only be her husband for thirty nights.

Source: back of book
Highlanders, time travel, and faeries – oh my! Obviously, judging from my blog and previous reading adventures – all things that I enjoy in a book. But really, this was just a normal romantic adventure. Gets your heart thumping – both at the romance and at the danger. I can’t say it was the best or worst book I’ve ever read. Just entertaining.

I do think Melissa Mayhue has the ability to put an entertaining story together – so let’s not downplay that. Her characters were likable and somewhat realistic. I mean – how real can people be who are decedents of Faeries?? So the imagination is needed as well. The only thing that keeps this book from standing out is – I’ve pretty much read it before in another, or a few other books. In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t really stand out outside of the fact that I do like to read romance novels, and it fulfilled it’s obligation to entertain me in a way that T.V. just does not.

Time Traveler’s Wife

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Genera: Adult Romance, Adult Science-Fiction

(From the back of the book)

A most untraditional love story, this is a celebrated tale of Henry DeTamble, a dashing, adventuresome librarian who involuntarily travels through time, and Clare Abshire, an artist whose life takes a natural sequential course. Henry and Clare’s passionate affair endures across a sea of time and captures them in an impossibly romantic trap that tests the strength of fate and basks in the bounds of love.

I LOVE this book! The book summary sums it up well, as it really is about Henry and Clare’s adventure with Henry’s genetic disorder. It is a love so passionate and true that it withstands some serious conflicts and adventures. Among my favorite scenes include their wedding day, and Clare and Henry’s run-in with her horrible first date. This book had me laughing out loud and crying heartbroken tears. I, personally, would rate this book among some of the greatest loves stories ever told. Although, I have my doubts about it being done very well – the movie rendition of the book is coming out, and I am looking forward to it.