{Review} Wanderlove by Kristen Hubbard

Title: Wanderlove
Author: Kristen Hubbard
Number of Pgs. 338 Hardcover 
Publication date: March 13, 2012
Genre: YA
How I got the copy: Library

From Goodreads:

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 hook ups, 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 old versions of themselves.  And the secret to escape 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 to fall for someone worthwhile, she has to start looking back.

I'm going to try a new way of reviewing that I saw over at Making the Grade.  It breaks the book down and makes it easier to rate.  The way it works is each category gets a score out of ten points.  Then you add them all up + 50 (50% automatically for each book) and that's your score out of 100.

 Travel along side Bria through Central America and read about amazing places.
-  A lot of self discovery and a little bit of romance.
-  A must read!

Plot 9/10: Both main characters are keeping secrets from each other which always makes for an interesting plot.  It was not predictable, but at the same time it's still the cute YA book I was expecting and wanting.  The ending was so adorable, but I wanted more.  I turned the page expecting more and saw Acknowledgements.  I was like where's the rest of the book?!  

Characters 8/10: Rowan kept me guessing.  I didn't know if he would revert to his old bad boy ways.  He was so complex, yet he lead such a simple life traveling wherever the next dive job brought him.  Bria was annoying at first.  She lets her ex rule her life even when she's not with him anymore.  As the story goes on I started to like her a lot more.  Starling was pretty cool.  Wish she was in it more.  And I also wish we got to see more of Jack, the devil on Rowan's shoulder.  I wish we could have seen Jack's vulnerable side and find out why Starling and Rowan fell for his charm.

Setting 9/10: I heard so many stories about backpacking through Central America from my sister's fiancĂ©.  It was so fun to see Bria go through some experiences that were similar to his stories.  I really want to visit Central America now!  It sounds intense, but beautiful.  I loved that the author really described a lot of the scenery.  And there were sketches of stuff Bria was seeing on her journey.  I was expecting her to describe underwater at some point and I was disappointed when she didn't.

Pacing 10/10: It was fast paced during the dramatic parts and slow during parts where she's taking in the scenery.  It was perfect pacing and I never found my mind roaming.

Style 10/10: I could vividly picture this book in my mind and it had nothing to do with the sketches.  The way the author described one of the characters was exactly how I pictured them before I saw the sketch at the back of the book.  It was awesome!

Final Thoughts: I loved this almost as much as I loved Anna and the French Kiss.  I think I might buy it some day.  I'm going to recommend this one to my teenage cousin and see what she thinks.  Don't wait to read it if you haven't yet.
Total: 96/100 
“Envy is when you want what someone else has. Jealousy’s when you also don’t want them to have it.” 
― Kirsten HubbardWanderlove

“Even when life turns out different than what you've planned, it's always better to try and fail than to wonder what could have been.” 
― Kirsten HubbardWanderlove

“I think I kind of get it," I say. "Your Wanderlove thing."
"Oh Yeah?"
"It's about always looking toward the future. You can appreciate the good things all around you, but the best part is imminent, just out of reach. Like... perpetual anticipation.” 
― Kirsten HubbardWanderlove

{Guest Post} Blog Tour Stop: Show Biz by Ruby Preston

These past few days have been crazy.  I started a new job last week.  Then yesterday I spent the night in the hospital.  My dad thinks I'm allergic to work lol.  But really it's just a hurniated disc that's pushing on a nerve making my arm and leg numb and swell.  Or so the doctors think, but they're not sure.  So if I disappear again I'm at the doctors.  And that's why this post is late and the review will be even later.  I'm doing better now so hopefully I can blog more this week.

Now, please let me introduce Ruby Preston, the author of Showbiz!  She has kindly agreed to stop by and do a guest post so you can learn a little about her and her new book which focuses on the behind the scenes of Broadway!

From Showtunes To SHOWBIZ
By Ruby Preston

To say that my personal experiences as a Broadway producer have inspired SHOWBIZ would be the understatement of the century. In fact, it was entirely thanks to my crazy experiences - and a few clever friends who suggested over drinks one night that I put my stories down in writing - that my heroine Scarlett Savoy and this whole novel came about!

If you want my juiciest stories, you’ll have to read SHOWBIZ. But let’s just say that show business is riddled with contrasts. From rehearsals in rat infested basements to red carpets and paparazzi. From meetings where the agenda items include discussing a $10 million dollar budget followed by what kind of “look” we want for a fairy godmother in Act 2. And keep in mind that most of these meetings are populated by men in ties discussing said fairy godmothers. Can you picture it?

In these meetings, each decision can feel like it’s make or break, risky, high stakes. And yet, when you take a step back, you can’t help but smile at the subject matter. It’s a crazy business.

Despite the myriad challenges I’ve faced as a young producer, there’s no arguing the fact that I feel lucky every day to work in a business where the shows I produce can have such a vital impact on people. Theater speaks to audiences deeply and can change lives.

Many of you reading this may have been personally affected by live theater. Maybe it was the first time you saw Les Miz orPhantom or Wicked. There’s no doubt that what happens on stage transcends our daily lives. But, as you’ll learn in Showbiz, A Novel that path to Broadway may not be what you think.

I agree that broadway definitely affects us all.  My personal favorites were Rent, Chicago, and Mary Popins!  If anyone is interested in learning more about the author, her book, or if you just want to connect with her online, read below!  Thank you Ruby for stopping by today and sharing some fun experiences you've had.  I think it is so awesome that you've had experience in the show business and have decided to share it with us!  

Author Bio:
Ruby Preston is an up and coming Broadway producer currently working on several new musicals on the Great White Way. She couldn’t be more thrilled to be living her dreams in the Times Square trenches of Manhattan. Ruby loves hearing from readers and Broadway fans so feel free to drop her note via email ruby (@) rubypreston (dot) com or twitter @Broadwayruby.

Connect with Ruby!
My website: www.rubypreston.com
My publisher Dress Circle Publishing: www.dresscirclepublishing.com 
Twitter @BroadwayRuby

Buy the Book!
And on Barnes & Noble's Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/showbiz-a-novel-ruby-preston/1110479015?ean=2940033232789
And on iTunes. 

I won something?! Me?

Whenever someone recognizes my blog and the work I put into it, a smile is permanently plastered to my face for the day.  So when an editor over at  Pocket Change said she wanted to honor my blog with an award, I was all smiles.  Here's an excerpt from the email:

"I’m an editor at Pocket Change, which is part of Become.com’s blogging network, and thought your site was particularly exceptional. I wanted to give you a button for your site for being an “Editor’s Pick.”

This award is presented to blog's that we find exceptional and outstanding. Blogs that have a high amount of followers, have quality content, and are fun and enjoyable for readers. You have far exceeded these guidelines which is exactly why we would like to present our Editor's Pick Award to you."  

The cynical side of me thinks that maybe lots of people get the same email that I did, but I'm choosing to believe that someone really took the time to look at my blog and enjoy it.  So thank you for making my day a little brighter editor at pocket change!  Here's my award.  Go check out Pocket Change's site.  It's actually pretty cool.

Our Editor's Pick! Come visit our shopping blog! Pocket Change
Pocket Change

c  kj

Don't forget to check out my review of Amy & Roger's Epic Detour!

{Review} Amy & Roger's Epic Detour

Title: Amy & Roger's Epic Detour
Author: Morgan Matson
Number of Pgs. 344 Hardcover 
Publication date: May 4, 2010
Genre: YA
How I got the copy: Library

From Goodreads:

Amy Curry thinks her life sucks.  her mom decides to move from California to Connecticut to start anew--just in time for Amy's senior year.  Her dad recently died in a car accident.  So Amy embarks on a road trip to escape from it all, driving cross-country from the home she's always known toward her new life.  Joining Amy on the road trip is Roger, the son of Amy's mother's old friend.  Amy hasn't seen him in years, and she is less than thrilled to be driving across country with a guy she barely knows.  So she's surprised to find that she's developing a crush on him.  At the same time, she's coming to terms with her father's death and how to put her own life back together after the accident.  Told in traditional narrative as well as scraps from the road--dinner napkins, motel receipts, postcards--this is the story of one girl's journey to find herself.

I'm going to try a new way of reviewing that I saw over at Making the Grade.  It breaks the book down and makes it easier to rate.  The way it works is each category gets a score out of ten points.  Then you add them all up + 50 (50% automatically for each book) and that's your score out of 100.

 Fans of Sarah Dessen will like this one.
-  Cute, fun, great end to summer read.
-  touches on a serious topic-forgiving yourself and moving on.

Plot 7/10: The plot was kind of predictable in this story, but I at times I didn't mind.  I loved watching Amy and Roger get to know each other and help each other move on.  I just wish their "romance" could have come sooner.  I kept waiting for something to happen and nothing did.  I liked that we had no idea where they would go next.

Characters 6/10: A few characters annoyed me...like Amy's mom.  She runs from her feelings instead of talking about them with Amy.  So when Amy does the same thing her mom gets mad at her.  How hypocritical?  Roger lacked depth.  We don't really learn that much about him and he's not very unique at all.  The only thing I really learned about his was his music choice and love of explorers.  Some of the minor characters were my favorite though and I liked the way they contributed to their journey. 

Setting 8/10: I loved getting to read about parts of America I always wondered about.  The author has taken road trips so I'm guessing a lot of the setting was places she's actually been.  I wished we saw more of Amy's life once she gets to Connecticut.  Halfway through the book there was less description of the towns they were in and more focus on the character's which made me sad.

Pacing 9/10: Even though the beginning is kind of slow, it really picked up towards the middle.  I found myself flying through chapters.  They basically visit a new town every few chapters where they meet fun characters and take steps towards moving on from their individual problems and learning about each other.  Every few chapters Amy has a flashback to before the accident and we get to piece together what happened that day.  I thought it was clever how the author didn't just tell you up front, but we go on the journey of forgiving herself with Amy.  

Style 8/10: I LOVED the pictures and diary feel of this book.  I wonder if the author really took those pictures.  The playlists, notes about each state, and pictures are what really made me enjoy this book I think.  The only thing I wanted more of was interaction between Amy and Roger.  You'd think since they're both in title it'd be all about them, but Amy has lots of inner dialogue and interactions with minor characters.  I wanted to see some romance!

Final Thoughts: I probably won't read this one again, but I'm glad that I got it out of the library.  I think it'd be a perfect book to read before teens go back to school.  A last road trip before school starts.
Total: 88/100 

Stacking the Shelves/Sunday Post #12

 The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by  Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer.  Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.  Both are a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and talk about what is coming up for the week on our blog. Link up each week.  I will be doing Weekly Recap, What books I got that week, and a sneak peek of what to expect for the next week on my blog.


The Book of Blood and Shadow
Has anyone read this?  Is it any good?  It sounds mysterious and exciting so I hope it actually is.  


  Bout of Books Read-a-Thon           
I feel so accomplished.  I actually did a lot this week on my blog and I got a big girl job that I start tomorrow!  I'm so nervous because it'll be my first time in an office instead of an elementary classroom, but I'm also super excited.  I'm going to try to do lots of my posts today so they're done ahead of time.   

I also decided to change the way I review books by following Making The Grade's rating system.  It's so much easier this way.  To see what I mean click the picture of Deadlocked above for the new style of review.


Reviews to come:
*When She Woke
*Amy & Roger's Epic Detour
*Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
*City of Bones
*Perfect Chemistry 

*Match Maker: Which characters from different books I think should meet/date
*Teaser Tuesday
*Waiting on Wednesday
*Reading Buddy's: How they enhanced my reading experience
*Feature and Follow Friday

 Bout of Books: Final Day!

  Today is the last day of Bout of Books!  It was so much fun twitter chatting with everyone and reading so much.  You should try the next one (in January) if you missed this one.

Here's a recap of my updates from the week:

{Review} Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris

Title: Deadlocked
Author: Charlaine Harris
Number of Pgs. 327 Hardcover 
Publication date: May 1, 2012
Genre: Adult Fiction
How I got the copy: Library

From Goodreads:

It's vampire politics as usual around the town of Bon Temps, but never before have they hit so close to Sookie's heart...

Growing up with telepathic abilities, Sookie Stackhouse realized early on there were things she'd rather not know.  And now that she's an adult, she also realizes that some things she knows about, she'd rather not see--like Eric Northman feeding off another woman.  A younger one.

There's a thing or two she'd like to say about that, but she has to keep quiet--Felipe de Castro, the vampire King of Louisiana (and Arkansas and Nevada), is in town.  It's the worst possible time for a human body to show up in Eric's front yard--especially the body of the woman whose blood he just drank.

Now, it's up to Sookie and Bill, the official Area Five investigator, to solve the murder.  Sookie thinks that, at least this time, the dead girl's fate has nothing to do with her.  But she is wrong.  She has an enemy, one far more devious than she would ever suspect, who's set out to make Sookie's world come crashing down.

I'm going to try a new way of reviewing that I saw over at Making the Grade.  It breaks the book down and makes it easier to rate.  The way it works is each category gets a score out of ten points.  Then you add them all up + 50 (50% automatically for each book) and that's your score out of 100.

 hardly any Eric scenes =(
-  not too much going on in this one
-  mystery

Plot 3/10: I feel like at this point Charlaine Harris has run out of things to write about.  It's the 12th book and Sookie has been in too many near death situations to count by now.  This book was more of her going through her everyday life than it was about romance or action.   Nothing much happened.  There was still a mystery to be solved and I liked that it wasn't what I thought it would be in the end.  I hated the ending though.

Characters 5/10: I love the characters in these books, but this was the first Sookie Stackhouse book where no new characters were introduced.  If there had been any new characters I probably would give this a higher rating.  I also love Eric, and he was hardly in it, which made me sad. Sookie is starting to become thick skinned.  She doesn't even feel affected when people being murdered anymore and that's not the Sookie I used to know. Also, there was no new mythical creature introduced which was strange.  

Setting 4/10: This book takes place in Bon Temps the whole time.  I'm getting kind of bored of Bon Temps.  I loved the books in the series that went other places, like the convention.  I thought she would go to Faery land, but nope, she stayed in her town the whole time.

Pacing 5/10: It was slower paced than other Sookie books.  I like when she's fighting vamps, and hooking up with Eric, and going on missions.  There was only one real action packed scene and it lasted two seconds.  

Style 8/10: I like that in Charlaine's books you always know what you're going to get.  Sookie's character is so consistent that it's like visiting an old friend every time I read one of these books.  Sookie's thoughts are always pretty funny and make me smile.  Overall the writing is kind of simple, but I think it goes well with Sookie's character.

Final Thoughts: If I could go back, I'd skip this one.  I have too many other books to read and this one wasn't really anything new or exciting...a disappointment. 
Total: 75/100 

“It’s called Two and a Half Men,” Dermot was telling his guest.

“I understand,” Bellenos said. “Because the two brothers are grown, and the son isn’t.”

“I think so,” Dermot said. “Don’t you think the son is useless?”
“The half? Yes. At home, we’d eat him,” Bellenos said.” 

Charlaine Harris

The Harley Bear Post #4

Bringing you the latest news in the book blogging world.
Here is some of what I have read this week on other blogs!

Note: I do not claim these articles as my own. They are 
all the work of fellow bloggers that I follow and want to 
share their work.

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon
Bout of Books 
By: Amanda
Photo from: Bout of Books

Wanna make a dent in your TBR pile?  Join us
in the Bout of Books event.  Set your goals and
read as much as you can!  Participate in challenges,
giveaways, and tweet chats.  If you can't make it to
this one there will be more in the future.  Here's my
goals and updates so you can get an idea of how it 


By: Eileen
Photo from: goodreads

Eileen is an awesome blogger and  she's giving away one copy of, in
my opinion, the best debut contemp
of 2012.  You have one more day to 
get your entries in so don't wait to enter.
By: C.S. Lakin
Photo from: Live, Write, Thrive

I love this author/editor's advice on how to break down the components of a story.  She's really helped me in
my attempt to write a novel so I  hope she can help
other aspiring authors out there.  Check out all her great
By: Amanda, Jonathan, & Emily
Photo from: Hippies & Beauty & Books oh my

This blog is always giving great giveaways.  This one you can win:

Grand Prize:

 An Amazon Kindle Fire pre-loaded with 3 books of your choice

1st Prize:

$50 Amazon Gift Card or $50 to spend at The Book Depository

2nd Prize:

2 book orders of your choice from Amazon or The Book Depository

It ends August 30 at midnight!

By: Jenna
Photo from: goodreads

I had put this book on my to read list and then forgotten about it.  Jenna's review raves about it and now I'm really excited to get it and read it soon!
Featured Meme:

By: YA Bound
Photo from: YA Bound

This meme is fairly new, but it sounds really fun.  You pick whatever you're currently reading and say what made you swoon so far in it and why.  I love falling for characters so I might start participating in this soon.

Featured Author:
Photo from: goodreads

This author is awesome.  I just read her new book Last Summer and loved it.  It's about a girl trying to help this guy she just met recover from his drug addiction.  And of course there is some romance in there and some drama.  She's also doing a giveaway to give away 5 copies!
Featured Tweeter: 



I love reading this twitter friend's reviews.  Her review of Iron King reflected everything I thought of the book too.  I'm glad I wasn't the only one to not love it.  She's not afraid to be honest.  I see her around twitter often and she very friendly.  

This week I tried to do a new format.  I'm not sure if I like this table format, but it's better than the old HB Post where I had to link it to an old blog of mine.

Popular Posts

Like us on Facebook

2013 Reading Challenge

2013 Reading Challenge
Melissa has read 5 books toward her goal of 100 books.

2014 Reading Challenge

2014 Reading Challenge
Melissa has read 0 books toward her goal of 100 books.

2015 Reading Challenge

2015 Reading Challenge
Melissa has read 16 books toward her goal of 50 books.

Flickr Images