Author: Kirsten Hubbard
Published March 13th 2012 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
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What a ride.
No literally, it’s like I’ve been traveling alongside Bria all this time. This book is all about that one journey, that special growth journey you take some time in your life, it can be metaphorical or physical, and lucky Bria Sandoval had the chance to make both. She takes us with her to the beautiful countries of Guatemala & Belize, crossing borders, breaking barriers and crushing old misconceptions about this hidden paradise.
I loved Bria. She is believable, she is going through some stuff, she just broke up with her boyfriend (who I amicably call the bastard) which made her gave up her art, the thing she loved the most; and she’s trying to escape all of that by booking a Mayan route tour with Global Vagabonds. But that turns out to be a huge disappointment, so she ditches them for a pair of backpackers that invite her to join them, Starling & Rowan.
I loved both Starling & Rowan, too. They were everything I was hoping they’d be, they were open minded and adventurous and completely enchanting, I would have been thrilled to meet people like them in one of my trips. Rowan especially, he is so different from your cookie-cutter YA male, he is mature and independent; there’s a raw quality to him too, like Bear Grylls except young and not disgusting. But you can’t believe to imagine how attractive he was, even though he wasn’t very chatty, his actions always spoke volumes, like how he buys bracelets from every kid that asks him. I loved how he was trying to reform from bad boy to good boy, instead of the other way around.
Like Rowan, I also love it when Bria talked about art. I am not much of an art geek, and honestly most of the time I don’t get it when people talk about art, but Bria was a whole ‘nother thing. It was beautiful, the way she explained her love for art; it practically changed me.
And what an amazing change of scenery! I cannot begin to express how grateful I am for this setting, and for the exposure Ms. Hubbard is giving to the people in both Belize & Guatemala, from the bottom of my heart I thank you in their name.
Also, there's a paragraph stuck with me, Rowan talking about why people don’t dare to step out of their calculated tour routes and taking a chance and seeing the country for what itt really is and not just like an attraction; and about how people are always afraid of goiing to third world countries and how they forget that people live there their whole lives. It made me feel embarrassed even though I’ve never been one of those people, but it is kind of sad because it was so true.