Author: Kirsten Hubbard
Publisher: Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult, Travel, Adventure, Romance, Self-Discovery
"It all looks like it's been in a battle."
"Maltreated mangoes," Rowan says.
Is he actually joking with me? I smile tentatively.
"Abused avocadoes." I try. "Warmongering watermelons."
"There aren't any watermelons" -- "That's because they lost the war."
No, 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.
But Bria comes to realise 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.
By reading this book it makes me want to grab my backpack, book a ticket to somewhere I have never been, get lost, meet new people and find myself in the midst of that little adventure. I would love to do this once in a lifetime if I had enough kaching in my bank account. Well, enough to support me during that vacation! And hoping to find myself in the process of learning and searching!
As for the conclusion, those who still struggle to find yourself or want to go for a virtual adventure, you should read this book. You won't regret!
"And I want nothing more in the entire universe than to dive headfirst into the kaleidoscope of colours, to let them whirl around me until I become a fractal of light." (pg.20-21)
"Fairy-child, if only you should take my hand, I would show you things beyond your wildest dreams." (pg.174)
"Or they'd listen, but they wouldn't care. No one would. Hearing about vacations is like hearing about dreams - no one cares except the person who's experienced them. Without tastes and scents and context, they're meaningless." (pg.301)
"How a person sees more by travelling cheap. More of the real world, at least. And then, once you've travelled this way, it probably wouldn't feel right to travel in luxury, even if you could afford it." (pg.312)