Thursday, March 15, 2012

Tens List with Elisa Ludwig

Today I have Elisa Ludwig, author of Pretty Crooked, on the blog for an interview of sorts!


Psychologist: I'm always intrigued by how people think.
Pastry Chef/Ice Cream Maker: I love baking and making ice cream at home.
Painter: I almost went to art school but chose a liberal arts education instead.
Travel Writer: Probably doesn't need an explanation!
Namer of Things: It's an actual job! I just read a great New Yorker article about it.
Interior Decorator: I still lament the passing of the late great Domino magazine.
Florist: How could you ever be in a bad mood?
Bed and Breakfast Owner: I may still do this later on.
Librarian: Seems very peaceful and fulfilling.
Professional Scrabble Player: I'd need a lot of practice to get there, but it sounds like fun, right?

Thanks for having me, Jamie. It's been super fun!

Thanks, Elisa, for stopping by bookmarked today! Several of those occupations are also tempting to me, especially a Travel Writer. Be sure to check out the other tour stops for more interviews, guest posts, and reviews!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Character Interview: Bria from Wanderlove

Today I have Bria, the main character from Kirsten Hubbard's Wanderlove, for an interview! She is here courtesy of the Teen {Book} Scene blog tour. I LOVED Wanderlove and was super excited about getting to know Bria better.

1. Twitter style: describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

Girl. Eighteen. Fond of drawing sea serpents and butterflies in unlikely places. Totally over her ex-boyfriend. A traveler, maybe.

2. What was your first thought when upon meeting your fellow vagabonds?

Not to be mean or anything, but... let's just say they were the exact opposite of the travelers in the Global Vagabonds pamphlet. Yikes. I didn't spend all my money on a trip to Central America to travel with my parents.

3. You and Rowan are very different. How did you make traveling with him work?

We were both interested in each other. Not in that way, necessarily. At least not at first. But I just found him so fascinating -- his insight, all the wild places he's been. And for some reason, he seemed just as fascinated by me. Also, unexpectedly, we have pretty much the exact same sense of humor. He's a little more into pranking tourists, though. The jerk.

4. What was your favorite experience from Central America?

My number one favorite experience... well, I'm not going to recap that here! But there were so many memorable moments. Like when we mud wrestled in Livingston. Super embarrassing but just so great. And those times we sat in a hammock together, late at night, just talking and talking.

5. Do you have any other trips planned?

I want to go EVERYWHERE.

Thanks, Bria (and Kirsten) for stopping by bookmarked today! Be sure to check out the other tour stops for more interviews, guest posts, and reviews!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Author Word Association with Margie Gelbwasser

Today I have Margie Gelbwasser, author of Pieces of Us, on the blog for an interview of sorts!

Vacation: Now please.
Dessert: Fruit
Cocktail: Super sweet wine
Windy: Blech
Black: goes with everything
DVR: can't live without it
Mall: samples and carousels
Cosmetics: black eyeliner
Watering hole: no good ones around here
Route: 4-the go-to highway here

Thanks, Margie, for stopping by bookmarked today! Be sure to check out the other tour stops for more interviews, guest posts, and reviews!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard

Publisher: Delacourte
Released: March 13, 2012
Genre: Contemporary
Pages: 335
Source: Netgalley
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 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 realize 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.
I am reminded of the part in Little Women where Professor Bhaer gives Jo a bit of advice: write what you know. Obviously there isn't really a Godspeed, sparkling vampires, or arenas full of lethal children (thank God), so that advice isn't necessarily warranted in today's world of Young Adult literature. But Kirsten Hubbard's experience as a travel writer and frequent trips to Central America make Wanderlove a gorgeous novel no one else could have written.

I am one who believes there should be more "older YA" on the shelves. How many twenty-year-olds feel like adults? Hell, I'm twenty-four, and I still feel like a kid playing house sometimes. The transition from high school to college/career/whatever the character does after high school is a huge part of growing up, and I am so glad Kirsten picked a recent graduate as her main character.

Bria is fresh out of high school, newly single, and unsure of her future. Despite warnings from her best friends who bailed on her, Bria signs up for a chaperoned trip to Guatemala. Before the plane even lands, Bria is embarrassed by her fellow travelers aka retirees and strict guides. All she wants is some freedom - to be carefree like the backpackers she envies. Before long, Bria breaks rank and joins a reserved backpacker named Rowan and his sister Starling. Although she almost immediately realizes backpacking isn't quite what she thought it would be, Bria follows the siblings across Central America discovering more about herself than the places and people surrounding her.

I very much enjoyed Hubbard's debut novel, Like Mandarin, for its beautiful descriptions and lyrical prose. These aspects are not missed in her sophomore novel, and as an added bonus, Kirsten includes her own artwork sprinkled throughout. She is extremely talented in both medias, and has an incredible way of inspiring me to travel to the places she so vividly describes. I may be a bit biased, as I had the pleasure of meeting Kirsten twice and enjoyed her very much; however, my love for her craft is genuine, I promise you.

Wanderlove is a unique view of the after-high-school experience, and whether you're backpacking across Central America or lingering around your hometown, any teen can relate to Bria's journey to self discovery.

FTC: I received an eARC of this novel from Random House via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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