Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Gone Wild by Jodi Lundgren

Purchase: Amazon / B&N

Title: Gone Wild
Author: Jodi Lundgren
Publisher: Lorimer
Publication Date: September 1, 2016
Genre: Young Adult

*I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

Bullied in foster care and then by his adoptive mother's boyfriend, Seth decides to head out on his own. Brooke thinks she might be pregnant, and instead of facing her controlling mother, she runs. The strangers meet in a wilderness park on Vancouver Island, where basic survival is a challenge. As they work together to find food, water, and shelter, they find the strength to take control of their own lives.

Based on the synopsis, I really thought Gone Wild was going to include plenty of dramatic and intense moments, but they were disappointingly few and far between. I also (wrongly) assumed that there would be some hint of romance between the two main characters, Seth and Brooke; again, I was disappointed. These aren't really flaws with the book, I guess I just read too much into the synopsis and made it into something it wasn't before I even started reading. 

I think readers will be able to relate to at least one of the characters in some way. Brooke had to deal with a mom who was very overbearing and thought she knew best about her daughter's future. Seth had the exact opposite problem; his adoptive parents didn't seem to care enough, with his mom's new boyfriend being especially cruel. Personally, I related to Brooke. My mom wasn't as controlling, but she did push me in the same career direction: nursing. She would always tell me how great I would be at it and seemed disappointed if I mentioned going on a different path. I ended up just going with it so I wouldn't disappoint her. So I can sort of understand the pressure Brooke felt even without the possible pregnancy to further complicate things. 

Overall the story was well written and I liked how Brooke and Seth were able to learn and grow by talking to each other, even though they had very different life experiences. It was a very short novel that I easily finished in one sitting. On one hand, I liked the fast pace, but on the other hand it felt like it was ending before it really got started. I also, and this is just personal preference, did not enjoy the third person, present tense style. It's so rarely used in the books I read; it makes me think of a script for a TV show or movie. I suppose it's meant to put you in the moment, but I definitely don't care for it.

Gone Wild fell short of what I was expecting and left me wanting. I know the things that bothered me will not be a problem for everyone, so if you are in the mood for a quick read about two teens facing their problems together, you will probably enjoy it.

If you would like to learn more about author Jodi Lundgren, please visit her website and connect with her on Twitter.

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