Book Review: Wild by Alex Mallory

Posted May 5, 2014 by Lori in Books, Reviews / 5 Comments Tags: ,

I received this book for free from Around the World ARC Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Wild by Alex MalloryWild by Alex Mallory
Published by HarperCollins on 2014-07-08
Genres: Retelling, Young Adult
Pages: 448
Format: ARC
Source: Around the World ARC Tours
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three-stars

Cade, a teen raised alone in the wilderness, is thrust into civilization in this modern retelling of Tarzan.No one knows the forest better than Cade, who has spent his entire life there, foraging, hunting, and surviving. Raised to believe no one else is left in the world, he is shocked when he encounters Dara, a modern girl on a camping trip in his woods. And when an accident forces him back into society with her, he begins to question his entire life. Together, Cade and Dara attempt to handle their newfound celebrity as the media closes in. But the truth of Cade's past might be too much for either of them.Alex Mallory's action-packed and romantic tale is told from both Cade's and Dara's point of view and is perfect for fans of contemporary and dystopian YA as well as classic survival stories such as Hatchet, Lord of the Flies, and Tarzan.

Wild by Alex Mallory was interesting and well written but in the end I just didn’t love it. I was intrigued by the concept and the idea of a Tarzan retelling. But the characters didn’t grab me the way I wanted them to and not a lot happens in this book. I still enjoyed reading it and would recommend anyone interested in the concept to go ahead and pick this one up.

Wild is told from the third person point of view so we get to learn about a lot of characters and see how a the story unfolds from many different locations but never get anything really personal from them. I totally understand the choice to write it this way and this is just my opinion, but I would have almost preferred this be told in alternating first POVs from Dara and Cade. And if not that, I would have next preferred just a first person narrative from Cade. His story is the one that interested me the most. As interesting as it was to hear about him adjusting to “normal” society and some of his thoughts on technology and stuff, I would have really loved seeing it from his POV. But we didn’t get that. It’s such a minor thing and just personal preference but with how long the book ended being and how much more I wanted to learn about Cade, I just keep wondering how first person would have made the book different. It was still fun watching Cade be introduced to modern technology and indoor plumbing and stuff, but otherwise I think I just wanted more from all of the characters and to really learn what Cade thought of people and how we live. Dara as a character was just okay for me. She was nosy and I felt like she should have manned up when it came to Josh and their relationship instead of dragging her feet and treating him the way she did. I thought Lia, Dara’s sister, was an interesting character that didn’t quite get the moment she deserved. Sophia, Dara’s best frind, is the only character I really liked and thought was given just the right treatment. Overall the characters were fine. I really liked Cade and Sophia but I wasn’t a huge fan of Dara.

I did think the book was well written. Considering how long the book is and how not a lot really happens, I had no trouble reading it in just a couple days and would recommend it to people. While I haven’t actually seen any Tarzan movies (I know!), I do know a little bit about the story and think it was very well executed as a YA retelling. Also, I thought the ending was actually really well done. This book is a standalone (as of now, at least) but the ending is left open a little and I liked that it felt fluid and hopeful rather than cliffhanger-y or just over. I don’t know if that makes sense or not but I liked reading a story and feeling a sense of satisfaction with how it ended and I got that here.

Like I said earlier, I liked this book but didn’t love it. Besides from not liking Dara much, I also thought that not very much happened in this book. I think it’ll be one that a lot of people like because it does deal with interesting characters and Cade’s introduction into society after living in the woods his entire life was compelling. But the reveal about his past wasn’t as shocking as I was hoping and, again, not much happens. When looking at the characters from the beginning and then again at the end, I can see some change in them but not a lot of growth or accomplishments. It really is just a story about this short period of time where Dara’s and Cade’s lives overlaps and how they deal with it. If you’re looking for a lot of action and adventure, you won’t find it here. But if you want a character story based on Tarzan, you’re looking in just the right place. I’d recommend this book along with a mention that there’s not a lot of action.

 

 

5 Responses to “Book Review: Wild by Alex Mallory”

  1. I haven’t read this yet, though I should be receiving my review copy any day now. I do feel more prepared now, knowing that it’s not so much an action/adventure novel. I think what interested me the most is that it’s a retelling of Tarzan and I’ve never seen one before – George on the Jungle aside . . . I do love that goofy little movie.

    I can understanding wanting a first person POV from Dara and Cade – him especially. Of course I can’t judge until I read it, but I understand your want behind it and I’m in the mindset to agree with you on that.
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