Wildlifeby Fiona Wood (Website)
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on 2014-09-16
Genres: Adolescence, Australia & Oceania, Dating & Sex, Depression & Mental Illness, Friendship, Girls & Women, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Wildlife<img src="http://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=bewitcbookwo-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B00HQ2MXSC">Amazon • Goodreads
During a semester in the wilderness, sixteen-year-old Sib expects the tough outdoor education program and the horrors of dorm life, but friendship drama and an unexpected romance with popular Ben Capaldi? That will take some navigating.
New girl Lou has zero interest in fitting in, or joining in. Still reeling from a loss that occurred almost a year ago, she just wants to be left alone. But as she witnesses a betrayal unfolding around Sib and her best friend Holly, Lou can't help but be drawn back into the land of the living.
Fans of Melina Marchetta, Rainbow Rowell, and E. Lockhart will adore this endearing and poignant story of first love, true friendship, and going a little bit wild.
This book sounds not like your usual Young Adult story, plus the cover is ultimately cute, so if course I was quite eager to get my hands on this book!
Beautiful Setting in the wilderness of Australia
What makes this book stand out among the other YA stories is most definitely the setting. It sounds like a combination of boarding house, but with the charm of the wilderness of Australia! First off, I cannot remember one book where kids have to spend a few month in a camp to learn more about the wilderness and actually get to know each other and get to know themselves better. It’s a great concept which teaches so many things to young people! Also, it makes for quite different experiences for the kids and also problems they have to face!
Real and genuinely honest characters
But apart from the setting, the story lives from the quite uniquely real characters. Fiona Wood creates her characters that are not over-stylized and she rather focuses on showing the kids with all their insecurities. Beauty, Friendship, Depression, Lost and Betrayal are all issues to be addressed in one way or the other. The story is told from two girls POV – but each in a different format, which again adds to this unusual and unique story.
We get First Person POV from Sib, who is more or less the center of the story and then there is Lou, who writes in form of a letter and makes us see Sib from yet a different perspective.
See the Real Me!
After Sib is being cast for a Beauty campaign she finally gets regained by the cool crowd, but the question is, is this the attention she really wants and how are her real friends. It’s easy drift away and get swept away by this attention, but what I loved especially about Sib is that she always tried to stay true to herself. Another big part of the story is her unhealthy friendship with her best friend, which was so destructive and it made me anxious to see how and if Sib finally figures this out!
Then there is also Sib’s best friend who is the weird Nerd and Outsider, who becomes friends with the new girl Lou who has just lost her boyfriend.
The whole story surrounds about who you are, who you want to be and how people see you!
The reason why the book didn’t win me over completely was a little bit the age, which is mostly my problem, but I usually prefer stories with older protagonists. And even though this book deals with Sex and a few mature issues, they all felt very young for me! I was also missing a little bit the romance, even though it was not a central part of the story, but the cover suggest at least a little romance.
Wildlife by Fiona Wood shines with incredible real characters, that all deal with growing up into the persons they want to be and figuring out how to stay true to themselves. The beautiful setting creates a unique environment for these issues to be addressed in a different way.
Any Australian Readers here? Is this “out in the wilderness” months something many schools do, or this is only created for Wildlife? And, would you like have spend a few month away from home in the wilderness to spend some time getting to know yourself better?