Hello, bookworms! Happy book review Tuesday! Today, I’m going to do something slightly different and avoid the small talk, rip off the band aid, and dive head-first into discussing the book.
I will begin by giving a rather hearty disclaimer. I’ll be honest. This is the first time I’ve written a review where I’m slightly terrified of possible responses to what I’m saying and talking about. Regardless of my thoughts on this process, as a book reviewer, I decided that I have to give every page I come across its moment and just be honest as I can about the material I encountered, and how it affected me as a reader. Two things I’d like you to remember before the formalities; this is a work of fiction, and my opinion/experience with this book does not reflect on my personal morals. That being said, this will be a longer post, so bear with me. Now, let’s talk.
DISCLAIMER: The Wild by K. Webster is a work of FICTION. This story deals with quite controversial and taboo content. The author has asked that reviewers keep spoilers out of our posts, so I will do what I can to convey this story without giving everything away. There maybe some minor spoilers, but I’ll try to avoid them as best I can.
Please keep in mind that we, as readers, read to go on adventures, to fight the villains, fall in love, discover new things, travel the world, and meet people from all walks of life. This story and its author received a lot of hate and a lot of threats for this book which were not needed or acceptable. As readers and writers, part of the goal is to become someone you’re not, and to push the envelope. Her fictional take does NOT reflect on her views as a person, nor will my opinion of my time with The Wild reflect on me. I do not condone the behavior in this story. I just did what I do with any book.. escape reality for awhile. I was simply a bystander and a silent witness to a different way of being.
Before I picked up this book, I had never read anything by K. Webster. I had several of her stories on my TBR, but I hadn’t gotten to them yet. With the release of this book came the backlash. I was unaware of the content, but I moved it to the top of my reading list to see what the uproar was about. I’ was, however, well aware how edgy and taboo this book could be. I also kept in mind that it was not real. If I was uncomfortable at any point, I’d close the book and walk away. As a reader, I like to venture into the unknown, and this was no different.
That being said, I applaud Webster for writing something different, something crazy, for just writing, period. She has the courage to do what so many of us don’t, so don’t punish her for that. If you don’t agree with the subject matter, you have the right to not read it, to read what you enjoy instead. There is no need for hate, bashing, or threats against her or her family. Stop exaggerating things where they don’t need to go. It’s a book.. Paper with words. It’s not a reflection of opinion, wishes, or desires. Please don’t take it as such.
Warning (from K. Webster): The Wild is an extremely taboo story. Most will find that the themes in this book will make you incredibly uncomfortable. This book is only for the brave, the open-minded, and the ones who crave love in even the most dismal of situations. Extreme sexual themes and violence in certain scenes, which could trigger emotional distress, are found in this story. If you are sensitive to heavy taboo themes, then this story is not for you.
After suffering an unimaginable family tragedy, Reed liquidations his successful business and packs up his wife, Sabrina, and their daughter, Devon into a well-prepped RV before heading into the remote, Alaskan wilderness. He’s hell-bent on making new and fantastic memories with his family in order to try and heal some of the pain they’ve been dealing with for far too long. Unfortunately, things don’t go quite as he planned.
As his wife slips further into her depression, Reed does what he can to entice his wife to participate in their new life, but nothing he does seems to work. Instead, he finds himself spending more and more time with Devon. The pair have always been close, and as they spend hours, days, and months building their new life off the grid, things take another turn. When Devon and Reed realize they only have each other, their dynamic changes drastically.
Not only do they have to navigate the intensity of their new surroundings, but also that of their personal interactions as well. It’s dark, uncomfortable, and exactly the title of the book.. completely wild.
As I stated earlier in this post; I did have to walk away from this book at least three times that I can remember. When it comes to a 280 page book, I consider that a lot. I just needed space to get my head straight and wrap my brain around what was developing with the characters. However, I’m glad I stuck by this story, mostly because it didn’t go quite the way I was expecting. There was a twist at the end that made me feel slightly better about everything I had just experienced. I also felt that the twist allowed the story to make more sense overall and explained more about the bond between Reed and Devon.
This was a tough read. It’s rare that I read books of this subject matter or of a taboo nature, but as I said before, it’s a work of fiction, and I know I can separate it from reality, so I was able to walk away from this adventure without being scarred for life. For what it was, I found aspects of this story passionate, raw, gritty, and intense on many levels. The entanglement Reed and Devon find themselves in was quite the examination of human behavior and unconditional love. It also blurred the lines of right and wrong. As previously stated, I don’t condone much of the behavior that happened in this book, but I couldn’t help but be completely immersed in their world to learn why they thought and acted the way they did.
If you do choose to give this a go, please go in with an open-mind and remember that this is just another facet in the world of literature. If you can tell by this post, or any others you may come across, that this book is not for you, I encourage you to find something that will completely immerse you.
This book has been banned on most websites and in most formats, so if you’d like a copy, you can download it on the author’s website here: The Wild