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With an instantly compelling protagonist who finds herself fighting for her life in the wilderness using her wits and resilience, THE WILD is a suspenseful original paperback page-turner with nonstop action and a heroine readers won't soon forget. FROM THIS MOMENT ON, YOU'RE A BEAR CUB. YOU'LL LEARN RESPONSIBILITY AND RESPECT. HOW TO SURVIVE. IT'S EASIER IF YOU JUST ACCEPT With an instantly compelling protagonist who finds herself fighting for her life in the wilderness using her wits and resilience, THE WILD is a suspenseful original paperback page-turner with nonstop action and a heroine readers won't soon forget. FROM THIS MOMENT ON, YOU'RE A BEAR CUB. YOU'LL LEARN RESPONSIBILITY AND RESPECT. HOW TO SURVIVE. IT'S EASIER IF YOU JUST ACCEPT IT. Dawn isn't a bad person--she's just made some bad choices: wrong guy, wrong friends, wrong everything. But she wasn't expecting her parents to pay a boatload of money to ship her off to OUT OF THE WILD, a wilderness boot camp with a bunch of other messed up kids to learn important "life lessons." It's true that Dawn and the other cubs will learn a lot--but it's not what any of them expect. Because what happens in the woods isn't what their parents planned. Sometimes plans go very wrong. And this is one of those times. Suddenly Dawn is more scared than she's ever been in her life. And you will be too.


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With an instantly compelling protagonist who finds herself fighting for her life in the wilderness using her wits and resilience, THE WILD is a suspenseful original paperback page-turner with nonstop action and a heroine readers won't soon forget. FROM THIS MOMENT ON, YOU'RE A BEAR CUB. YOU'LL LEARN RESPONSIBILITY AND RESPECT. HOW TO SURVIVE. IT'S EASIER IF YOU JUST ACCEPT With an instantly compelling protagonist who finds herself fighting for her life in the wilderness using her wits and resilience, THE WILD is a suspenseful original paperback page-turner with nonstop action and a heroine readers won't soon forget. FROM THIS MOMENT ON, YOU'RE A BEAR CUB. YOU'LL LEARN RESPONSIBILITY AND RESPECT. HOW TO SURVIVE. IT'S EASIER IF YOU JUST ACCEPT IT. Dawn isn't a bad person--she's just made some bad choices: wrong guy, wrong friends, wrong everything. But she wasn't expecting her parents to pay a boatload of money to ship her off to OUT OF THE WILD, a wilderness boot camp with a bunch of other messed up kids to learn important "life lessons." It's true that Dawn and the other cubs will learn a lot--but it's not what any of them expect. Because what happens in the woods isn't what their parents planned. Sometimes plans go very wrong. And this is one of those times. Suddenly Dawn is more scared than she's ever been in her life. And you will be too.

30 review for The Wild

  1. 5 out of 5

    James Thane

    Owen Laukannen’s new book, The Wild is aimed at a young adult audience, but it’s certainly smart and sophisticated enough to appeal to a lot of adult readers as well. The protagonist is a seventeen-year-old girl named Dawn who has suffered an emotional trauma and has made some very bad decisions in consequence. She can’t stand the man her mother recently married; she’s run away from home several times; she’s abusing drugs, and she’s moved in with a drug dealer who’s nearly old enough to be her fa Owen Laukannen’s new book, The Wild is aimed at a young adult audience, but it’s certainly smart and sophisticated enough to appeal to a lot of adult readers as well. The protagonist is a seventeen-year-old girl named Dawn who has suffered an emotional trauma and has made some very bad decisions in consequence. She can’t stand the man her mother recently married; she’s run away from home several times; she’s abusing drugs, and she’s moved in with a drug dealer who’s nearly old enough to be her father. And at that point, her mother and stepfather basically kidnap her and send her off to Out in the Wild, a “wilderness therapy program for troubled youth.” Boot camp would be more like it. The “therapy” involved here centers on marching a group of troubled teenagers through the woods and up and down steep mountain trails, in cold, miserable weather, with no comforts at all—not even so much as a backpack and a tent—unless and until you can earn them. Dawn is issued a tarp, some water, and a bare minimum of food and is sent off with several of her fellow campers on a forced march under the supervision of two “counselors,” whose sole approach to “therapy,” is to drive the kids to exhaustion and, apparently, to break down their resistance to authority. Dawn’s fellow hikers turn out to be a mixed bag of kids, some of whom are emotionally disturbed while others who simply mean and violent and probably belong in prison rather than in a wilderness program. And it’s clear going in that trouble is going to follow. Dawn is a very sympathetic protagonist, and Laukkanen moves the action along briskly with short, fast-paced chapters that keep the reader turning from one page to the next. By implication, Out in the Wild is a pretty suspect organization, and it’s hard to imagine how the program they offer would ever actually benefit anyone, save for the people who are making money by convincing parents to enroll their children in this program. I’m a huge fan of Laukkanen’s earlier novels, which have been aimed at an adult audience, and while reading The Wild, I found myself thinking repeatedly about his book, The Stolen Ones, which is not only an excellent thriller but an eye-opening examination of the sex trade business. I wish he would have had the opportunity here to more thoroughly examine the entire “boot camps for kids” industry, but I imagine that probably wouldn’t have been appropriate in a book designed for younger readers. Even as an adult, I was pulled along by the book’s propulsive pace; I can only imagine how quickly I would have been turning the pages had I read this at the age of fifteen or so. All in all, this is another excellent novel from Laukkanen who has conveniently solved the problem of what I will be getting my teenage nieces and nephews for their birthdays this year.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Claude's Bookzone

    3.5 Stars CW: (view spoiler)[Description of person falling off cliff edge, murder, dealing with guilt over death of father, drugs and alcohol, bury your gays (hide spoiler)] Well that was a pretty exciting survival story! Okay, the writing was a bit clunky, the POV felt weirdly done, and the author's notes that told us bad stuff was about to happen were a bit odd. Ignore that all and just enjoy the thrill of the chase and fight for life. Really glad to have this one on order for the library. 3.5 Stars CW: (view spoiler)[Description of person falling off cliff edge, murder, dealing with guilt over death of father, drugs and alcohol, bury your gays (hide spoiler)] Well that was a pretty exciting survival story! Okay, the writing was a bit clunky, the POV felt weirdly done, and the author's notes that told us bad stuff was about to happen were a bit odd. Ignore that all and just enjoy the thrill of the chase and fight for life. Really glad to have this one on order for the library.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Carrie (brightbeautifulthings)

    Dawn has been in a spiral of bad choices since her father’s death, and she’s shacking up with her older, drug dealing boyfriend when her mother and step-father finally step in. They ship her off to Out of the Wild, a wilderness camp for troubled teenagers where Dawn is forced to hike all day and camp at night, earning the privileges of tents and camp stoves. She’s miserable and unused to roughing it, but when a dangerous trail takes a deadly turn, Dawn and her Pack are suddenly fighting for thei Dawn has been in a spiral of bad choices since her father’s death, and she’s shacking up with her older, drug dealing boyfriend when her mother and step-father finally step in. They ship her off to Out of the Wild, a wilderness camp for troubled teenagers where Dawn is forced to hike all day and camp at night, earning the privileges of tents and camp stoves. She’s miserable and unused to roughing it, but when a dangerous trail takes a deadly turn, Dawn and her Pack are suddenly fighting for their lives in the wilderness–and the wildlife may not be the only thing trying to kill them. I received a free e-ARC through NetGalley from the publishers at Random House/Underlined. Trigger warnings: character death (on-page), parent death (off-page), bury your gays, severe injury, drug use, sexual harassment, slurs, grief, guilt, blood, vomiting. Laukkanen’s writing style and I do not get along. It alternates between short, stark sentences of the action and meandering run-ons of Dawn’s train of thought with hardly a description in between besides Warden’s Green Eyes (because of course). In terms of books that put me inside their world, this one never manages it. The writing seems to favor humor above everything else, including plot, character development, and not spoiling its own plot twists, but it’s not half as funny as it thinks it is. It’s got a Lemony Snicket style where the narrator occasionally intrudes on Dawn’s story with side-commentary, but it’s more baffling than anything. If you recall, Lemony Snicket is a side character in A Series of Unfortunate Events, but it’s never clear who the narrator of The Wild is supposed to be, just that it isn’t Dawn. It’s one of those instances of style not serving function at all, and you know how much I hate things that are just there for show. Plot-wise, it’s about what you’d expect, except, as I said, the narrator is at pains to spoil any twist before it happens. We’re literally told a character is going to fall off a cliff right before she falls off a cliff, which is not only wholly unfunny, but undermines any sense of tension or terror. The wilderness is plenty scary by itself without any murderous teenagers on the loose, and it’s far more frightening than Laukkanen’s antagonists. The book tries to align itself with others of its kind, like Lord of the Flies, but where that’s an effective parable of society crumbling, The Wild is a novel of bratty teenagers who are absent adult supervision for all of thirty seconds before they riot. There isn’t a bit of believable character development to be found, from the group breaking down that fast to Dawn’s sudden resolve to be a good person when she’s never shown an inkling of anything besides self-interest for the entire novel. It’s a fairly grim ending with a high body count and a truncated sense of overall purpose. Dawn might have been changed by the experience, but if she was, we’re not there to see it. I could take that as a comment that further trauma isn’t a conduit to healing, but that seems like giving The Wild too much credit. I review regularly at brightbeautifulthings.tumblr.com.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ludwig Reads

    ”Maybe you had to read Lord of The Flies in class. Or, like, Heart of Darkness. If you did, then you kind of know what to expect here.” I friggin’ love final girl stories, and The Wild, in a way, is definitely one. This YA thriller basically revolves around a teenager who’s sent to a wilderness therapy program for troubled youth called Out Of The Wild. The protagonist is super fun, and the formatting of the book is just so crazy and original, in the best way. It’s basically one-page-long chapters ”Maybe you had to read Lord of The Flies in class. Or, like, Heart of Darkness. If you did, then you kind of know what to expect here.” I friggin’ love final girl stories, and The Wild, in a way, is definitely one. This YA thriller basically revolves around a teenager who’s sent to a wilderness therapy program for troubled youth called Out Of The Wild. The protagonist is super fun, and the formatting of the book is just so crazy and original, in the best way. It’s basically one-page-long chapters with multiple shocking “Author’s Notes” scattered all throughout, with excellent writing. Through the entire storytelling, the author is speaking directly to the reader. And I really enjoyed how he playfully toys with the reader when something twisty or explosive is about to happen. That made the experience much more fun. The ending was so gripping and I was on the edge of my seat as I followed our protagonist Dawn’s journey to see if she will escape the perpetrator(s). If you’re fascinated by the wilderness, want to read something different, or are just curious to see how a group of teenagers would survive a brutal therapy program in the middle of the mountains, then make sure to pick this one up. There’s murder, suspense and so many twists - I definitely recommend this!!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jim Thomsen

    There's no question that Owen Laukkanen can tell one hell of a story, and THE WILD is an example of him at his high-energy, propulsively paced, high-stakes-plotted best. THE WILD is a semi-fresh spin on a comfortable suspense-thriller trope — a group of people with hidden agendas, isolated together far from the comforts of civilization, with a rising body count — and Laukkanen is perfectly at home in this kind of story, glorying in the harshness of high-mountain nature and engineering dark human There's no question that Owen Laukkanen can tell one hell of a story, and THE WILD is an example of him at his high-energy, propulsively paced, high-stakes-plotted best. THE WILD is a semi-fresh spin on a comfortable suspense-thriller trope — a group of people with hidden agendas, isolated together far from the comforts of civilization, with a rising body count — and Laukkanen is perfectly at home in this kind of story, glorying in the harshness of high-mountain nature and engineering dark human twists at precision-timed intervals to keep the reader squirming happily and hopelessly on the hook. There's no question that the reader will have no choice but to race to the last page to see who's bad and who's good, and who lives and who dies. Everything is so well engineered that the WILD feels like a screenplay treatment fleshed out into a tie-in novel, and — small wonder — the novel has already been optioned for film development. It's LORD OF THE FLIES meets ALIVE meets SCREAM. That said, THE WILD's pleasures are thin, perhaps thinner than they should be. As in many (but not all) Laukkanen novels, the characters are more types than fully dimensional beings, and I found it difficult to bond with any of them, even the POV heroine, Dawn. She just seems assembled from standard parts like the character version of an IKEA bookshelf. And that seems by design — nothing can be allowed to interfere with the breakneck storytelling. Maybe it's a feature to some; to me, it's definitely a bug, the difference between a story you'll want to re-read and one you'll forget before you pick up the next one. The literary analogue to a Maroon 5 song. Another problem was the persistent use of unnecessary foreshadowing, particularly in the use of smirky, semi-condescending Author's Note inserts that seem to serve no purpose other than to remind us that we're being manipulated. ("IF YOU’RE GUESSING that Dawn and Lucas’s ridding themselves of necessary supplies will have consequences? You’re right" is a typical example.) No need for that; the storytelling does that work just fine on its own. I guess the smirky-ness is part and parcel of the YA experience, where everything has to sound edgy and ironic in the service of the almighty supremacy of voice, but I wish the author had trusted his storytelling — and his audience — to carry their own backpack. One other quibble: The WILD feels like a missed opportunity to go deep into the shadowy twilight zone of the unlicensed, unregulated, murderously abusive for-profit troubled-teen-toughlove industry, in which untrained and unqualified adults break down children physically and psychologically in ways that have been proven to cause lasting damage. Instead, it's more interested in its R.L. Stine-style hyperventilations over standard-issue murderous teen melodramatics. If you're interested in how a story with these basic elements can be told with depth, heart, adolescent authenticity and an accessible but original voice, try the classic THE GROUNDING OF GROUP 6 by Julian F. Thompson.)

  6. 5 out of 5

    Carlene Inspired

    With short chapters, unique formatting, and an intense plot, The Wild is a Young Adult Thriller that, despite my usual narrative preferences, is quite difficult to put down. Set in Washington's wilderness, The Wild is the story of trouble teen Dawn and her even more troubling experience at a teen survival program, Out of the Wild, meant to break her of her bad choices. Her parents are promised that it will come with counseling and important adult experiences, that a reformed daughter will return With short chapters, unique formatting, and an intense plot, The Wild is a Young Adult Thriller that, despite my usual narrative preferences, is quite difficult to put down. Set in Washington's wilderness, The Wild is the story of trouble teen Dawn and her even more troubling experience at a teen survival program, Out of the Wild, meant to break her of her bad choices. Her parents are promised that it will come with counseling and important adult experiences, that a reformed daughter will return, but no one knows the horrors she'll really return with. Dawn is actually likeable as a character, she's the kind of teen who would actually benefit in the long run from the experience, and she does, but not in the way the program says she will. The wildnerness doesn't help every teen, some of them it changes. Instead of learning survival and wilderness techniques, she has to just survive. Thanks to the author's notes and general predictability of the story I knew what might come, but Laukkanen's writing style kept me engaged. I don't usually like omniscient narrators, but in this case it helped view the story. It was like holding a map and seeing the characters movements, what brought them here, where they'll go, and why. It's definitely more of a coming-of-age young adult read, these teens aren't in a troubled teen program for no reason, their experiences are that of adults. I liked the thriller aspect of it and I really enjoyed the character development that takes place through the entire novel. While it didn't hit it out of the park for me, this book will certainly find a happy home on reader's shelves. ARC provided.

  7. 5 out of 5

    OutlawPoet

    I have no clue why I always get such a kick out of those books where wayward teens are forced into survival camps in the woods by frustrated parents. Maybe it’s because my own teen years were so uneventful and drama free? Anyway, I love these things. This is a pretty good one. Definitely a lot of drama and some of these kids…um…really need help. There’s a little Lord of the Flies feel to this one. It gets dark. The writing style is interesting. We get occasional chapters by this omniscient narrato I have no clue why I always get such a kick out of those books where wayward teens are forced into survival camps in the woods by frustrated parents. Maybe it’s because my own teen years were so uneventful and drama free? Anyway, I love these things. This is a pretty good one. Definitely a lot of drama and some of these kids…um…really need help. There’s a little Lord of the Flies feel to this one. It gets dark. The writing style is interesting. We get occasional chapters by this omniscient narrator who breaks the third wall talking to the reader. I kind of dug it, but I will be honest and tell you that Mr/Ms Omniscient Narrator needs a freaking spoiler warning. It’s constantly like: But you know that this bad thing will happen (next chapter that exact bad thing happens) or but character A would soon regret that decision (followed by character A regretting that decision). All. The. Freaking. Time. But… It’s still a good story. It’s suspenseful and full of danger and drama. A fun read. *ARC Provided via Net Galley

  8. 4 out of 5

    Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)

    You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight This book was wildly entertaining (pun not intended, but I like it so it stays), and nearly impossible to put down. We meet Dawn, and Dawn is a mess of a person. She makes basically all the worst life choices every chance she gets. Her judgement is trash, frankly. So, Dawn's mom and stepdad decide she needs to go to this boot camp in the woods for "bad" kids. Dawn, for her part, is pisse You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight This book was wildly entertaining (pun not intended, but I like it so it stays), and nearly impossible to put down. We meet Dawn, and Dawn is a mess of a person. She makes basically all the worst life choices every chance she gets. Her judgement is trash, frankly. So, Dawn's mom and stepdad decide she needs to go to this boot camp in the woods for "bad" kids. Dawn, for her part, is pissed. I didn't blame her, because I'd be pretty salty if I had to hang out in the woods with a bunch of strangers (who may or may not be actual criminals, in some cases) for an indeterminate amount of time. The book is written in such a unique and fun style, it hooked me almost immediately. The author basically breaks the fourth wall, in a very humorous way, and I loved that. It gives the book a bit of levity that it would otherwise lack, considering the heavy subject matter. Because things are indeed heavy. Dawn has been through hell, with the death of her father, and her turning to drugs and a really inappropriate, unhealthy, and illegal relationship with a much older (and awful) man. And now she's at this camp, and you know shenanigans are afoot. The campers and the counselors set out for some rough experiences in the woods. Things will turn ugly, obviously. And we'll get to see whether Dawn has really learned anything from her experiences. It's harrowing, Dawn's wilderness adventure, and I shan't say anything else other than I was hooked until the end. Bottom Line:  A definite page turner with a unique style, I was immersed in this story from start to finish.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Laura Peden

    4.5/5 HOLY 💩 this was good!!!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mrs. Europaea

    The style and format was jarring at first.. but I quickly became engrossed in this story of following Dawn on her ursine journey through the recovery process.

  11. 5 out of 5

    여리고

    I'm curious to see how this story goes. It totally reads like Be Not Far From Me. And it is definitely a good thing if my notion is correct. I'm curious to see how this story goes. It totally reads like Be Not Far From Me. And it is definitely a good thing if my notion is correct.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Landis Powell

    If I could, I would rate this book a zero. In the year 2021, why are we still publishing books written by entitled men who have no business telling these stories? Unless perhaps it's from the perspective of the creep "counselor". Not only is the writing comically bad (I get it's YA, but come on...), but the sheer amount of trash words this man has managed to string together is almost infinite. Don't waste your time, and especially not your money. If I could, I would rate this book a zero. In the year 2021, why are we still publishing books written by entitled men who have no business telling these stories? Unless perhaps it's from the perspective of the creep "counselor". Not only is the writing comically bad (I get it's YA, but come on...), but the sheer amount of trash words this man has managed to string together is almost infinite. Don't waste your time, and especially not your money.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    I'm generally a big fan of this author, so I jumped at his latest without realizing it was YA. I soon found out. That, however, is not the reason for two stars...this book was just a bit weird(!?). Not the plot or the characters which were very ordinary and very derivative. No, it was like OL was ashamed of writing this thing so several times he interrupts with "Author's Notes" which basically in a paragraph tell the reader that "Yes, I'm writing a lot of predictable YA crap here, but bear with I'm generally a big fan of this author, so I jumped at his latest without realizing it was YA. I soon found out. That, however, is not the reason for two stars...this book was just a bit weird(!?). Not the plot or the characters which were very ordinary and very derivative. No, it was like OL was ashamed of writing this thing so several times he interrupts with "Author's Notes" which basically in a paragraph tell the reader that "Yes, I'm writing a lot of predictable YA crap here, but bear with me, it's not easy to churn out 360+pages." They almost read like notes to his editor which someone forgot to delete. Very strange!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Molly Chaney

    Trash book written by a terrible person who exploits other peoples’ stories for profit. Would give this book and this author a 0 if I could.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mandi Lynn

    This was definitely an entertaining read. It tells the story of a girl that has gone off the rails being kidnapped and sent to one of those outdoors boot camp type places that sort of scares/exhausts kids straight. Of course, this is a book, so it wouldn't be interesting if things went exactly as planned. The voice in which this story was told was a semi-sarcastic narrator that made for some interesting interjections. Overall I think this was a good sort of man vs man, man vs nature thriller typ This was definitely an entertaining read. It tells the story of a girl that has gone off the rails being kidnapped and sent to one of those outdoors boot camp type places that sort of scares/exhausts kids straight. Of course, this is a book, so it wouldn't be interesting if things went exactly as planned. The voice in which this story was told was a semi-sarcastic narrator that made for some interesting interjections. Overall I think this was a good sort of man vs man, man vs nature thriller type book.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Britt (brittsbookblog)

    This book is YA thriller at its finest! I thoroughly enjoyed every minute and didn’t want to put it down. The story is set in the wilderness and that provides the perfect backdrop for Dawn (our MC) to battle through her own internal “wilderness” and by the story’s end, totally change the trajectory of her life. Dawn is a troubled teen. She runs away from home, lives with a much older drug dealer, and spends her time trying to dull her mind enough with alcohol and drugs to forget a tragic event t This book is YA thriller at its finest! I thoroughly enjoyed every minute and didn’t want to put it down. The story is set in the wilderness and that provides the perfect backdrop for Dawn (our MC) to battle through her own internal “wilderness” and by the story’s end, totally change the trajectory of her life. Dawn is a troubled teen. She runs away from home, lives with a much older drug dealer, and spends her time trying to dull her mind enough with alcohol and drugs to forget a tragic event that happened in her past. Her mom has recently remarried and Dawn resents her new stepdad. Her anger, bitterness, and regret have caused her life to spiral out of control. She’s headed down a dangerous path and she isn’t even out of high school yet. Enter Out of the Wild, a wilderness hiking and survival program for troubled teens. Early in the story, Dawn’s mom and stepdad send her there against her will. The program involves a series of grueling hikes through the forest and mountains, accompanied by camping and backpacking. It’s a miserable experience, designed to force troubled teens to progressively earn their badges and eventual graduation from the program. The hope is that by the time they’ve graduated, the teens in the program will have conquered their demons and will be ready to reenter society with new values and a sense of purpose to direct their lives. But as the story eventually proves, the wilderness doesn’t always bring out the best in people. When things start to go really wrong, Dawn must choose between saving herself and doing the right thing. But doing the right thing could get her killed, either by the hand of the wilderness or by the other members of her recovery group. It’s a fight to the death for survival. This was such a fun and engaging book. However, there are a few pointers worth noting. First of all, the format was a little unusual. The author uses an omniscient narrator and extremely short chapters to keep the tension high. It’s a very clever stylistic choice, but can be a little jarring at first. Second, there is quite a bit of adult content in this book (even though it’s written for YA). A LOT of foul language, references to drugs, underage drinking, and underage sex. Rebellion toward parents, bad attitudes, etc. It’s just content to be aware of if planning to allow a child to read it. That said, this book is a story of transformation. Transformation that comes from harsh and painful life lessons. It’s well worth the read and totally enjoyable to boot. I'm so glad I had the opportunity to read it. (Many thanks to Netgalley for this eARC in exchange for an honest review!)

  17. 5 out of 5

    Tracy Cutter

    I see mixed reviews for Owen Laukkanen’s The Wild. But I have to say that I enjoyed it immensely. I found myself immersed in the main character’s story from the beginning and all the way through. I found the author’s humor cute and snappy and loved the way he steps out of the story to talk to us for a sentence or two. Found the spoilers hilarious rather than annoying. But I’m the type who reads ahead and then doubles back, not really caring about spoilers. Loved the setting and the plot - a real I see mixed reviews for Owen Laukkanen’s The Wild. But I have to say that I enjoyed it immensely. I found myself immersed in the main character’s story from the beginning and all the way through. I found the author’s humor cute and snappy and loved the way he steps out of the story to talk to us for a sentence or two. Found the spoilers hilarious rather than annoying. But I’m the type who reads ahead and then doubles back, not really caring about spoilers. Loved the setting and the plot - a real hiking adventure. There were times that I got tired of hiking - it was a lot - but that’s okay because the kids were tired of it, too. I had to press on through the woods like they did. And I was compelled to press on to find out what happened. The gender roles struck me as interesting, especially since it was a make author with a female lead. I thought there was a lot there with gender stuff going on. Interesting review that someone here wrote about wishing the author had educated us a bit more about the horrors of real teen turn-around programs like this. I’m not sure how he could have done that in the context of this story but it’s an interesting idea. Maybe some info at the back of the book. It certainly should make anyone think twice about choosing such a program! Looking forward to reading more by Laukkhanen.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kyri Freeman

    I did finish this, because I waited for 9 months to get it from the library so I WAS going to finish it. I like Laukkanen's thrillers. But let me count the ways that it annoyed the c**p out of me. Irritating author asides and commentary. Slang that tries to be of the moment but only makes the book seem instantly dated and like something that no young adult reader would put up with for a second. W/e! Nature as adversary. Maybe more irritating because due to coronavirus I had to postpone my long-anti I did finish this, because I waited for 9 months to get it from the library so I WAS going to finish it. I like Laukkanen's thrillers. But let me count the ways that it annoyed the c**p out of me. Irritating author asides and commentary. Slang that tries to be of the moment but only makes the book seem instantly dated and like something that no young adult reader would put up with for a second. W/e! Nature as adversary. Maybe more irritating because due to coronavirus I had to postpone my long-anticipated first trip to the North Cascades, which is what this sounds like, for a couple of years, so I don't need to hear a lot of "nature as ugly/malevolent/no teenager would ever like" (I was backpacking every summer with my dad when I was that age, although granted, Laukkanen does present the "outward bound" school as criminally incompetent, but that's irritating too because I don't think it's realistic). Bad guys who... are just kind of bad. Why? Who knows? They're just kind of evil because the plot calls for it. The plot does keep moving. I will give it that. But every time I started to get into it another annoying authorial intrusion would push me back out again.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kourtney

    3 Stars! What a fun, interesting read. Owen Laukkanen writes in a very straight forward manner and speaks directly to the reader. The chapters are also nice and short. It was a unique, enjoyable writing style. Dawn is a seventeen year old on a bad path. He father died two years ago and ever since, she's been hooked on pills and living with her drug dealer. Her mom and stepdad finally had enough and send her to Out in the Wild, a wildness therapy program. This is where Dawn meets the other troubled 3 Stars! What a fun, interesting read. Owen Laukkanen writes in a very straight forward manner and speaks directly to the reader. The chapters are also nice and short. It was a unique, enjoyable writing style. Dawn is a seventeen year old on a bad path. He father died two years ago and ever since, she's been hooked on pills and living with her drug dealer. Her mom and stepdad finally had enough and send her to Out in the Wild, a wildness therapy program. This is where Dawn meets the other troubled youths, The Pack : Warden, Lucas, Brandon, Evan, Kyla, and Brielle. They are accompanied by two counselors, the creepy Christian and the angelic Amber. They are forced to hike trails and camp together. Things end up going sideways. No spoilers here. It was a fun ride. I was engrossed and wanted to find out what happened next. A few parts were a bit unbelievable to me, that's why I withheld some stars, otherwise, it's a wonderful adventure. A special thank you to NetGalley, Random House Children's, and Owen Laukkanen for providing me with an ARC.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Martina

    I picked up this book because the synopsis sounded so interesting to me. And also that cover is so beautiful! It’s a YA Thriller. This is my first YA thriller and I’m here for it! It follows Dawn our main character who is being sent to a wilderness program meant to help troubled teens. And of course nothing goes right. The style of writing was a bit different. I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. The author is basically speaking directly to us the readers. There were authors notes scattered throug I picked up this book because the synopsis sounded so interesting to me. And also that cover is so beautiful! It’s a YA Thriller. This is my first YA thriller and I’m here for it! It follows Dawn our main character who is being sent to a wilderness program meant to help troubled teens. And of course nothing goes right. The style of writing was a bit different. I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. The author is basically speaking directly to us the readers. There were authors notes scattered throughout the book. And even telling us what would happen in the next chapters (spoilers). But as odd as I thought it was at first I ended up really loving that! It’s just so creative and fit so well with the story. I really loved this book. The suspense kept me on the edge of my seat. I devoured this book in a couple hours. Thank you Netgalley for letting me read this eARC. Check this book out when it comes out in May

  21. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth K

    The Wild by Owen Laukkanen 4-Stars! WOW! What an adventure! Dawn is an out of control teenager. She spends her days getting high and skipping class. She has even run off with her much older, drug-dealer boyfriend. Her parents have had enough of her behavior and they intend to put her back on the straight and narrow path. They decide they are going to send her off to a wilderness bootcamp. Little do they know ‘Out of the Wild’ will soon be out of control. Dawn is in for the ride of her life, or may The Wild by Owen Laukkanen 4-Stars! WOW! What an adventure! Dawn is an out of control teenager. She spends her days getting high and skipping class. She has even run off with her much older, drug-dealer boyfriend. Her parents have had enough of her behavior and they intend to put her back on the straight and narrow path. They decide they are going to send her off to a wilderness bootcamp. Little do they know ‘Out of the Wild’ will soon be out of control. Dawn is in for the ride of her life, or maybe you could say the run for her life. When I initially began reading The Wild, I was not too keen on the story's third person perspective, however, as I got further into the story I became hooked! This heart-pounding novel had me racing through the pages to find out what would happen! With this being my first book by Owen Laukkanen, I am impressed by his work and look forward to reading his other creations! If you enjoy suspense and adventure, then this is the book for you!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ally

    The Wild was an interesting book. Told through journal like entries through the main character's eyes. It is almost like she is retelling the story to others. It has a Friday the 13th-like story, a group of kids in the woods who start getting killed off. Only a few of the characters were every fully fleshed out and the others just seemed like they were dropped into the story to create dramatic tension. All of the kids in this book are troubled youth who were sent away to a rehabilitation camp, D The Wild was an interesting book. Told through journal like entries through the main character's eyes. It is almost like she is retelling the story to others. It has a Friday the 13th-like story, a group of kids in the woods who start getting killed off. Only a few of the characters were every fully fleshed out and the others just seemed like they were dropped into the story to create dramatic tension. All of the kids in this book are troubled youth who were sent away to a rehabilitation camp, Dr.Phil style. However, our antagonists seem like people who would've been incarcerated and not sent to a camp out in the middle of the woods. The rising action and climax of the book seemed very out of place and the ending seemed to be shoved in there at the end. If you enjoy books about troubled youth and dramatic tension I would recommend it.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Wrenn

    Dawn's mom and step dad have her kidnapped by Out Of The Wild, a wilderness therapy program for troubled youth. She's making bad choices in life, doing drugs and hanging out with a much older low life dealer. Her guilt over her father's death has her needing to escape reality. She and a group of wayward teens are taken out on punishing hikes, camping in the middle of nowhere with two instructors. And then things start to go wrong, really wrong! This YA thriller has some Lord of the Flies vibes going Dawn's mom and step dad have her kidnapped by Out Of The Wild, a wilderness therapy program for troubled youth. She's making bad choices in life, doing drugs and hanging out with a much older low life dealer. Her guilt over her father's death has her needing to escape reality. She and a group of wayward teens are taken out on punishing hikes, camping in the middle of nowhere with two instructors. And then things start to go wrong, really wrong! This YA thriller has some Lord of the Flies vibes going on. Imaginative and action packed, with a high level of tension in the story that keeps you reading. Thank you Random House Children's Underlined for the e-ARC via NetGalley. 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4 stars.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Chris breeh

    4/5 Stars. This book picked up a little slow but it got really good it was YA but still had darkness to it. At first i expected it to be not so dark but im glad it kept getting a little darker as i read. This book is about a troubled teen who got herself into a relationship with a guy who was really not a good guy and the family hated him but she also did drugs etc so her parents kidnapped her one day knocking on his door and told her to get in the car and they took her to the airport. They sent he 4/5 Stars. This book picked up a little slow but it got really good it was YA but still had darkness to it. At first i expected it to be not so dark but im glad it kept getting a little darker as i read. This book is about a troubled teen who got herself into a relationship with a guy who was really not a good guy and the family hated him but she also did drugs etc so her parents kidnapped her one day knocking on his door and told her to get in the car and they took her to the airport. They sent her to a camp with other teens like her not knowing that this camp was not what they thought it was. It was very survival based in the woods/wild which i liked. After around 60% is when it got super super good. Overall this book was really good.

  25. 4 out of 5

    The Black Rose Library

    With short chapters and an interesting story, I really thought I was going to love this book. Turns out I didn’t love it, I just liked it. This wasn’t a horrible book, but there were a couple of things about it I DID NOT like. First, the narration of the book is weird and took me a little bit to get used to. Never read a book like this before where it wasn’t from the characters POV. Second, the Author Notes throughout the book were aggravating. Literally told you something bad was going to happe With short chapters and an interesting story, I really thought I was going to love this book. Turns out I didn’t love it, I just liked it. This wasn’t a horrible book, but there were a couple of things about it I DID NOT like. First, the narration of the book is weird and took me a little bit to get used to. Never read a book like this before where it wasn’t from the characters POV. Second, the Author Notes throughout the book were aggravating. Literally told you something bad was going to happen right before it happened. Like, seriously? Other than that, the story was pretty good. Definitely kept me interested in wanting to know what was going to happen to everyone. If you like YA thrillers with short chapters and want to try out a weird narration, check this book out!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    This is not my usual read but I am telling you that it hit the thriller role right on the mark. It was terrifying and exhilarating and I could not put it down. It is intense and sucked me in right the beginning. I was drawn to this book because it was set in nature. The writing beautifully details the PNW which added a part I appreciated woven into a captivating story of survival and healing. I loved the short chapters. It helped my feel like the suspense was continuously building. Wells definitely This is not my usual read but I am telling you that it hit the thriller role right on the mark. It was terrifying and exhilarating and I could not put it down. It is intense and sucked me in right the beginning. I was drawn to this book because it was set in nature. The writing beautifully details the PNW which added a part I appreciated woven into a captivating story of survival and healing. I loved the short chapters. It helped my feel like the suspense was continuously building. Wells definitely recommend this book!! **Thank you to Netgalley, the author and publisher for the ARC in exchange for my honest review**

  27. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Schneider

    17-year-old Dawn will be the first to admit that she's made some pretty poor decisions since her dad died, but when her mom and step-dad "kidnap" her and send her off to wilderness boot camp for delinquents, she can't quite believe it. The plan is that over the course of a few months, Dawn and the other messed up kids will learn their lessons through struggling and surviving in the wilderness with their counselors, but things don't always go as planned. The one thing that's for sure is that when 17-year-old Dawn will be the first to admit that she's made some pretty poor decisions since her dad died, but when her mom and step-dad "kidnap" her and send her off to wilderness boot camp for delinquents, she can't quite believe it. The plan is that over the course of a few months, Dawn and the other messed up kids will learn their lessons through struggling and surviving in the wilderness with their counselors, but things don't always go as planned. The one thing that's for sure is that when you're stranded in the wilderness people's true colors will show, and that's not usually a good thing! This is a fast-paced, dark, and twisty thriller that teens will devour!

  28. 5 out of 5

    WKPL Children's/YA Books

    Miss Lori read and enjoyed this YA thriller. A teenage girl's mother and step-father send her to a wilderness camp in order to help get her out of a downward spiral of very bad decisions made after the death of her father. One bad thing after another occurs on this trip and the MC finds herself in danger and not sure who to trust. Short chapters and funky author notes make this a fast and furious and weird "can't put it down"/"cannot believe this is happening"/"can't believe they can survive" sto Miss Lori read and enjoyed this YA thriller. A teenage girl's mother and step-father send her to a wilderness camp in order to help get her out of a downward spiral of very bad decisions made after the death of her father. One bad thing after another occurs on this trip and the MC finds herself in danger and not sure who to trust. Short chapters and funky author notes make this a fast and furious and weird "can't put it down"/"cannot believe this is happening"/"can't believe they can survive" story. Best for older junior high students and high school readers. (Language)

  29. 4 out of 5

    Glee

    Story had some possibilities but badly executed. I acknowledge that I am not the demographic that this book was targeting (YA). But geez. Screaming hormones, stereotypes galore, and short chapters. I don't think there is any particular magic to chapter length, but this was ridiculous - 138 chapters in a 370 page book.... Shallow characters, predictable plot. But. A quick read, so if that is your most important criterion, have at it.... Story had some possibilities but badly executed. I acknowledge that I am not the demographic that this book was targeting (YA). But geez. Screaming hormones, stereotypes galore, and short chapters. I don't think there is any particular magic to chapter length, but this was ridiculous - 138 chapters in a 370 page book.... Shallow characters, predictable plot. But. A quick read, so if that is your most important criterion, have at it....

  30. 5 out of 5

    Katlyn Ulinski

    ARC provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Rating: 3 This book was fairly decent. It was a story of survival and teens who get into trouble a lot. I thought the beginning of this book was kind of slow and that the story was predictable. But overall I enjoyed the journey and the character development.

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