Wildlife by Fiona Wood
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I was honestly surprised at how delightful this book is. When I started the pre-release I thought, “oh another upper class, private school, white girl, coming of age.”
While all of those things may exist in this book, it contains a fresh edge. The students are taken out of their natural elements and into the woods and we don’t get a good feeling for how privileged they are. They all seem like teens, with their own personalities and quirks. Sib especially, because even though she’s met fame, it hasn’t changed her into a different person. She cares about the world and her friends, even if she does overlook some obvious faults for far too long. She is a real person.
Lou’s grief hits you head on. As a biker myself, I can feel the loss of her boyfriend who died in a biking accident. She’s simply putting one foot in front of the other most of the time, but her personality wins through when she sees the atrocious way that Sib’s friend Holly treats others. We get to know her better as her grief gives way to living, and her dry humor and smart replies are priceless.
I was a little confused at first that a school would send students away for 3 months to live in the woods and experience some pretty intense backpacking trips, but then I realized it’s set in Australia. I could see that…
A joy to read.
Update: And now that I’ve found this article, I really want to read Six Impossible Things. Hurry up and come out in the US!!!
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