Chris's Reviews > Wild Things

Wild Things by Clay Carmichael
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's review
Apr 10, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: j, life, not-graphic

"Wild" can mean many different things--even over the course of this story--but we're immediately given our primary metaphor when the book opens with a feral cat. Twelve-year-old Zoe is feral. Life has taught her to be self-sufficient, intelligent, wise, independent, creative, and fierce. It's also taught her to trust no one, ever, because trust always gets betrayed. She needs no one and wants no one.

Zoe has survived the neglectful lifestyle of her mentally ill, substance-addicted mother and a revolving door of boyfriends until her mom commits suicide. An uncle she never knew, her unknown father's half brother, takes her in and she is sent to live with him in a small town. In addition to adapting to small town life and--for the first time in her life--school, she must adapt to attachments to a number of new "wild things." Some people, some animal, they are all feral to one extent or another. Even her uncle. Zoe sets her mind to taming some while attempting to avoid any concessions to others, and they all must negotiate learning to love and trust without sacrificing their essential, independent natures.
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