Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Wildman” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.67  ·  Rating details ·  530 ratings  ·  121 reviews
“How can a total stranger understand you better than the people you’ve known your entire life?”

When Lance’s ’93 Buick breaks down in the middle of nowhere, he tells himself Don’t panic. After all, he’s valedictorian of his class. First-chair trumpet player. Scholarship winner. Nothing can stop Lance Hendricks.

But the locals don’t know that. They don’t even know his name. S
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published June 6th 2017 by Disney-Hyperion
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Wildman, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.67  · 
Rating details
 ·  530 ratings  ·  121 reviews

More filters
Sort order
April Henry
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The writing was what really made this book stand out for me. Here are some examples:

“Tow, he said, tasting the word’s weight. Three letters full of lost time.

Waiting for Dakota felt like warming up in the orchestra pit on opening night. Everyone tuning up their instruments. That awful, giddy flutter before a show.

All these words he'd been tossing out like candy from a parade float.

Lance pictured Bend High School's football coach/guidance counselor hunching over his computer with bent little arm
Apr 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
Ahh, the joys of infidelity + manic pixie dream girl + daddy issues = oh my god, this is such a white male fantasy. And really not my cuppa.
Apr 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley, kindle
Got a copy of this book via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

It's a nice quick read, not to hard to get through. I did feel myself wandering off all the time. I kept doing other things than reading this book. My attention was not really there, that's the reason I gave the book 3 stars.

This review was first posted on BiteIntoBooks Blog

Cover and story: You think you've figured out the cover pretty quick, but you don't! It gets explained in the final chapter and that was beautiful.
DNF on page 104.

I loved the idea of this story, but I pretty much struggled through every single page I read. I couldn't connect to Lance. His inner monologue is weird and the story is more of a staccato than fluid. And that just added to the weird.

There seemed to be a mystery or maybe a twist, but I don't know for sure and I couldn't be bothered to find out.

**Huge thanks to Hyperion for providing the arc free of charge**
Aug 15, 2017 rated it liked it
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs:**Wildman by J.C. Geiger is a young adult story about growing up and finding yourself. I enjoyed this quirky tale about a teenage guy that seemingly had his life together. He excels at school and at music, he seemed to be well liked and he is on the path toward a great college. But then he gets stranded in a small town in the middle of nowhere and he starts a rather crazy journey which leads him to question everything ...more
Dec 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
J.C. Geiger's WILDMAN is notable for many reasons.

First, it doesn't fall victim to they hyper-realism that plagues so many contemporary realistic young adult novels. You're not going to find any models in these pages. No internet celebrities. No brooding dudes who look like they were plucked from an Urban Outfitters ad.


These are real kids living real lives and goddamn it's refreshing.

Then there's the writing. It's flawless. It's restrained and subtle... until it isn't. And in those moments,
Magdalena Deniz
the only bad thing about this book is that it ended. even that though, was the best possible thing.

Wildman is an AMAZING novel. Possibly, one of the best i have ever read. This book gave me the same feelings that i had reading The 39 Deaths of Adam Strand. Both books had a narrative that is simply so unique and interesting, full of real characters with very real feelings and emotions. Though the plot line could be considered to be cliche (i for one do not believe that is the case but i could see
Jun 11, 2017 added it
Oh, that ending - loved it so much. It's a book that keeps you guessing and I loved that too. Great read!
Sep 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-fiction
I had seen the reviews for this over the summer and ordered it, specifically with hopefully nominating an adventurous "boy" title for the Rhode Island Teen Book Award list. I was not disappointed. The beginning brings a little intrigue and suspense, then we really start to get to know Lance. His friends are sort of tertiary characters that seem far away since we are only really introduced to them throughout most of the book over phone calls and texts, but that adds to the ethereal appeal. I felt ...more
Apr 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
This started slow, but about halfway through I started flying through the pages. The plot isn't particularly unique (perfect boy who has seemingly-perfect life meets people who help him realize who he really wants to be), but I enjoyed the narration and dialogue. Stone's character was particularly well done, and the scene where Lance's friends from home collide with his new friends is uncomfortable in such a great way. I wish there had been more of Robert the mechanic--I knew I liked him the mom ...more
Aug 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
I think at some point, everyone has wished to be another person, in someone else's shoes, or just to "start new." Wildman is that dream, the story of a teenager from a well off family, on the road to a good college for a profession he wants nothing to do with who finds him self stranded in a small town, and meets a group of people who "knows" him better than his friends back and home ever did.
Thanks to NetGalley for the arc. It's a chance auto breakdown that keeps high school valedictorian Lance from a weekend with friends and without parents. He's been waiting for this time with girlfriend Miriam for a long time. It's days before graduation, Lance has a full scholarship to Oregon State University to study Business, but he still auditioned for a music school in Seattle. If he dumps his car, Lance can return home in time to party with his girlfriend, but the old Buick is all Lance has ...more
Jun 25, 2017 rated it liked it
I liked this book's exploration of the way the stories we tell ourselves shape us. I also liked the mix of realistic fiction and chapters that read like dreams. The setting in small town Washington state was evocative and interesting.

So why only three stars? There's nothing innovative or new about the overall plot, so parts of the book were predictable.

Still, if you or your teen are looking for a quick, enjoyable read, you can certainly do worse than Wildman. It's a good companion for the pool
Matthew Holtz
Mar 26, 2018 is currently reading it
Have you ever had the fear of getting lost in the middle of nowhere, relying on a broken car to get you out of there? This is the case for our protagonist Lance. Lance was a friendly, nice guy who was the valedictorian of his class. He was on his way to a party to see his girlfriend, Miriam, when his old car broke down in the middle of this small town. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes to read about realistic fiction.
Apr 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really am glad I picked this book up from my community Little Free Library. The beginning was kind of slow but it definitely picked up half way and I flew through the rest of the book.
I really enjoyed the becoming of character you get to experience of Lance as you go through the pages of this book. Definitely a terrific ending.
Jun 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
What is like to be 17, male, valedictorian, first chair trumpet with a scholarship when your car breaks down in a small town and graduation is only 4 days away? Poignant and real, this coming-of-age story drives you nuts and breaks your heart. Author is from Eugene, Oregon.
Keith Chappelow
Jul 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this story and it has a great message about what's really important in our lives.
Sarah Laurence
May 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
In Wildman by J.C. Geiger an auto breakdown strands a valedictorian in rural Washington days before graduation. Lance has a full scholarship to Oregon State University to study Business, but he still auditioned for a music school in Seattle. If he dumps his car, Lance can return home in time to party with his girlfriend, but the old Buick is all Lance has left from his deadbeat dad. In a classic teen boy dilemma, Lance must choose between his car and his girl.

What makes this young adult novel sp
Neteja Robinson
Jun 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Read this book if you have crappy friends, live in a crappy town, and want to know how the hell to get out.
Dec 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Ok, here's the thing: I struggled a little with the first part of this book. And because it's so short, I was certain I wasn't going to like it but I thought I might as well finish it because, again, it's so short.

So today I picked it up, with the full intention to just get over with it and something magical happened. In the turn of a page, I started to like Lance as a character and then there is this twist in the story that I didn't see coming (like, at all) but it got me. Characters that were
Gina Benson
Dec 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
J.C. Geiger’s Wildman was a great book because of it’s powerful message about following your heart and about knowing what’s really important in our lives. This book really spoke to me. Specifically, what it told me was that life can be unpredictable sometimes and that you just need to let your heart lead you instead of your brain. Not only did Dakota, Mason, and the others living at the Bend show Lance how to live a little, they also showed me that life was more than just speeches and getting th ...more
Paula Soper
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
I'm not sure if I gave this book a fair shake. I've lived through the 70s, so the idea of leaving behind a purposeful life for a purposeless life seems silly. College doesn't end dreams (of course I'm a professor, so I would feel this way). The little town full of purposeless adults seemed to be otherworldly (which I assume Geiger was aiming for), however I've been studying and reading about world-making, and this seemed to miss the mark.

I finished the book only because I asked the department to
Jan 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Broody teen angst book about finding yourself and following your heart despite what your parents think you should do and who your friends think you are.
Jul 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
"You should know what it feels like to be a stranger. Leave this place, and go somewhere new. Because someone you've known for five minutes might know you better than the people you've known your entire life."

After reading the first couple chapters of Wildman, I honestly did not expect much from the book. Chances are, if I had not spent money on this book, I might have just put it down and read something else. Let me tell you why.

The main character Lance's car has just broken down in a small tow
Jun 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: for-review, arc
J.C. Geiger’s WILDMAN is interesting and thought-provoking and strangely compelling. With a remote setting, an unusual cast of characters, a melodic, dreamlike quality to the writing, an unhurried pace, and an uncertain destination, it is a story that will draw you in, pique your curiosity, and make you think about choices and possibilities and friendships and labels and open roads and roads not taken.

Lance Hendricks had his near future mapped out for him. He would give his valedictory speech. H
Nannette Demmler
Jun 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.

This one starts out like an episode of the Twilight Zone. Lance finds himself stuck in a small town with some interesting characters, who on the surface seem pleasant and helpful enough. But there is something not so likable about them as Lance spends more time stuck at the Trainsong Motel.

I admired Lance, he knew where he was going with his life. He had a plan. But you can tell he isn’t totally happy with that plan, especially as
Jun 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
WILDMAN is J.C. Geiger’s debut novel about a graduating senior, Lance Hendricks, who has his entire, boring life planned out. He will graduate high school as the valedictorian, and then will study business on a full scholarship with his vanilla girlfriend, Miriam. Though he is not particularly excited about any of these prospects, he follows this path without much resistance. As fate would have it, on the eve of losing his virginity, perhaps the only interesting night of his life thus far, his c ...more
Madison Miller
Jul 17, 2017 rated it really liked it

Wildman is such a touching story about a stranger’s understanding and the way you can connect to anyone. Wildman also deals with upholding expectations and how sometimes the best moments in life can catch you off guard. Wildman has been getting some MAJOR hype lately and was one of the main reasons I bought it, and it didn’t disappoint. It was such a great story and reminded me of Jeff Zentner’s The Serpent King. Both books will make you instantly fall in love and leave a lasting im
Sep 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: life, not-graphic, love, ya
"No, that sounds great," Lance said. "Let's jump a train."

Was this really him? Had he just said that?
Lance has always lived by the rules. Thrived by them--he's a top achiever with a grand future. Always strategic, focused, disciplined, and pragmatic. But now his car has broken down in the middle of nowhere, leading him on an unexpected detour from his carefully planned path. A detour that allows him to to unexpectedly try out being someone different. Someone ruled by emotion, spontaneity, romanc
Jianna Durand
May 04, 2018 rated it liked it
The book Wildman by j.c geiger is about a boy who is a senior in high school named Lance. Lance is a scholar student and has a scholarship for his trumpet playing. When Lance was driving home from his audition, his dad's old car (which he drives), a 93’ Buick breaks down in the middle of nowhere. Lance meets a girl through his days and finds the urge to go home less and less. The idea of the story as I explained was a good, however the book was extremely hard to read. The idea of Lance’s whole l ...more
« previous 1 3 4 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
What's the Name o...: SOLVED. it's called wild something... YA [s] 4 25 Dec 12, 2017 03:16PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Freedom's Just Another Word
  • Hello, Sunshine
  • Paper Cranes Don't Fly
  • Truly, Wildly, Deeply
  • All the Little Bones (Circus Hearts, #1)
  • The Other Way Around
  • Iris and the Tiger
  • A Blind Eye
  • Just Pretending (The Chicago Falcons, #3)
  • P is for Pearl
  • Inevitable and Only
  • Dragons vs. Drones
  • My Best Friend is a Goddess
  • Journey Across the Hidden Islands
  • No More Confessions (Confessions, #3)
  • Ready to Fall
  • I Am Out With Lanterns
  • All the Ways to Here
See similar books…
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“Are you having a midlife crisis?" Miriam asked.
"I'm eighteen."
"I know. But you've always been advanced.”
“Stories matter. The stories we tell about each other. The stories you end up telling yourself.” 1 likes
More quotes…