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The Wild

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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.

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.

368 pages, Paperback

First published January 26, 2021

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About the author

Owen Laukkanen

22 books518 followers

Owen Laukkanen's debut thriller, THE PROFESSIONALS, was published by G.P. Putnam's Sons in spring 2012. Its sequel, CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE, will hit stores on March 21, 2013.

An alumnus of the University of British Columbia's Creative Writing BFA program, Laukkanen spent three years in the world of professional poker, traveling to high-stakes tournaments across the globe as a writer for www.PokerListings.com.

A commercial fisherman when he’s not writing, Laukkanen divides his time between Vancouver, British Columbia and Prince Edward Island, Canada.

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5 stars
179 (18%)
4 stars
292 (30%)
3 stars
315 (32%)
2 stars
138 (14%)
1 star
45 (4%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 187 reviews
Profile Image for Uhtred.
271 reviews15 followers
July 31, 2021
An absurd book: an unlikely plot, a series of characters that would not be more unlikely and a style of writing that seems made for children.
138 chapters by 281 pages, each mini-chapter that closes with a question or a wink at the reader, as if to say: "don't you think you know how it ends, ah?" or: “I will amaze you with an incredible twist!”. But none of this happens and the book is really flat.
All this in the end is very childish and tiring, so much so that you lose the desire to see how the book will end. And in fact, even the ending is of a banality and a disarming goodness. A book written for very unpretentious readers, who are satisfied with very little. A book where the bad guys are idiots and the good guys are even more idiots, but in the end, even if they are fewer in number, without weapons, weakened, they always find incredibly the last crumb of energy to be able to kill the bad guys. Come on… .. Full thumbs down.
Profile Image for James Thane.
Author 9 books6,941 followers
February 15, 2021
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.
Profile Image for Claude's Bookzone.
1,535 reviews216 followers
February 15, 2021
3.5 Stars


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.
Profile Image for Carrie (brightbeautifulthings).
837 reviews30 followers
August 29, 2020
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.
Profile Image for ~Madison.
456 reviews38 followers
October 13, 2022
it felt like the writing was meant for middle grade but the book did hold my attention the whole time and i had fun!
Profile Image for ✧chlo•°•..
145 reviews
May 23, 2022
trop bizarre comme livre mais en même temps cool (les interventions de l'auteur c'était si drôle !!)
Profile Image for Emilie | La prof de français.
627 reviews194 followers
September 27, 2021
Sauvage c’est.. vraiment sauvage! La prémisse m’a beaucoup rappelé La cagoule de François Gravel et même un peu Le programme de Sandra Dussault. Une bande de jeunes délinquants qui se retrouvent en nature pour combattre leurs instincts.. C’était vraiment très bon! Le rythme est haletant, les chapitres sont très courts et remplis d’actions. J’ai eu du mal à le poser, trop habitée par cette aventure en montagne qui tourne au cauchemar! Le petit plus de ce roman, son narrateur qui s’adresse directement au lecteur! Le début du roman est absolument parfait pour #unchapitreàlafois parce que les remarques du narrateur piquent notre curiosité et nous donnent envie de poursuivre la lecture.

Attention, le dénouement de l’histoire est assez violent. Je le classerais 14+ pour être bien certaine!
Profile Image for Carlene Inspired.
958 reviews248 followers
January 5, 2021
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.
Profile Image for OutlawPoet.
1,298 reviews69 followers
March 24, 2020
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.


It’s still a good story. It’s suspenseful and full of danger and drama.

A fun read.

*ARC Provided via Net Galley
Profile Image for Jim Thomsen.
493 reviews192 followers
February 17, 2021
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.)
Profile Image for Shannon (It Starts At Midnight).
1,189 reviews1,019 followers
January 27, 2021
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.
Profile Image for Some_OtherBooks.
215 reviews75 followers
August 29, 2021
Déçue, je ne l’ai pas terminé …

Un YA beaucoup trop jeunesse pour moi, beaucoup de facilités et des stéréotypes. Je ne me suis pas tout attachée aux personnages qui ne sont pas assez travaillés à mon goût.

Néanmoins, ça se lit plutôt bien et les chapitres sont courts ce qui rend la lecture plutôt fluide. Je pense que ça peut plaire aux 14/18 ans 🙂
Profile Image for Mehsi.
12.3k reviews373 followers
April 23, 2021
Are you ready to survival along with this ragtag group of teens (and two counsellors)? Things will get very hairy and scary!

I was so excited about this book when I found out about and I can tell you that I really enjoyed reading it. Survival, murder, backstories, a good MC.

I can honestly say that Dawn really felt like a teenager. Haha, this may sound weird, but I have read many YA and sometimes characters just come across as too adult. And yes, there are teens who will be like that, but I would just like more teens act like teens. Worrying about things, struggling with things, having so much anger at times, so much sadness, feeling confused about things, wondering about silly daily things, not having a clue about the future. I loved reading more about Dawn and finding out what happened to her that made her move to a drugdealing boyfriend (or whatever he was…). As the story continues we learn more about her feelings on Cam and her mom (who she called Wendy which just seemed weird to me, I mean I called my mum just mum, I don’t even want to think of calling her by her first name that just feels weird), on her little brother, on what happened to her father and why she feels so guilty about it. At times I really wanted to reach out and give Dawn a hug. I know she probably wouldn’t be too happy about it, but maybe it would help. I am glad that the author told us slowly what was going on in Dawn’s life, it wasn’t BOOM here is everything, oh no, we find out gradually. I loved how strong Dawn was. Many people would probably have given up at the hopelessness of it all, but she kept going on. She struggled and fought. She wanted to reach safety or at least find help. She has to make some very harsh decisions.

I also love that we find out about the other characters, or well, most of them. I would have liked some more backstory on some characters, but in the end it all worked out and we quickly found out about their true personalities. Evan and Brandon were just horrible from the start, but it was interesting to see who totally turned and I can say I hadn’t expected that person to be so cold, so harsh, so murderous.

I am not sure how I feel about this survival camp stuff to get your kid to end up better. I am sorry, but if you read what these kids have to do, then I highly doubt if this is healthy. I can only imagine this may just be a nice topic for a therapist session many years later. And that is when it is just survival. Now it is also murder and death. But back to the whole survival stuff. I just DON’T understand why they didn’t give these kids tents or backpacks from the start or at least showed them some basics. Now these kids were just thrown into the survival and endless walks for weeks and months with only the bare necessities and oh yes 3 books about bears and survival. Which I guess is at least something. Plus, hello, eating only lentils/rice/basic food? That cannot be healthy if you walk for more than 12 hours a day. The hygiene is also terrible. I was just so shocked that this was allowed to be done to minors. That you could earn ranks… but also quickly could have taken them away from silly things. That parents thought this was the best way. WTF? I would have definitely broken up with my parents if this was me. Maybe not immediately because I am underage, but as soon as I can, BYE.

But I did love reading about the forest, the trees, the mountains, the other things they came across while hiking. The author definitely found a way to make it all very immerse and I could just imagine being there. Love it!

The counsellors… not a fan. Well, Amber was sweet and did her best, but Christian is just a fucking child molester and I wonder why no one is taking action or helping.

Normally I am NOT a fan of love triangles, but this one wasn’t too bad, and on the plus-side even the MC, Dawn, had issues with it. She was at times just tired of it, and even at one point thought about her feelings on love triangles. Still there is her drifting from one boy to another, unsure who she likes more, but given everything I could live with that.

The book really picks up from the moment things go totally wrong. I already flew through 200+ pages in an hour and a bit, but the last part… I just flew even faster. I had to know who would live and who would die. Who would finally be able to call for help. It was a scary rollercoaster of a ride with never a moment of peace. I love it to bits.

I also love the writing style, it really grabs you, the way it was written was just so well done. Plus, I love the little warnings, the author notes, and that Dawn’s thoughts (at least for most it seemed to be her thoughts) were in (). It really made it a special and good read.

I could probably rave some more about the book, but we are already at 900+ words, so let’s keep it to this. I would HIGHLY recommend this book to all. Love survival? Like some mystery and suspense? Great and interesting characters? Read it!

Review first posted at https://twirlingbookprincess.com/
Profile Image for lizzie rose.
20 reviews
September 4, 2021
I don’t even know how to describe my disappointment. This book started off slow and seemed like it was going to be boring. The action started to pick up and I was hooked. It was very gripping and I felt like I was in the action with all the twists, but then the writing started to get lazy. It got repetitive and very, very predictable. Then it just ends. Oh yeah I just watched all these people get murdered and killed someone and nearly died myself and am very injured and have a concussion but like ima just get on a plane and go live with my nana and feel guilty.
Profile Image for Natalie.
2,591 reviews60 followers
May 2, 2021
This is kind of like Holes meets Lord of the Flies, and while I love Holes and consider it to be one of my most favorite books, I despise Lord of the Flies. This book leaned more toward the latter so I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. I don’t particularly enjoy watching civilized people descend into lawlessness and disorganization. Also, the body count is VERY high and I was quite upset that Lucas died. Dawn was hard to like and it seemed like she needlessly blamed Cam and Wendy. I was glad the ending hinted at a reconciliation. This is a very quick read that I flew through, with very short chapters and a unique writing style (direct address from the author to the reader). I found it a bit jarring at first, but it worked for this type of survivalist story.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Frédérique Boutin.
184 reviews17 followers
March 20, 2022
J’aime bien la base de l’histoire: des adolescents délinquants sont envoyés en groupe dans la forêt afin de se « rebâtir ». Un petit détail que j’ai bien aimé, c’est les grades que les adolescents sont classé (ourson, ours polaire, grizzly, etc.). Étant une personne passionnée de nature et qui adore le camping et la randonnée, j’ai bien aimé cet aspect de l’histoire. J’ai plus ou moins apprécié la narration. Beaucoup d’action, la fin m’a surprise. Ce n’est pas mon style littéraire habituel, mais j’ai quand même bien apprécié ma lecture!
June 10, 2023
to be completely utterly honest—it wasnt that good. the authors notes gave away too much of the story and it just didnt pick up until about chapter 100, then it got better but only because people started falling off cliffs and dying. that part i will say i enjoyed.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
4 reviews1 follower
November 26, 2021
Incroyable: Page turner sur un lit d’humour, et le tout parsemé de plein air et de rando.
Un must
Profile Image for ✨Veruca✨.
289 reviews5 followers
November 30, 2022
I had to read this book for book club and after adoring the first book we read(Last Night at the Telegraph Club) this was disappointing for a number of reasons…

1. The beginning: Sooooo slowwwwww.
2. The middle: You think it gets better but it doesn’t.
3. The ending: Unrealistic at best; idiotic at worst. Ended up being the least suspenseful suspense novel I’ve ever read.

And then there was the actual writing style🙄
1. No book needs 138 chapters. Yes they were short, but that’s a completely unnecessary number.
2. The word choice in this book was not catered to teenagers at all. Nor did it sound like it was written by an adult.
3. Why did every single chapter make it feel like it was leading up to something good by stating something and then saying “but it wasn’t” or “but we know that’s not how the story goes”.

And don’t get me started on the characters😤
1. ISTG every single character(except for one that was there for approximately 10 chapters) was an IDIOT. Like no joke, they were so dumb it hurt to watch them go through the wildnerness.
2. The one queer character was clearly just thrown in as a token gay character.
3. The character development was nonexistent. And literally everyone’s personality was that they have ✨issues✨.
744 reviews19 followers
February 11, 2021
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!
February 8, 2021
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.
1 review
December 13, 2021
The Wild is a fictional story by Owen Laukkanen in a third person point of view. The book is a decent, ok, book. It all begins with a troubled 17-year old girl by the name of Dawn. She gets sent to some kind of boot camp from her parents because of her bad decisions with things such as the use of abusing drugs, moving in with a drug dealer who is basically old enough to be her father, emotional trauma, and the bad relationship between her parents. As for Dawn getting kidnapped from her parents and taken to the airport to be sent to the camp as “therapy.” In the book the camp is called “Out of the Wild,” which is for troubled youth like Dawn to be sent and learn responsibility, respect, and so on.

Though Dawn is sent to the camp as therapy from her parents, the journey takes a turn. At the camp groups would be made to hike and survive in the wilderness. Her group though has mixed people.

In the story, I really like how the author made details in the camp and the overall surroundings with Dawn. For instance there is a part in the story that says, “Dawn’s backing up, trying to remember what she’s supposed to do next, when she backs into a log and loses her balance. And as she falls flat…” Overall I like the book and the way the author explains its surroundings. You really get an idea or image in your head when reading the book. I on the other hand feel that it does take a while to get to the climax of the story but the story really gets you to flip another page and continue.
Profile Image for Janice Robertson.
559 reviews3 followers
November 22, 2021
So… I chose this because it’s a White Pine nominee and I like to see what’s getting nominated. I really wasn’t liking this much and I was close to bailing on it. I didn’t like the POV, (I find it strange not knowing exactly who the narrator is) and I didn’t like the author throwing in an “authors note” periodically. It felt a bit like Daniel Hadler’s style (Lemoney Snicket) or like I was reading a school creative writing piece from an eight year old who thinks they can just “talk” to the reader when it’s convenient.
I didn’t even particularly like the main character, Dawn, especially when she kept falling for the green eyed guy. Yuck. Bad decision after bad decision!
But, since I rarely bail on a book, I decided to give it two more chapters and then a bunch of stuff happens really quickly and the second half of the book just FLIES in a hold your breathe headlong plunge of pure OMGness … and my brain was screaming, What else can possibly happen?!?!
So… ya. The book definitely got better and I ended up adjusting to the style and liking it much more than I expected to. :-)
Warning: Does contain profanity for those of you who are sensitive to those things.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Sharon.
Author 38 books378 followers
January 12, 2023
This fast-paced young adult thriller looks not only at family issues, but what happens when those families become desperate.

The narrator, actually an outside party who breaks the proverbial fourth well pretty regularly, tells us about Dawn. Her dad has died (we find out the circumstances partway through the book), and she doesn't like her stepfather. She's drinking, using, and shacking up with a guy who is literally twice her age.

So, her folks send her to Out of the Wild, a camp for troubled youth ... and this is where the problems begin. The counselors seem unethical from the start, and Dawn doesn't get on with most of her team. However, she has a crush on Warden, one of the older boys.

When a hike starts to go horribly wrong, Dawn looks to Warden for leadership. But she soon discovers that no one, including the counselors, are quite what they seem. And now, all she can think about is how to get away.

This book grabs you and just doesn't let go.
Profile Image for Jess.
615 reviews11 followers
September 13, 2021
This was just... fine. It's a survival story without much else to it - I think I went into this expecting more of a thriller/horror instead of a survival story, and there were no real twists so I think that's the main reason I was disappointed.

The Wild isn't a bad book - the writing style is weird, with an unseen first-person narrator kind of narrating in third-person. And it's littered with likes as though Laukkanen thinks all teenage girls speak like that.

But it's also written by an author who admits he likes the wilderness in the ATA section, which I feel defeats the object of portraying these camps as evil - which they definitely are.

I didn't hugely connect with any of the characters, and I felt so bad for Lucas, and the mountains were kind of difficult to imagine in my head because of all the outdoorsy descriptions.

So not terrible. But not great.
Profile Image for Janie.
125 reviews1 follower
April 26, 2022
Très bon livre. J’ai trouvé l’histoire bien écrite, en plus d’avoir de cours chapitre. On ressentait bien la difficulté que les personnages avaient à s’habituer à la vie en nature et comment s’entraider afin de parvenir à notre but. Ce camp a pour but de les rendre meilleur et plus responsables, n’oublions pas que ce sont des jeunes à problèmes. On s’attache à plusieurs personnages, jusqu’à ce que les tragédies commencent. Un accident, et ensuite, ça vire au cauchemar et les prochaines tragédies ne sont pas des accidents. Seuls dans un bois infini, les règles n’ont plus d’importance, certains jeunes se déchaînent et maintenant c’est une question de survie. Les bons, contre les mauvais. Ceux qui veulent changer, ceux qui s’y refusent.
Profile Image for Emilia.
33 reviews
December 1, 2022
It was mediocre at best.
There was lots of build-up and suspense, just for either nothing to happen or some small insignificant event to occur. The overall plot wasn't bad, just not as well-developed as I would've liked. The same goes for the characters, they all had next to no development, and basically no personalities. Also, there were random ass author's notes just randomly placed throughout the book which was pointless. Better yet, every single one basically said the same thing, like "oh, but that's not what happened" or "she would regret that late". On top of all that, most of the book was pretty predictable.
Profile Image for Ally.
1 review
April 5, 2021
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.
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