C.G. Drews's Reviews > The Wicker King

The Wicker King by K. Ancrum
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it was amazing
Read 3 times. Last read December 11, 2019 to December 12, 2019.

[read 3 | Dec 2019]
because I just needed to feel my heart absolutely melt in my chest before this year ends. I teared up in the author letter AGAIN and I seriously am just over here feeling thoughtful and sad, but in a good way. This book so deeply means a lot to me. I think the thing that stood out to me in this read is: how you can do your best and still fail, but it's not your fault. Please don't beat yourself up or hate yourself for failing when you tried so so hard.

also they all deserves more soft naps 😫 I have too many emotions. i am a mess.

The Wicker King was beautiful -- brilliant, mad, sick, free. He kissed the blisters on the palms of August's hands. "Thank you. Thank you..."

August put the gasoline can down and waited. Jack lit his cigarette, holding it between strong white teeth before passing it over. Like a secondhand kiss on a breath of ash.

Then, with a resolute and terrible sorrow, Jack cradled August's cheek in his nervously shaking hands and kissed him.

"It's not weak. My mom once told me that being alone makes you feel weaker every day, even if you're not," he said quietly. "But it's not as bad if you're with other people who are alone, too. We can hold each other up like a card tower."

[read 2 | May 2018]
Yes I only waited like 5 months to reread this and I'm here to say I am jUST AS IN LOVE WITH IT AS EVER. I still (nearly) cried at the author's note. My heart still sort of beats messily all over the place for this book and these boys and their illnesses and their story, which is part magic and part poison.


[read 1 | January 2018]
JUST SO WE'RE FRIKKIN' CLEAR: THIS IS ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF MY LIFE. I actually teared up. I actually think part of my soul fell out. I actually care so much about this book I'm just a mess. aghiaglihasfdkl It's really brutal and sad and yet beautiful. It's about mental illness and codependency and unhealthy relationships and neglect and kids just trying to cope the best they can.

It is flawed. It is a flawed story about flawed boys. But can we rewind to the part where I just said: they are trying to cope and hold the world on their shoulders the best they can. And they absolutely mess up. But they try.

I also think this is the kind of book that is more than the words on page. There's lots of suppressed feelings and emotions and underlying psychological reasons and causes. So go in expecting kids to fuck up because THEY DO.

And the mental health rep was just...it was so good. August has definitely got anxiety by the end and I won't go into what Jack has (the book will tell you!) but he's seeing things that aren't there and absolutely losing control. Like they are both so messed up and their relationship is complicated and often unhealthy...but they both needed something and someone to rely on an a constant in their life AND THEY CHOSE EACH OTHER.


Also fully incredible formatting of the book!! As things spiral townwards the pages got blackened and smudgy!! And there's drawings and photos and maps all through out, so it's like a visual experience as well as words! Also the chapters are mega short, like snapshots of their life and I LOVED THAT.

Also I just love books that can actually hit me so emotionally?! (Plus, not gonna lie, this really reminds me of a book I've written so you can just imagine I had a lot of feels from that too.) But I want books that make you think. I want books about flawed people and bad decisions and that desperation to survive when the world is sinking you. Incredible writing. Incredible characters. I just...I care so much about August and Jack. <3

(Also I've seen people say this has queer-baiting?! IT'S REALLY NOT FFS.)

Anyway, I REALLY LOVED THIS ONE. (If you couldn't tell.) The author's note made me fully tear up and I just think...agh. It just has such a strong voice, marvellous writing, and talks so deeply about mental health and emotional ruin and unhealthy relationships and just need. Flat out: NEED. Anyway I'm just going to go flop on the floor. This was everything I hoped it'd be.
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Quotes C.G. Liked

K. Ancrum
“If you drop the weight you are carrying, it is okay. You can build yourself back up out of the pieces.”
K. Ancrum, The Wicker King

K. Ancrum
“I love you and we don’t need the other world to keep that.”

He glanced at the small window in the door to see if the guard was watching, then leaned over quickly and pressed their foreheads together.

“It’s just true,” he said. “It always has been. In this world and the next. They could take everything away and leave us with nothing, and I would still love you.”
K. Ancrum, The Wicker King

K. Ancrum
“August’s heart seized.

He didn’t … know he could have this.

Jack kissed him so carefully that August thought he would fall to pieces. Kissed him with the weight of knowing the price of risk. Then he gazed back at August like his heart was already breaking.”
K. Ancrum, The Wicker King

Reading Progress

May 17, 2017 – Shelved
May 17, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
January 26, 2018 – Started Reading
January 26, 2018 –
page 50
January 26, 2018 –
page 70
22.95% "This book better be frikkin excellent because I read 60 pages before bed and tHEN COULD NOT SLEEP.

January 26, 2018 –
page 164
53.77% "Oh oh you know what's amazing?! The pages themselves are getting all smudged and darker as Jack's mental health deteriorates. This BOOK IS SO WELL THOUGHT OUT."
January 27, 2018 – Finished Reading
May 10, 2018 – Started Reading
May 10, 2018 –
page 100
32.79% "i am rereading this ALREADY because i love this book far too much and none can stop me"
May 10, 2018 –
page 254
83.28% "This is the second time I've read it and it's still breaking my hEART."
May 11, 2018 – Finished Reading
December 11, 2019 – Started Reading
December 12, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-26 of 26 (26 new)

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Silke Wow the synopsis sounds really good, great review btw! This is being thrown straight to the top of my tbr!


also, sort of explanation: major changes were made from arc->fc (view spoiler), and I think that's where the queerbaiting thing came from!

Kirsti Yay, glad you loved it, I got a copy for Christmas but haven't started yet, I'll have to bump it up the list of to-reads

Ash | Wild Heart Reads Yes!! I absolutely love this book, you said it perfectly!

Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥ Wow this review is so emotional and awesome it makes me want to read this book right away. XD

C.G. Drews @Silke: EXCELLENT.

@Elise: omg seriously?!? I'm so glad it got changed then! Otherwise I totally see how it could've been seen as queerbaiting. 0_0

@Kirsti: I'm so gladddd! I hope you like it too!

C.G. Drews @WildHeartReads: It was so amazing and messy and complicated and hahhh. 😭😭

@Virginia: Aww thank you! I am super emotional after finishing this. I can't recommend it enough!

Shelumiel Delos Santos WHAT DID I TELL YOU?!!

message 9: by Ilonita50 (new)

Ilonita50 wow, thats a good surprise! Will note the book! :)

Chloeeblack Loved this book so much!!!

message 11: by Nabila (new) - added it

Nabila Ahhhh I want to read it now!!

message 12: by Kyle (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kyle Yes

message 13: by C.G. (new) - rated it 5 stars


message 14: by C.G. (new) - rated it 5 stars

C.G. Drews @Ilonita50: Eeeep I hope you get to try it!

@Chloeeblack: afjdkslad it was just amazing

@Nabila: I hope you get to read it!

@Kyle: It was just TOO GOOD


message 16: by C.G. (new) - rated it 5 stars


message 17: by Katie (new) - added it


Georgia Meagher YAY I'M SO GLAD YOU LOVED THIS. i love this book so much it tore me up

alittlelifeofmel I’m nearly finished and I love this sooooo much.
I’ve read the queer baiting comments as well and from what I’ve seen, that was in the first edition of the book pre-editor.

Drakeryn So, on a whim (and your review) I bought this book today and read it all this afternoon. yeahhhh Jack & August

message 21: by C.G. (new) - rated it 5 stars

C.G. Drews @Drakeryn: omg it's the best thing ever to know I convinced someone to read a specific book!!

empirestatebookshelf I actually picked this book up because of your review as well and it was so worth it... I may not have gotten anything else done that afternoon, but it was worth it!

message 23: by C.G. (new) - rated it 5 stars

C.G. Drews @empirestatebookshelf: omggggg MY DAY IS MADE.

Mara YA Mood Reader I’ve been on the hunt for YA male narrators and now, after your review in praise, I’m definitely bumping this up on my tbr!

message 25: by emi (new)

emi Amazing review

Katrina♡•• I am convinced

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