Melanie's Reviews > The Simple Wild

The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker
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it was amazing
bookshelves: romance, adult, contemporary, arc, read-in-2018, favorites


ARC provided by Atria Books in exchange for an honest review.

Is it bad etiquette to start a review with a quote by another author? Because while reading this book, I couldn’t stop thinking about Tarryn Fisher’s quote in one of my favorite books of all-time, Mud Vein, “What’s the difference?” I asked him. “Between the love of your life, and your soulmate?” “One is a choice, and one is not.” And I know I haven’t been on this Earth for that long, but that quote is the one of the truest things I’ve ever read in literature. And it really encompasses the theme of The Simple Wild. And sometimes, when you’re lucky enough, and are able to do everything in your power, you are able to have them both.

Let me also start this review off by saying that I feel like this book was very catered to my personal tastes, and I’ll go into that more in the review, but The Simple Wild is currently my favorite romance of 2018. The writing, the setting, the messages, the romance? It was all perfect in my eyes. This was also my first KA Tucker book, but I promise that it won’t be my last.

“What hold does Alaska have on them? What makes this place worth giving everything else up?”

The Simple Wild centers around a twenty-six-year-old named Calla, who has lived twenty-four years in Toronto with her mother. And both Calla and her mother, Susan, have spent most of those years wishing that the man they left in a very remote part of Alaska would come back for them. Calla’s father took over his father’s aviation business, that delivers supplies, food, and medical treatment all over the native towns around this rural part of Alaska. But they’ve both moved on; Susan married an amazing new man, Simon, and Calla just gave up the hope that her father would ever be more than distant heartache. That is, until a woman calls Calla and urges her to finally meet her father, after all these years, before it’s too late and she is never given the chance again. Calla, with the help and support of a few amazing people, decides to fly out and stay for a while in the remote village in Alaska that her father has always chosen over her and her mother.

“I’d always ask him to fly out to visit me. I mean, he had all these planes to choose from, so why couldn’t he just hop in one of them and come?”

KA Tucker says that Bangor is a made-up place in Alaska, but oh my gosh did I fall in love with this fictional community. And Calla gets to meet the people who have been her father’s family for his entire life. And I’ll never make excuses for a parent not wanting to be a bigger part of their child’s life, but I actually felt so much empathy for Calla’s dad, Wren, too. After twenty-four year, he has never given up the love he has for Susan. And even though Calla’s romance is the focus of this book, Wren’s really got to me. Like, this book is easily the book that made me cry the most in 2018. Without question. Happy tears, sad tears, I never want this book to end tears.

And you all know this is a romance book, so obviously Wren had to take a hot, thirty-one-year-old, pilot under his wing. And Calla and him start out with such an enemies to lovers plotline as soon as he picks her up to fly her to her father. And he obviously lives next-door to her father. And their paths are forced to cross constantly throughout Calla’s visit while she gets to finally know her father. And you all, I was weak for it. Also, this has the “trapped in the cabin in the woods” trope and I was screaming with heart eyes.

“Just don’t make the same mistake I did and fall in love with one of those pilots.”

Good Lord, I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but Jonah is honestly the type of guy that I personally like and am attracted to. And I feel kind of gross saying it, because he’s very much a “manly man” but not in a toxic masculine way, but in a “let me chop wood and put it on the fire we have going so I can cook for you” type way. I don’t know. I’m such a hot mess over this book. But I’m just saying that I’ve read 110 books this year, and Jonah is the only fictional dude character that I would personally let get it. Goodbye.

But there is so much to love about Calla, too! Not only does she have empathy, and the courage to let a man who she has felt abandoned by her entire life in, but she’s also sure of herself and her worth. Also, she and her best friend run a lifestyle blog, and I loved every mention of it. From adding hyperlinks last minute, to finding deals every holiday season, to trying your hardest to take the perfect picture for Instagram. Like, it was all so relatable and it truly was the cherry on this already amazing sundae. And I feel like in general, I personally just had a lot of similarities to Calla. Also, just because I’m apparently an open book in this review, my dad is the same age as Wren. So, all the extra feels.

And the overall message of this book is so important and so beautiful. We have to let people live the life that they want to live. We don’t have to agree, but we can always be supportive and try to be empathetic. I try not to talk about my personal life too much, but a lot of you know that cancer is something that I’ve chosen to center my life around, and it’s so important to let the person that is diagnosed choose what is best for them. And, this book is just so heartbreakingly beautiful. Because that’s really all life is; choice after choice after choice. And each and every single one completely alters our life’s path. But controlling our feelings is something entirely different. And the connections we choose to make, too early or too late, is everything.

“You should have called him. He should have called you. Your mom should never have left. Wren should have left Alaska for you. Who the hell knows what’s right, and what it would have led to, but it doesn’t matter because you can’t change any of that.”

This book also shines a spotlight on found families and platonic love, too. This book really is just all about the different kinds of love in the world, really. The love between family, between friends, and between communities. I feel so sappy, but this book just really blew me and my expectations away.

And even though this book was close to perfect in my eyes, it did have two elements that I didn’t enjoy. The first being just the general talk about beauty and what it means to be society’s standard of beauty. Calla gets a lot of shit from Jonah about the way she looks, and that’s something that has happened to me my entire life. And I get it from both sides of the spectrum: From dudes quizzing me with basic biology 101 questions because they can’t believe the degree I have, to my ex giving me shit because I can’t just roll out of bed and feel comfortable going places around town with them. We want girls to look a certain way, but we also want to make them feel bad for putting the time into looking that way. I don’t know. I’m getting so off topic but basically, I’m saying people have treated me the way Jonah treated Calla’s beauty in this book, and I don’t like it. And good Lord, did I hate the nickname “Barbie” so much. But I was living for Jonah constantly being proven wrong on his assumptions and prejudices. Girls are beautiful with no makeup or with a full face of makeup, one doesn’t erase the other. The only thing that matters is what the girl feels comfortable with, and what makes them happy. Also, make up can be really expensive, so show some damn respect.

My only other complaint is Calla’s mother, Susan, and her treatment of Simon. Susan does a lot of hurtful things in this book. And Simon is like the best character in all of literature, so it feels extra bad. Like, who paints someone’s bookshelves when they aren’t home? Like, I don’t know. I really liked Wren, but I honestly disliked Susan, which I feel like will be an unpopular opinion, but it’s honestly how I felt. Also, Simon deserves the entire galaxy and all the stars within it!

Overall, I just loved this. The setting was absolutely perfect and so very atmospheric. I loved the romance more than any word combination I could come up with. I loved the message of living your life to the fullest, and the theme of found families always being better than family of origin. I just loved The Simple Wild and I believe with my whole heart that it will make my best of 2018 list come this December. And again, this book felt very personal to me, but I recommend it to everyone with my entire soul. And, friends, don’t waste your life on wishes; if you want something – go for it, always. Life is short, but it’s never too late to go after your dreams and fight for something you love. Love can be so messy and so complicated, but it’s always worth it.

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Trigger and content warnings for abandonment, terminal disease, talk of cancer, some weird comments about body and weight that made me a little uncomfortable, and loss of a loved one.

The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.
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Reading Progress

June 21, 2018 – Shelved
June 21, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
June 21, 2018 – Shelved as: romance
June 21, 2018 – Shelved as: adult
June 21, 2018 – Shelved as: contemporary
July 10, 2018 – Shelved as: arc
July 10, 2018 – Shelved as: read-in-2018
July 24, 2018 – Started Reading
July 24, 2018 –
60.0% "I'm so addicted to this. ❤"
July 25, 2018 – Shelved as: favorites
July 25, 2018 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-32 of 32 (32 new)

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Sara➽ Ink Is My Sword omg so excited to hear if you like this one!


Melanie Sara➽ (Ink Is My Sword) wrote: "omg so excited to hear if you like this one!"

I have the highest of hopes! My fingers are crossed for both of us! Happy reading, Sara love! 💜xx


Autumn Immediately added this to my to read shelf after reading that description and seeing your rating. I read "The Great Alone" earlier this year and it made me want more books that take place in Alaska!


Melanie Autumn wrote: "Immediately added this to my to read shelf after reading that description and seeing your rating. I read "The Great Alone" earlier this year and it made me want more books that take place in Alaska!"

It's so funny you'd say this, Autumn, because right after closing this book, I was like, "I need to go buy The Great Alone" Hahaha! Seriously, I loved this SO much! Beyond words! I hope you have the happiest of reading, love! 💗xx


message 5: by Emily (new)

Emily So I'm not a romance reader but your review was really great. I'm putting this on my "maybe someday" radar and I've recommended it to my Romance reader friend!! Really great review!


Christy I LOVE THIS REVIEW!!! And I agree, this book was spectacular! xoxo


Melanie Emily wrote: "So I'm not a romance reader but your review was really great. I'm putting this on my "maybe someday" radar and I've recommended it to my Romance reader friend!! Really great review!"

Awh, this means so much coming from you, Emily! And thank you for recommending to your romance friends! Ahhh, my heart! All the feels! And I hope you're currently reading something five star worthy, love! 💗xx


Melanie Christy wrote: "I LOVE THIS REVIEW!!! And I agree, this book was spectacular! xoxo"

Awh, well... I love YOU! And I can't believe how amazing this book was! Like... I honestly want to go and buy KA Tucker's entire backlist now, Christy! I'm too invested now! Hahaha! And I hope you're having happy reading, beautiful! 💗xx


Berit☀️✨ Fabulous review this book is sitting on my Kindle and I cannot wait! She is one of my favorite authors and I hope you get to more of her books ASAP!😍


message 10: by Irene (new) - added it

Irene Sim Great review, Mel. Haven't read from this author before but I might start with this book...


message 11: by KAS (new) - rated it 5 stars

KAS Such a beautiful, heartfelt review, Melanie ;) So glad you loved your first book by this author. I hope you continue to truly enjoy all future books you read by Ms. Tucker! 😘❤️


Melanie Berit☀️✨Traveling Sister✨ wrote: "Fabulous review this book is sitting on my Kindle and I cannot wait! She is one of my favorite authors and I hope you get to more of her books ASAP!😍"

Awh, thank you so much, Berit love! I couldn't believe how much this blew me away! Now I want to read EVERYTHING by this author! Seriously, I'm in love! Happy reading, babe! And I can't wait to gush with you over this one! 💖xx


Melanie Irene wrote: "Great review, Mel. Haven't read from this author before but I might start with this book..."

Awh, thank you so much, Irene! It was my friend time with her too, and.... all the heart eyes! Hahaha! Happy reading, beautiful! 💖xx


Melanie KAS wrote: "Such a beautiful, heartfelt review, Melanie ;) So glad you loved your first book by this author. I hope you continue to truly enjoy all future books you read by Ms. Tucker! 😘❤️"

You are the sweetest person on this site, I swear it, love! Thank you so much for these kinds words! I honestly want to devour his entire backlist now! I'm so in love with this book! 💖xx


Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ Amazing review Mel!! I've been reading a lot of romance novels lately but they rarely touch me *wails* I'll definitely try this one! <3


(Bern) Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas Glad this one was so perfect for you Melanie!


Warda You’ve made me want to pick this book up ASAP!


Melanie Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ wrote: "Amazing review Mel!! I've been reading a lot of romance novels lately but they rarely touch me *wails* I'll definitely try this one! <3"

Awh, thank you so much, my love! This one is going to make you side-eye at first! Hahahaha! But it just... it ended up being so perfect for me. I hope you love it too, beautiful! Happy reading! 💗xx


Melanie (Bern) Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas wrote: "Glad this one was so perfect for you Melanie!"

Awh, Bern, you are honestly the sweetest! Thank you so much, love! And I hope you're having happy reading! 💗xx


Melanie Warda wrote: "You’ve made me want to pick this book up ASAP!"

I honestly think you'll hella enjoy this one, Warda love! You'll have to let me know! And happy reading, always, beautiful! 💗xx


message 21: by Danielle (new)

Danielle Tremblay Great review!


SueBee★bring me an alpha!★ Splendid review Melanie! = D xx


Melanie Danielle wrote: "Great review!"

Thank you so much, Danielle love! I hope you're having the happiest of reading! 💖xx


Melanie SueBee★bring me an alpha!★ wrote: "Splendid review Melanie! = D xx"

Thank you so very much, Sue! I really think you'd love this one, too! Happy reading, beautiful! 💖xx


Gabby Ahhhh Melanie you were right! I gave this book 5/5 too it was so freaking amazing I didn't want it to end!


Melanie Gabby wrote: "Ahhhh Melanie you were right! I gave this book 5/5 too it was so freaking amazing I didn't want it to end!"

Yesss, beautiful! My heart is so happy! Also - I totally bought He Will Be My Ruin because of you! 💖xx


message 27: by Coco.V (new) - added it

Coco.V Terrific review, Melanie! Sounds like a beautiful story. :D xx 💕


message 28: by Tt (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tt Great review! I so agree with your points and especially Susan and Simon! He’s the unsung hero in this story. I loved his character!


Melanie Coco.V wrote: "Terrific review, Melanie! Sounds like a beautiful story. :D xx 💕"

Awh, thank you so much, Coco love! 💖xx


Melanie Tt wrote: "Great review! I so agree with your points and especially Susan and Simon! He’s the unsung hero in this story. I loved his character!"

Awh, thank you so much, love! And right? Simon was the unsung hero! 💖xx


Mandy This is seriously one of the best book reviews I have ever read!


message 32: by Kilikina (new) - added it

Kilikina Absolutely stunning review!!!


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