Friday, November 6, 2015

Review: The New Wild by Holly Brasher

Book Blurb:

Mother Nature is pissed.

Few will survive.

Jackie is loving her last year of summer camp, despite new-guy Xander, jerk extraordinaire. That is, until disaster strikes on the senior backpacking trip. At first, it seems like a nightmare, but Jackie quickly realizes that the huge fire and resulting carnage around her are as real as real gets.

Miraculously (and infuriatingly, in Jackie’s opinion), Xander survives the burning, too, but that’s the least of her worries. Mother Nature has wiped out millions and burned cities to the ground, plants are growing at a crazy-rapid rate, and fairytale creatures are very real—and very dangerous.

Jackie and Xander must learn to survive sans food, shelter, and soap, and battle their way across the wild American landscape in search of their families—all without killing each other. Along the way, the duo learns that maybe the other isn’t so terrible after all, but going months with no toothpaste isn’t exactly a recipe for romance. Will the journey be too much for their growing relationship? Will it even be worth it at all? Or will their homes and families be burned to a crisp?

My Review:

2 Out of 5 Flowers

Genre: Romance, Survival, Supernatural--

Jackie loved her getaways to summer camp, her favorite time of the year. With only one week left before camp is over, a new camper shows up and sparks everyone's interest. Unfortunately, he is a terrible guy, regardless of being very attractive. Jackie and her friends go out for their senior camp out and something terrible happens. Jackie wakes up to the screams of her friends as they are all burned to death. For some strange reason Jackie was spared, but everyone she knows was killed in the freak attack and all man-made items were destroyed as well. Jackie needs to learn quick how to take care of herself because she is determined to make it across the country to find her mom.

I started reading this book expecting a dystopian story heavy on the survival aspect. Well, in no way would I call this a dystopian. I personally would classify this as a fantasy since it is full of mythical creatures that were never real such as chimeras, giant flowers that change color depending on your mood, plants that float in bubbles until you pop them and they grow, and yes, killer unicorns. So to be generous, maybe I would list this as a fantasy/survival book. I am still really conflicted on how I feel about this story. Parts of it were interesting but I really don't know if I can say that I liked the book. I did keep on reading because I wanted to get the end to see what would happen. My favorite part of the book is that it is a standalone, so everything was resolved at the ending and the reader is not left hanging. waiting on a sequel.

There were also a few issues I saw with the story, little things really but they buzzed in the back of my brain while I was reading. Jackie received one day of survival training and is ready to go across the country on her own (that alone could classify this as a fantasy). Yeah, maybe a few weeks, sure, I could believe that, but one day and it was not even a full day to learn about hunting, what plants are edible, water filtration...Nope, I don't buy it. Another strange thing was that she was grossed out when Xander told her about chickens living in stacked pens with poor conditions, yet she beheaded and plucked her chicken and considered eating Xander if she was desperate enough. It doesn't jive for me, but whatever. Also, Xander as a love interest felt all wrong, even if he was the last available man-child around. He was a total tool at the start of the story and did some despicable things, yet Jackie is interested in him from the start, and excuse his behavior as acting up. It's almost like they have one of those kindergarten relationships where you know they like each other because they do mean things. I thought the realistic survival aspect of the story was interesting and detailed, full of death, destruction and the depravity of man. Maybe that says something about me that my favorite parts of the book were realistic and horrifying, but whatever.

Overall I just feel pretty blah about book. I did find out that the author is only 19 so she really is just starting out, so mad kudos on what you created here. I may read more from her in the future, we will just have to wait and see.

I received this title from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

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