Friday, 5 February 2016

Gone Wild Teen / Young Adult Fiction

Gone Wild by Jodi Lundgren is a compelling read about two teenagers.

One is running from the present and the other the future and, as fate would have it, they stumble upon each other in a wilderness park on Vancouver Island, where they quickly have to learn about basic survival, but more importantly, they learn about themselves.

Sixteen year old Seth spent his younger years being bullied in foster care. When he is adopted he believes that at last he had found what all children should have, love and a family. His adoptive father is loving and kind, but he is often away. His adoptive mother is neglectful and resentful of Seth. Seth's adoptive parents divorce and he is subjected to more abuse by his mothers new boyfriend. He has no other option but to run away.

Brooke's mother is controlling and disapproving. She is constantly compared to her perfect sister. At eighteen, Brooke rebels and provokes her mother by doing everything that she would disapprove of. Fearing she is pregnant with her inappropriate boyfriends child, Brooke decides to run away from her future - even if it is just for a couple of days while she goes backpacking.

Fate intervenes at Seth and Brooke's paths cross and the journey of discovery begins.

What did I think of the book?

I though this book took on some very real challenges that teenagers face today. Lundgren has created two really likable characters in Seth and Brook. They are easy to relate to and the story is very engaging. Lundgren is very direct with her language and does not shy away from some of the more difficult topics. She told it as it is.

The story is very much about Seth's and Brooke's emotional journey - although there is no happy ending, so to speak, because she is writing about life, not a fairy-tale.  But what Lundgren does leave her readers with is something far stronger than a happy-ever-after, she leaves them with hope.

I would recommend this book to anyone with middle-school aged teenagers. The writing is not difficult to read and the story is of a good length. An enjoyable book.

Gone Wild

By Jodi Lundgren 
Published by James Lorimer & Company Ltd.
Release date 

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