Book Review: Wild

6:00:00 PM

As I mentioned in my January Book Haul post, a few other navy wives and I have created a casual book club. We decided to use the Buzzfeed article, 35 Books You Need to Read in Your Twenties as our guide. As many do, we started at the beginning.

I've heard many good things about Cheryl Strayed's book Wild. Especially after it became a well known motion picture. So I thought I'd go ahead and read it with the group.

At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and she would do it alone. Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.

I should have taken into account the fact that it wasn't the type of book I normally pick up. It was a very slow start for me. I had to take my time with each word, and read through it like a text book. I found myself distracted after reading a page, and then I had to go back and read it all over again.

In one part of the book, Strayed mentions that she loves details, and that was quite apparent in her work. I have never read anything from Strayed before, so I'm not sure what her "Dear Sugar" pieces sound like, but this book definitely had a lot of details. I noticed myself flipping back and forth, confused, thinking that I had already read one of the things she just said.

As I moved on, the book did get easier to read, but I still felt the same way about it. I was drowning in details that didn't seem important to the story. I also noticed that it seemed like she talked out of order. I understand that authors find flashbacks useful, but I don't agree with how Strayed used them. I ended up more confused with what was going on, than more understanding of her past and present self.

I have to say, I also didn't like the ending of the book. I wasn't expecting it to end so quickly. She moved straight from the present, to 15 years into the future in a short matter of paragraphs. I would have liked it more, had she ended the chapter at the drive-in and then included the rest in an epilogue. I had so many unanswered questions after reading the book. What happened to Paul?  Where did she meet this new guy? What happened in between all of those years?!

Overall, I don't think it was a bad book. I just don't think it was a book for me. Personally, I'm only 20 years old and I prefer young adult books with a little bit of fantasy. I'm happy that I read this book, but it wasn't at all what I expected. I have gone through some hard struggles in my life, but I wasn't able to connect with Strayed in any aspect of her book. I'm glad that I read it, but I'm also glad that I'm done reading it.

A lot of other readers were very critical of Strayed, but they mostly hit on points about her being "dimwitted," or "ill-prepared." Honestly, I have to disagree with a majority of those readers. Yes, I do think that Strayed may be a little crazy, and yes she did seem to be a tad bit ill-prepared compared to the other hikers. But, you must also take into the account that she thought she was prepared. She did her research, she talked to the REI store employees. She thought she was as prepared as she could be at the time, and she still managed to do everything that she set out to do. I think that she wrote her story in a way that she thought it would be best. And honestly, I have to give her props for doing something that I never could have done. That's all that I can give her though. I admire how brutally honest she was in her book, but I wouldn't recommend it.

I do want to see the movie though. I would like to see how they tell her story, but I'll have to do that another day.

If you're interesting in purchasing this book, you can find it here

Have you read this book? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments! 

* This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I'll receive some type of commission. For more information, you can read our full disclosure here. *

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