Book Review: Wildwood (Spoilers)

Hello, book worms. If you read Wildwood, head on over to Young(ish) Adult and tell everyone what you thought!

I very much enjoyed reading Wildwood. It definitely had an old fantasy feel to it, and the drawings made the book come alive for me. Many reviews I read noted that the book felt a little “hipster” or “Portland-y,” but I wouldn’t criticize the book for either of those things. I appreciate that Meloy wrote what he knew (he lives in Portland), and if the heroine rides her bike into battle, so what? She’s a kid! Kids ride bikes!

I liked Prue a lot. She was smart and cute. A strong main character. She never annoyed me, and I was always interested in what she was doing. Curtis was adorable, and I felt bad for him when Prue kept yelling at him. They were perfect friends.

Alexandria reminded me a lot of The White Witch from Narnia (I even started this sentence with “The White Witch” by accident). But I appreciated that for a while, I actually wondered whether she was “the good guy.” I mean, I knew she wasn’t, but for a minute I wondered (David said the same thing when he was reading it).

The clockwork prince reminded me of The Imaginarium Geographica. The mystics reminded me of the animism in The Inheritance Series. David mentioned that the beginning of the book (sibling kidnapped, undiscovered urban world) reminded him of The Underland Chronicles. But that’s something we’ve talked about before. It always happens. It’s nearly impossible to write a fantastical novel that doesn’t draw from all the other great fantasy authors we know and love. And I think that’s okay. There was enough freshness and originality that I didn’t mind being reminded of Lewis and Collins and other fantasy writers.

I thought the barren-parents storyline was a little intense for a Young Adult book. Although, my parents had trouble conceiving, and I guess I was aware of that at a young age. I knew my mom had surgeries and took medicine. It just seemed like a very “grown-up” problem and a very dangerous answer. But I guess, to some extent, that’s the point of Young Adult books. To introduce young adults to adult problems in a contained and controlled environment. Isn’t the point of reading at or above your reading level to encourage you to learn and ask questions about things you don’t understand?

In the end, I guess some things were a little predictable (the tree rescuing Mac), but some things weren’t (Curtis’ family knows!). All in all, I was entertained reading Wildwood, so I would call that a success!

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