Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Review: Wild by Alex Mallory

Title: Wild
Author: Alex Mallory
Release date: July 8th 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Retelling
Format: ARC
Pages: 434
Source: Publisher

The forest is full of secrets, and no one understands that better than Cade. Foraging, hunting, surviving— that’s all he knows. Alone for years, Cade believes he’s the sole survivor. At least, until he catches a glimpse of a beautiful stranger…

Dara expected to find natural wonders when she set off for a spring break camping trip. Instead, she discovers a primitive boy— he’s stealthy and handsome and he might be following her. Intrigued, Dara seeks him out and sets a catastrophe in motion.

Thrust back into society, Cade struggles with the realization that the life he knew was a lie. But he’s not the only one. Trying to explain life in a normal town leaves Dara questioning it.

As the media swarm and the police close in, Dara and Cade risk everything to get closer. But will the truth about Cade’s past tear them apart?

A YA Tarzan retelling.

I found myself really loving this book throughout. A Tarzan retelling is something new to me, and I've always loved that story. So I knew I'd love this book. Wild tells the story of Cade, who's been living in the woods his whole life. This book is set in contemporary times though, so that makes it all the more intriguing.

Wild is told in third person, so we get the perspectives of Cade, Dara, and a couple other characters as well. Cade's mom had always told him to stay away from any humans, as they're infected with a disease that wiped out most of the human race and can be fatal to Cade, too. So he stays away. Until he sees Dara and her boyfriend, Josh, set up camp under the trees. Cade is fascinated by Dara, and vice versa. When an incident forces Dara to take Cade to civilization, they realize just how different they are from one another, but also how connected they are regardless of it.

Cade intrigued me from the start, obviously. I loved the descriptions showing us how he fended for himself - getting food and clothes, avoiding trouble, etc. Both of Cade's parents are dead, so he's been living alone for the past three years. I wish we could've seen more of Cade in his element, though - swinging from trees, catching fish and all. But most of the book is spent showing him in civilization, which really confuses him, considering his mother had convinced him it was all gone.

I quite liked Dara as well, mostly her curious nature. She's not afraid of Cade when they first meet. Instead, she's intrigued by him. She's very open-minded, and I love how much she appreciates nature. Dara loved photography, and that makes her more aware of things than most people. And that's one of the things that draws Cade to her.

There isn't really much romance in this book, it's more about the build-up. Dara does have a boyfriend in the beginning, although that issue gets sorted out later. Dara and Cade have this strong attraction to each other that just keeps growing as they spend time together in the town. Thank god they do act on it finally, though!

Things are made harder for Cade because of all the media attention, not to mention the fact that people are doing everything they can to find out who he really is. There's a nice twist towards the end, and it puts everything in place. Wild works great as a standalone, since plot threads are resolved for the most part but there's still a hint of the story continuing.

I'd recommend Wild to anyone who's read Tarzan or knows the story. You'll love this version of it! I sure adored Cade and Dara, and was fully invested in their heart-pounding story.

*Thank you to Megan at HarperCollins for sending me an ARC for review*

Rating: 4/5


  1. This is different. I'm curious, does Cade speak in a sort of broken English like Tarzan?

    1. Nope, his parents taught him proper English and he's been speaking it his whole life :) Though of course there are words he's not familiar with since he's only lived in the woods

  2. I'm really glad I read your review because I was very on the fence about this one, but no more! I too love Tarzan but instead of that making me excited, I was kind of worried that a contemporary retelling wouldn't be what I wanted it to be. I'm feeling much more confident about it after hearing what you've had to say, so it's going on my list!


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