[638]: Wild by Alex Mallory



by Alex Mallory

I’ve always loved Saundra Mitchell’s Vespertine series. She introduced me to the Wild Wild West of YA with nature’s magic thrown in for good measure. The fact that the books were about two things that I’d never picked out on my own volition speak volumes. She also knows how to write a good romance – which is key to keeping me coming back for more. So it was an unexpected, welcome surprise to learn that she wrote a contemporary retelling of Tarzan using a pseudonym.

Book Description

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?

The novel opens up a little heavy on narration. It was Dara and her boyfriend fumbling through a camping trip that was meant to draw them closer but only managed to do the opposite. We also spent a lot of time in Cade’s head. Because he’s been living in the forest for so long, the appearance of a couple of intruders kept him in a perma-state of wonder. The forest had an air of slight danger. But I think it had to do with the way Cade stalked Dara. He was fascinated with her and the boy hasn’t talked to anyone for years, so I kinda get why he was all creepy.

Cade has such a sad story. From his parents’ choice to leave everything behind, to when they eventually left him behind, it was the kind of sorrow that you would feel with very little provocation. It was that palpable. I felt sorry for his lonesome existence and felt even sorrier when they took him out of the only home he’s ever known. He had no idea how to exist in a modern world. He had a child-like innocence untampered by civilization. So as much as I thought it would be good for him to learn the truth about the lies his parents fed him, his freedom cost him a lot more.

I had a bit of a hard time with Dara’s boyfriend, though. He was a jerk and I’m glad he was barely in the picture. I also felt that there should’ve been more on Cade’s adopted parents. They were really good to him, but Cade’s heart was in the forest so he didn’t know how to connect with them. Overall, I think I’d hoped for more. I mean, don’t get me wrong, the book was a decent size as it is, and most of the plot threads were woven in a nice plait. I supposed it could’ve used a bit more tightening, is what I’m trying to get at.

Wild is an entertaining modern interpretation of Tarzan. It had a lot of heart that will give you a mild case of chest pains. I think that you will learn to enjoy it, too if you go into it knowing that it’s not a perfect book, and as most interpretations go, it’s never as good as the original.

  • While reading your review I was thinking it sounded a bit like Tarzan… then got to the final paragraph… there it is!
    Sounds like it was a good read Joy! I like that you got to see into Cade’s head. I’m curious about his past… sounds sad!

  • Lovely review Joy. <3 Ohh, so glad you liked this book so much 😀 YAY! I heard some bad things about it ages ago, so I did not get it.. probably not a book for me : But I also love this author. And ahh. You are making me pretty curious about this one 😀 Thank you for sharing sweetie. <3 Hugs.

  • Hmm, I had no idea this was a modern interpretation of Tarzan, that’s pretty unique in and of itself! It’s good to know that it didn’t take much to feel for Cade’s situation.

  • This sounds like a very interesting story. I’ve not heard of this book before. I have to check to see if this book is available on audio.

    Melanie @ Hot Listens & Rabid Reads

  • Melliane

    Oh Tarzan, that’s so much fun, I’ve never read a book like that so I confess that it’s quite intriguing!

  • I don’t know why but I was never a fan of Tarzan, but what an interesting take on the age-old story! It’d be interesting to see how Cade adapts, and how people would treat this ‘jungle boy’. Sucks that it seems to missing something though!

  • I didn’t know anything about this book but I am very interested now that I know it is a Tarzan re-telling. It sounds very good and I am glad that you enjoyed it. Great review!

  • Keertana @ Ivy Book Bindings

    I didn’t know this was a Tarzan re-telling! Admittedly, knowing that I’m expecting this to be AMAZING so I can totally see how this wouldn’t live up to your expectations. I think I’m going to skip this and wait for the next Tarzan re-telling–hopefully someone writes this soon!–which will, I hope, be incredible. Thanks for such a helpful review, Joy! 🙂

  • It kind of sounds really heartbreaking with the wild boy being thrown into civilisation without much guidance. Thanks for the review Joy!

  • I’d have a hard time getting through this one… especially since he is left behind by his parents. Still, I do love a good retelling and I’m now curious about the book.

  • I was really looking forward to this one before its release but never picked it up for some reason. I should though. I’ve never read a Tarzan retelling but I can imagine how sad it must have been to read. I hope he gets his HEA.
    Great review, Joy!

  • Jazmen

    I never would of thought of reading a retelling of Tarzan. That alone is intriguing enough. I might want to check this out. Yay for a review, Joy! 🙂

  • Oh my goodness you had me at a retelling of Tarzan! That’s so unique! There are always retellings of the princess related stories like Cinderella and all, but this one sounds emotional and like a very good book too. I haven’t tried anything by this author before but I’m adding this one to my TBR now.

    • Awesome! I really hope you’ll enjoy it, too, Olivia!

  • I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Tarzan retelling. How cool!

    • I haven’t either, until this book. 🙂

  • I don’t think I’ve ever come across a Tarzan retelling and it sounds wonderful if not incredibly sad. I generally really enjoy fish out of water kind of stories, but on the fence as it sounds really emotional and I’m not sure my poor heart could cope. Wonderful review Joy, going to grab a copy anyway because I can’t help it when you recommend a book. Damn you making me spend my money. Every. Time <3 wonderful review.

    • I should say it’s more tender than emotionally-heavy, but if you’re in a delicate emotional state (as I can tell you are these days *hugs*), it might not be a good idea to pick it up just now. I hope you’re feeling better, Kelly-love.

  • Bloggin’ ’bout Books

    I’ve never read a Tarzan re-telling. I’ll have to check this one out. Thanks for the heads-up!

  • kindlemom1

    Oh I love that this is a re-telling with a twist! Great review for this, I think even despite some of its flaws, I will like it too.

  • I’m so glad you liked this one! I did too 🙂 I for some reason never continued on with the Vespertine series, even though I REALLY liked the first book! Hmm… I need to get on that. Great review!! 😀

    • Yes, you should! It’s a good series. 🙂

  • My poor heart, can it take it