Wild Blue Wonder
Author: Carlie Sorosiak
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publication Date: June 28th 2018
Format: Paperback (288 pages)
Ask anyone in Winship, Maine, and they’ll tell you the summer camp Quinn’s family owns is a magical place. Paper wishes hang from the ceiling. Blueberries grow in the dead of winter. According to local legend, a sea monster even lurks off the coast. Mostly, there’s just a feeling that something extraordinary could happen there.
Like Quinn falling in love with her best friend, Dylan.
After the accident, the magic drained from Quinn’s life. Now Dylan is gone, the camp is a lonely place, and Quinn knows it’s her fault.
But the new boy in town, Alexander, doesn’t see her as the monster she believes herself to be. As Quinn lets herself open up again, she begins to understand the truth about love, loss, and monsters—real and imagined.
My Rating: ★★★★★
A few weeks ago I read Wild Blue Wonder by the lovely Carlie Sorosiak and I fell completely head over heels in love. This last year has been a particularly difficult one for me and this book has really struck a chord with me.
“your joy fizzed around you like sparklers”
Wild Blue Wonder is wonderful. It’s a story of love, family, friendship and grief. This book is told on two timelines: the present shows us the aftermath of Dylan’s death, the guilt and the effects of grief on Quinn and her family whilst the past shows us the lead up to Dylan’s death. I loved the way the two different timelines ran alongside each other because they allowed for such emotion to flow whilst I read. I was simultaneously feeling Quinn, Fern and Reed’s grief and puzzling over what could possibly have happened to effect their sibling relationships so profoundly whilst also feeling anxious in the past about what was to come and whether it would change my feelings about the characters in the present. It lead to having a perfect about of tension and build up in terms of the story and the emotion.
One of the most profound things about this book for me was the way in which it shows just what grief can do to a family. Most people assume that grief pulls a family together, but this book shows exactly how it can do the opposite. In the past Quinn and her siblings, Fern and Reed, are incredibly close, playing silly games and pranking one another yet in the present they are resentful, barely speaking and clearly holding grudges and I just needed to know why! There are so many gorgeous descriptions of grief and emotion in this book and it really did strike a chord with me.
The characters themselves are excellent. As well as Quinn, I just adored her best friend Hana who is literally everything you could want in a bestie. Female friendships are one of my absolute favourite things both when reading and in life in general and the friendship between Quinn and Hana felt so authentic. I am also a sucker for grandparents in YA books and I flipping adored Nana Eden. Not only did she provide some of my favourite quotes from the book but she is also just flipping hilarious. The ”Build Your Own Coffin” moment had me seriously laughing out loud and I fell in love with her character straight away.
“My mother used to tell me that sometimes when a woman’s in darkness, she doesn’t need a goddamn flashlight. She needs another woman to stand in the dark by her side.”
I also have to give a shout out to the romantic relationship in this book because Alexander very quickly became one of my favourite characters. I adored his dorky British sense of humour and him making casual jokes about snapchatting ‘Liz and the corgis. But aside from the light touch, I loved seeing how the relationship between Alexander and Quinn grew and adapted as she came to terms with Dylan’s death. There are some very lovely moments between them.
Something unique about this book that I really enjoyed was that Quinn has a passion for marine biology and is an avid listener of a podcast about weird and wonderful marine creatures. It was so interesting to read the passages from the podcast and get an insight into some of these weird and wonderful creatures as a reader too.
Wild Blue Wonder and its characters have imprinted themselves onto my little heart. Grief is something that affects us all and has affected me on several occasions this year and this book definitely helped as part of that process. With gorgeous settings, lyrical writing and layered, lovable characters, this is a story that will stay with me for a long time and hopefully find a special place in the hearts of many.
“Life isn’t this infinite thing”
Even though I read a finished copy of the book, I would like to thank MyKindaBook and Carlie Sorosiak for having provided an eARC of Wild Blue Wonder in exchange of a fair and honest review.