Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: Wild

wild

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed ~ 315 pages ~ published 3/20/12 by Knopf

Goodreads Synopsis:

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.

What I Thought:

Wild was certainly an interesting read. I don’t read very much non-fiction, but I wanted to take the month of November to change that. Wild has been on my list for quite some time, and it was available on audiobook from my library. Even though I was shaking my head at her most of the time, I was thoroughly engaged throughout.

I am not the outdoorsy type. I enjoy hiking, but when I say that I mean a 2.5 – 4.5 mile day hike trail, where I get to go home after a couple of hours. So, setting off to hike hundreds of miles by myself through extreme weather conditions sounds like the furthest thing from what I would consider fun or even tolerable. I know a lot of people have read this book and said that it made them want to go hiking. To those people, I say, “Did we read the same book?” 😂 This book made me realize that my feelings toward long-distance hiking were entirely accurate!

So, all of that to say, I do not know what kind of preparation is necessary for a hiking trip of the magnitude that Cheryl Strayed went on…but I do know that it is significantly more than what she actually did! Knowing that she came out on the other side of this hike (since I was reading a book that she herself wrote) helped me to be able to get through it. I was so scared for her throughout the book! From weather, to animals, to dehydration, to potential sexual predators, just reading about her experience gave me anxiety. But, I was also completely and thoroughly entertained.

Would I ever hike the Pacific Crest Trail myself? Absolutely not! Am I glad that I read the account of someone who did? Yes! I appreciate the gumption and tenacity that it took for Strayed to start and finish this epic feat, even if I question her judgement and level of preparedness. This was an enriching read, and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys tales of personal growth, challenging physical feats, and self-discovery.

My Rating:

4.0/5.0

I gave Wild 4 STARS. If you enjoy books like A Walk In The Woods by Bill Bryson, you will enjoy Wild.


Are you interested in learning more about this book? Check out the links below! 

Cheryl Strayed’s Website

Cheryl Strayed’s Twitter

Wild on Goodreads

Purchase Wild on Amazon


Have you read Wild? What were your thoughts? Have you ever done any backpacking? What were your experiences? Let me know down in the comments! 

Love and happy reading,

Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: The Poet X

thepoetx

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo ~ 368 pages ~ published 3/6/18 by HarperTeen

Goodreads Synopsis:

A young girl in Harlem discovers slam poetry as a way to understand her mother’s religion and her own relationship to the world. Debut novel of renowned slam poet Elizabeth Acevedo.

Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking.

But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers—especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about. With Mami’s determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself.

So when she is invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, she doesn’t know how she could ever attend without her mami finding out, much less speak her words out loud. But still, she can’t stop thinking about performing her poems.

Because in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent.

What I Thought:

I have never read a novel in verse before The Poet X, and now I want to read all of them! I loved this so much more than I thought I would. I heard a lot of people say that they recommended listening to the audiobook of this one, and I am so glad that I did. The author, Elizabeth Acevedo, is the narrator and she does a fantastic job. It is only 3.5 hours long, so I was able to knock it out in one day easily.

I really loved Xiomara. I found her to be so real, and I related to her a lot. I grew up in a very religious household as well, and while I have a much closer relationship to God than Xiomara does, I certainly felt a lot of the same pressures and confusion as a teen that she talks about in the book. I was also a big journal keeper in my high school years (which is something I should really get back to, come to think of it). Having strict parents, but still respecting them and wanting them to be proud of you…too real, too real.

I am not super familiar with the world of slam poetry, but I loved getting to dip a toe into this world. It was inspiring and incredibly engaging. I never thought that I would connect so much with a story told in verse, but I fell in love with this story and these characters.

If you are an audiobook person, I highly recommend giving this book a listen. If you enjoy slam poetry, or are interested in learning more about it, I think this is a really great intro into that art form. Just read it, you’re going to love it! 🙂

My Rating:

5.0/5.0

I gave The Poet X 5 STARS! This is one of my favorite reads of 2018!


Are you interested in learning more about this book? Check out the links below!

Elizabeth Acevedo’s Website

Elizabeth Acevedo’s Twitter

The Poet X on Goodreads

Purchase The Poet X on Amazon


Have you read The Poet X? Do you have any other novels in verse that you would recommend? Let me know in the comments below! 

Love and happy reading,