Monday, November 27, 2017

Book Review: Wild Bird by Wendelin Van Draanen

Book: Wild Bird by Wendelin Van Draanen
Genre: YA Contemporary
Rating:★ ★ ★ ☆☆

This book is easy to sum up. It's a girl's experience being sent to a wilderness survival camp for troubled teenagers, in the middle of Utah. It's how she goes from angry and belligerent, to her normal happy (ish) self again. It was fun to see the transformation.

The book opens when her parents have finally had enough. And she finds herself on her way from California to Utah with the final destination being this camp. In real life, we have a ton of them here in Utah. It's a great place to get lost and find yourself at the same time, in the desert! I loved being able to picture the landscape and the feel of the area without any problem. Not that I've ever been lost in the desert. Or to one of  these camps for that matter. But I have been on a lot of hikes in such terrain!

Anyway. And so she fights the whole thing, until she finally decides to stop fighting. And then she ends up loving it. And then she basically doesn't really want to go home. But in all this process she realizes what an awesome family she has and how she has treated them so horribly.

And yeah. So the wilderness camp works! For this girl. And while it doesn't end totally happily ever after, and you can tell there will be bumps along the way, you have this awesome feeling of hope.

It also shows that it isn't a perfect fix for all troubled teens. There's a guy who needs to come back and try again. And I hope he makes it this time!

(Zero romance for those who wonder about that kind of thing, though there is a gorgeous Native American dude in it! YES!)

I ended up liking it a lot more than I thought I would (given the no romance factor and all). It was well written as all of her books are. I'm pretty sure I'm a fan.


  1. No romance and you liked it?! ;) I might have to try this one now.

  2. We came really, really close to sending our then 18yo to one of these camps. He was actually all for it, but we just couldn't decide if it was the right thing or not! Anyway, I'm interested in how these camps work. I realize that this isn't a hard core, tell all kind of book, but it does sound good.

  3. Thanks for warning me that there's zero romance because I do wonder about that sort of thing, lol. I might still like this one, but I'm not sure. I think I'll read other books instead. You're reading for the Beehive Awards, aren't you?



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