Review: Wandering Wild by Jessica Taylor

Book Blurb

Raised by Wanderers, sixteen-year-old Tal travels the roads of the southern wild in her Chevy by day and camps in her tent trailer at night. Hustling, conning, and grifting her way into just enough cash to save her fifteen-year-old brother, Wen, from bare-knuckle fighting was once enough to keep her dreams of traveling the whole world at bay. Everything changes when the Wanderers set up camp in a little town called Cedar Falls.

There, Spencer Sway, a boy Tal tried to hustle at a game of billiards, keeps popping up into her life—and worst of all—into her scams. Buttoned-up, starched-and-ironed Spencer talks of places where Tal’s truck can’t take her. His promises of traveling across oceans are almost enough to shatter her love of the Wanderer life.

When a boy shows up at camp, ready to make good on a nearly-forgotten arranged marriage to Tal, Tal and Wen make a pact: No matter the cost, they will use their limitless skills of grift to earn the bride price and buy back her future—even if Spencer Sway gets used along the way.

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Toot's Review by Stacy Sabala

Talia and her brother Wen travel with their wandering group camping as they go.  They con “Markies” and steal what they need.  They never stay in one spot for long.  Talia and Wen’s mother left them in the care of her best friend Rona when they were young.  Now that they are older they know she isn’t coming back.  Wen is losing the desire to wander but Talia doesn’t want to stay in one place to put down roots.  She is content to do as she has always done, be the compass for their family.
Her beliefs are shaken when they end up in Cedar Falls.  She meets Spencer Sway and meets Felix her fiancĂ©.  She hates that she has been sold and refuses to give up her freedom.  Her brother and Spencer help her get the money needed to buy her freedom.  However something is coming.  Owls are appearing everywhere, even dropping from the sky.  Talia doesn’t know what it means if anything her world is changing and she doesn’t know what she wants.
I had a hard time getting into this book.  I really couldn’t relate to the characters all that much.  The wanderer storyline was not a favorite.  It is impossible to me to imagine that type of life style.
It was sad to see Talia and Wen want more but believe it was wrong to do so. The author described the camp and family in such a way I had a hard time believing anyone would choose to live that way.  The journey that Talia took was soul searching.  She seemed to come full circle.  I like the fact that she realized she could have more and believe in love.  She and Wen were broken because of their mother.  I didn’t care for that part of the story either.  I can’t imagine leaving my child behind to escape a type of life.

So after reading the book I was still detached from the story never really getting into it.  I give it a 3 out of 5.

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