Wildlife

by Fiona Wood

Poppy, 2013

YA Contemporary

Summary: Sib and a bunch of her classmates are spending a term at a wilderness campus. Before they go, Sib ends up on a billboard because she reluctantly agreed to be the model for a perfume campaign and it changes her social dynamic. The popular boy is interested and her feelings for her oldest friends get thrown under the microscope. Lou has been sent to this school for this term in hopes that it will help her deal with her grief being with new people and a new environment.

Likes: Lou is a very interesting character and her grief hits hard. I found Michael really interesting too. He isn’t neurotypical and one of Sib’s oldest friends. He and Lou connect right away which benefits them both. This book is also more about the friendships and I like that it ends with friendship, not romance. I also like the discussions about sex and communication.

Dislikes: It takes most of the book for Sib to get a spine. Thank goodness it happens eventually but it takes a while, especially for her to finally let go of a toxic friendship that has been going for years. I dislike Holly a lot.

Overall I found this one interesting because neither of my high schools would have done a term with students in the wilderness. It was also fun because it’s set in Australia. The bullying was realistic but harsh so I had to take breaks. My first impression was just based on Sib’s first chapter but I got turned around immediately because it was Lou’s perspective in the second chapter.

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