This took place all over the world, and was full of beautiful foods and colors and vibes and cities. This whole book was a vibe, honestly. It showed these moments of simple joy and living and companionship with other women, all supporting each other and understanding the shared bonds of pain that we experience.
Full review on YouTube
First let me say, the cover is beautiful. The writing, also beautiful.
But I don't usually like to read character driven stories, and The Wild Ones is very much that. There are many people included in the group called The Wild Ones and it was difficult for me to tell them apart, except for Paheli. The writing style also changes often which took time to get used to. I think if you pick up this book knowing these two things then you might have a better understanding and appreciation for it. I was expecting a linear, plot driven story. That's not what this is.
The Wild Ones gives a voice to those who have felt less-then, who have had their power taken away from them. These people have experienced physical and mental traumas, which leads them to turn to the power of the stars and The Between. I would urge those with a history of trauma to check the trigger warnings before reading this book.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for giving me a free advanced copy of this book to read and review.
I loved the character development and vivid descriptions throughout each chapter. I can’t wait to read more from this author in the future.
I love the feminine rage and this idea of magic. I do wish the magic was explained/detailed more than it was. Standalone book- world/magic building done enough for the story.
Audiobook was kinda hard to keep track of all the characters. Not impossible, you just have to pay attention.
I enjoyed this more than I thought I would. Really cool idea.
“Aren’t you angry?”
Check content warnings, lots of dark topics.
I received a free digital copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This book had an amazing plot, but I felt the characters were a bit hard to connect to.
Thank you kindly to the author, the publisher, and NetGalley for this review copy.
I wanted to like this book so much, but unfortunately, it didn't really hit home for me. The idea of this band of multicultural girls, all of whom have been through difficult issues centered around their female identities, really spoke to me. I was ready for a feminist fantasy with plenty of fiery words about how women are treated in this world. I technically got that, but it didn't feel fully fleshed out and I had a hard time connecting with it.
The perspectives shifted quickly and were sometimes difficult to follow. The fantasy elements of the Middle World and the magic weren't always as built as I would hope. I liked a lot of the individual stories shared by the different girls, but they almost felt like a collection of very loosely connected anecdotes instead of a complete novel. So much potential, but ultimately, this was unsuccessful for me.
This is a beautiful book fully deserving of the equally beautiful cover. The writing is gorgeous and feels so magical, and I loved the found family element. I have to say the story fell a little flat for me though, mainly because it reads like a bunch of short stories in a trenchcoat. Each of these chapters was amazingly written and I did enjoy it, but overall, the story didn't feel as cohesive as it could have been. I also feel like I didn't get to know these angry girls as well as I would have wanted to, which is a shame because I did love them. Don't get me wrong though, this is absolutely a book I would recommend. I just think it had potential to be even stronger.
This book is challenging to get into but once you get acclimated, it is incredible and powerful. What a delight.
Finally read this and it was better than I expected.
I won't provide a full review on here because the deadline for my arc review is long gone (really regretting that right now) so I'll just give some quickk thoughts.
I liked the overall vide to this - the fantasy element and the tender relationships between the characters really made this stand out to me.
I wasn't a huge fan of the actual plot and found it kind of boring tbh.
Overall, not a bad book - somewhat forgettable but has enough heart and magic that I could see how other people would love this.
DNF at 20%. This is one of those situations where I have not been in the right head space to read this book. I definitely thought this was a lighter read until I got a few chapters in. I still plan on going back and giving this book the attention it deserves, but right now, it's just too heavy.
I normally love magical realism and books that discuss trauma and trauma recovery but this book didn't do it for me. I found the many different perspectives hard to follow even though I ultimately enjoyed it.
THE WRITING WAS ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL!!! 💕😍 I loved how poetic and detailed the descriptions were throughout the book. Definitely stands out.
I really, really wanted to love this more than I did. The writing was wonderful however the plot was tough to get through. The world building was definitely confusing at times.
I treasure the fact that this book has such strong female characters and feminist themes! Although it wasn’t totally for me, still a solid 4 star read and will definitely recommend to my students.
Thank you NetGallery for the ARC👊🏻
First things first the cover of this book is absolutely breathtaking! Secondly the writer did a fantastic job drawing me into the story and getting me to care for the characters.
The Wild Ones is an interesting mix of traditional storytelling and lyrical prose. While the main plot surrounds a group of women there is an external plot told in prose about the experience of pain, love, grief. BOth mirror each other and help to embrace the reader in all the emotions the characters are experiencing. The plot is not always linear and can sometimes be confusing to follow. The overall theme of sisterhood and healing is a welcoming one.
I am disappointed to say that I just couldn't get into this book because of the writing style. The POVs shift which, while giving the prose a whimsy feel, is so confusing and I couldn't get a sense of the overarching plot or purpose, and while the premise intrigues me, I am just not tracking with this. Maybe an audio version of this would work better for me.
WHY DID I LISTEN TO THE WILD ONES BY NAFIZA AZAD?
So there are two reasons why I listened to The Wild Ones by Nafiza Azad. The first is that I used to read and follow Nafiza’s book blog back in the day. I felt like she wrote these reviews that would always convince me — what with her gorgeous writing style and all when talking about books. So, Nafiza is someone whose writing I really genuinely respect. I also found her to be one of my favorite people to follow. The second reason is that honestly the cover of The Wild Ones is breathtaking. I just love the pink and how the characters were drawn. It’s gorgeous and a gorgeous cover is like a siren call to me.
WHAT’S THE STORY HERE?
The Wild Ones is a feminist fantasy. It follows eleven girls who have magical powers and they have to use those powers to save this boy who honestly is the one who originally saved them. These are girls who have really been through it and have experienced sex based oppression. Paheli was the first of the wild ones. Her story is ancient. You see, Paheli’s mother was a prostitute and she was in the midst of selling Paheli to a man when Paheli runs away. There she meets a boy named Taraana who gives her this box of stars. And with that the Wild Ones have formed and throughout the centuries Paheli saves other girls who become part of the Wild Ones. Eventually though, Taraana finds himself in danger and it is up to these young women to save him.
HOW DID I LIKE THE WILD ONES?
I think that Azad truly has a gift. This book is beautifully written. The prose has earned its reputation for being lyrical. I loved that this book wasn’t afraid to take feminist issues head on and really delve into the sex based oppression young women have faced throughout time. It doesn’t shy away but leans right in. On the other hand, I do wish I felt more connection to the characters, but I think that is because I listened to this book and not physically read it. But, I did end up putting this book on my holiday wishlist, so here’s hoping it will pop up under my tree in December and I can just re-read it.
HOW’S THE NARRATION?
The audiobook of The Wild Ones has three narrators. The narrators are Ulka Simone Mohanty, Priya Ayyar, and Nafiza Azad. I knew which parts Nafiza narrated, but I couldn’t get specific with you for the other two. The audiobook is nine hours and three minutes long. I listened to it sped up and did not retain as much as I hoped. Nowadays I am listening to audiobooks at their intended speed, but yeah, I do think I am going to have to go back and read the physical book so that I can get the full experience as intended.
1. The Representation:
The book has so many diverse representations which I'm not used to. So of course it came as a beautiful surprise. Paheli, who is an Indian girl with Widad, Daraja, Kamboja, Areum, Talei, Valentina, Etsuko, Sevda, Ghufran, and Ligaya, the number of characters might sound intimidating at first but trust me, it's even better like this.
2. The Writing Style:
Okay, the book is fantasy, YA Fantasy, which means there are lots of explaining to do, and circumstances to explain. Writing style can either make the book or break the book, in this case however it's the former. I was on the first page and I knew that I'm not going to sleep until I finish the book.
3. Magic System & World-Building
4. That goddamn good friendship that had me in feels:
Okay, y'all, I guess you're already aware but let me remind you once again, I'm a sucker for found families and friendships that can make me cry. And yes it is there in the story.
I found myself skimming this entire book because it felt like it just dragged on and absolutely nothing happened. 85% of the story is just explanation and dialogue and going out to eat and traveling between countries and everything EXCEPT PLOT. I was so excited by the premise (MAGICAL GIRLS!!!) and the cover (GORGEOUS) but this book was just…. not it. I wouldn’t be able to tell you a single character’s name if you asked me because I just couldn’t find myself developing any emotion for any of them. I had so much hope… and was so disappointed.
Thank you to Turn The Page Tours and author Nafiza Azad for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.
To tell you the truth, The Wild Ones didn’t grab my attention right away. My initial reactions were the following:
- The initial pacing was a little slow for my liking.
- I am constantly trying to figure out who the other narrator was besides Paheli.
- I am also constantly trying to understand how magic works in this world. How the Between and its inhabitants exists without being seen (unless they want to be seen). How the Between also acts as a portal to different places in the world.
It took me a while to get in to the story, but once the the plot and pace started going a little faster, everything seemed a lot better (in my opinion).
Although I didn’t enjoy the writing style in particular, I did appreciate the focus on the girls’ pain and suffering and how they were able to rise through and push through. How they used their experiences to protect those who were in the same situations as they were.
Like I said, it wasn’t necessary my style of read, but I believe there will be readers out there who would throughly enjoy The Wild Ones.