Author: Fiona Wood
Publication Date: September 16, 2014
ARC provided by publisher
Wildlife is Australian author Fiona Wood's US debut, and my love for Australian YA grows.
Wildlife is a dual narration novel, with Sibylla telling one story and Lou telling another. Both live in the same dorm during a wilderness semester at school, which is a pretty interesting background to begin with. The teens are supposed to learn appreciation for nature and self-reliance, but of course they learn so much more.
Sibylla is a bit of nerd, but recently became popular due to a fluke that got her a modelling gig. Now cute-boy Ben is unofficially her boyfriend and out in the woods, kissing may become something more.
Lou is an outsider, literally and figuratively. She's the new girl at school and she deliberately pushes away any attempts at friendship. That's because Lou has had her heart broken, in the most tragic way possible.
But Lou can't help observe the dynamic between Sibylla and Holly, Sib's toxic best friend. And she can't help becoming friends with Michael, an outsider himself who's on the autism spectrum and who had relied on Sib to help him fit in.
Sib's torn between her raging hormones and her brain telling her that Ben isn't really boyfriend material. She's torn between following Holly's lead like she always has and finally standing up for herself.
How Lou and Sib slowly learn to trust each other and become friends is a compelling read, a read that young women who are learning who they really are and what they really want will appreciate.
I'd recommend Wildlife to readers who liked Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo or Panic by Lauren Oliver.
Bonus video: Fiona Wood discusses Wildlife