Thursday, December 22, 2016

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest trail by Cheryl Strayed

Star Rating : 4 out of 5 

Content Rating : HIGH

Back Cover :

"At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and she would do it alone. Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.”


My Thoughts :

I picked up this book because of its mention on the new Gilmore Girls revival (don’t judge). And I liked it! It makes you want to go out for a hike to enjoy the silence and the beauty of nature. Now not necessarily the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), that seems much too hard and too extreme for this air-condition loving girl; but, maybe an over-night hike in the mountains. In the book, Cheryl recounts all her bruises, blunders, and bad decisions as she attempts to move on after the death of her mother, a divorce, and losing herself. I say PICK IT UP, just don’t expect a hardcore how to hike the PCT trail book. 

I rated this HIGH. There is frequent strong language, including 20+ f-words. Also, there are some sex scenes and sexual references. In the book, the author has an abortion and uses drugs.

     What I liked :
  • The Trail – My favorite parts of the book were her descriptions of the trail. The trail all by itself will challenge even the experienced hiker. So when Cheryl starts down it, there are extra challenges that arise and times where she is just down right lucky. Her adventures on the PCT is what kept me turning the page wanting to know what the next part of the trail had in store for her.
  • The Writing – This book reads more like a novel. You don’t get that same dreary strictly the facts and no fun feeling you can get from non-fiction sometimes. It’s almost an adventure story.
  • Cheryl – Her life is messy and she has made mistakes; but, she lays it all out there. I think this is why this book has resonated with so many people. Also while she is hiking, she is the only female going at it alone on the trail, which is part stupid and part heck-yeah-go-girl!
     What I didn’t like :
  • Flashbacks – I felt like the flashbacks through off the tension of the trail. It chopped up the PCT too much for me. Although, some of the flashbacks were powerful; in one, she must shoot her beloved horse and it is gut wrenching to even read.
  • No Redemption – While I enjoyed hearing about her misadventures, I expected her to have this big breakthrough, with wisdom for healing. She did in some ways…the last few sentences let you know she figured out how to move on in life; and, I guess it’s fair to say the book was more about the journey then where she ended up.
  • The Strong Language – I don’t usually comment on the use of strong language; but, in this case I found it distracting and unneeded in a lot of its uses.

What Others Are Saying :
“Spectacular. . . . A literary and human triumph.” —The New York Times Book Review 
“Strayed’s language is so vivid, sharp and compelling that you feel the heat of the desert, the frigid ice of the High Sierra, and the breathtaking power of one remarkable woman finding her way—and herself—one brave step at a time.” —People (4 stars) 
"One of the most original, heartbreaking, and beautiful American memoirs in years. . . . Awe-inspiring." —NPR Books

Review by Shayna Hinshaw

Pick Up Your Copy at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

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