Wild by Cheryl Strayed || [spoiler-free review]


I wasn't planning on writing this review. It's been weeks since I turned the last page of this book, in fact, it could've been over an entire month ago. But ever since, it's been on my mind. Much like La La Land, the story has seemed to root itself into my heart without my knowing it.

If you haven't heard of Wild, then you clearly aren't a Gilmore Girls fan and I unfriend you. Kidding, sorta. Written and based on the incredible story of Cheryl Strayed, this novel follows a young woman who is finding herself by walking the PCT trail, alone. If you're all for girl power and an uplifting story of pure bravery, you need to pick this up. I've recommended it to most of my friends, and am now urging you to give it a try. It's a beautiful, beautiful book and may have taken over The Host as my favourite.

In this story, we not only follow Cheryl's PCT adventure but we dip in and out of her past, we discover her tipping point, experience the loss of her mum, the unravelling of her marriage, the beauty but pain of her childhood, her struggle with addiction. The whole lot. It's realistic (wow, Anne, shocking. The story based on real events is realistic. Big, big news.) and hearty. The way I just described it may make it sound heavy and bleak, but despite the heavy topics that this book covers, it's light. It's beautiful. The uplift you feel when Cheryl achieves something massive can't be touched. You feel inspired, heard, and there.. despite the fact you're actually huddled under your duvet wearing your 2-year-old Christmas PJ's. You freeze when she does, and you melt when the weather is blistering her. You crave lemonade and feel the pain of her memories. You're on the trail, even if you're not. Does that make sense? Possibly. I'm free-writing here, so this could be a colossal mistake. But I'm too busy fangirling to not.

The writing of her surroundings is undeniably beautiful, it's like poetry for your minds eye. You can smell the pine and feel the water. I can't get across how well she describes the outdoors to properly give it justice. It's something you just have to experience yourself. To go along with all of this, you have Cheryl yourself. A beautiful, raw, and inspiring woman who everyone needs to get to know. She can be ridiculous, idiotic, but yet.. that's what makes her great. She's a real woman and not one dimensional. The friendships she makes during the course of the trail are heartwarming and.. crap, I really want to write beautiful but I think I've already written that word 25 times, um.. heartwarming and rich! Rich. That's a good one. Wild gives you faith in humanity and that is something a book can sometimes not do, especially when it's based on real life. Humans can be difficult creatures, after all.

There are so many other reasons I can give you to pick this book up: The quotes at the start of every chapter, The inner monologue of Cheryl. The pain but uplift that you'll take from the pages. The minimalism you'll crave after finishing. The love of books Cheryl has, and the way you'll instantly want to pick up what she's recommending. Nature, again. But as silly and as illogical this reason is, I want you to pick this up solely for those last few pages of the book.The beauty and emotion she manages to wrap up in a few lines is unbeatable. I had tears rolling down my cheeks, a giddy smile on my lips, and a heart that felt bruised. But for the best reasons. This is something you have to experience, I promise that you'll take at least something from Wild.

As you may know, there was also a movie made of Wild starring Reese Witherspoon and I had initially planned on doing a Book to Movie review, but to be honest, I don't want to watch the movie. I refuse to let these beautiful words be adapted into something that I may not enjoy. For now, the book is enough. And that is a first for me. Have you watched the movie after reading the book? Tell me what you suggest I do, I'd appreciate it.

- Anne x

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