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THE SIMPLE WILD
August 7, 2018
Calla Fletcher is only two years old when her Canadian city-loving mom splits from her Alaskan bush pilot father, Wren. Now 26, Calla is all about building her lifestyle fashion blog and gaining as many Instagram followers as possible through her uber-posed and perfectly-curated selfies. Any hint of her wild Alaskan roots is gone, and given that her relationship with her father is more than a little strained, she has no interest in revisiting her past anytime soon.
But when Calla receives a call that her father is facing serious health issues, she decides that it’s time to face her demons. To Alaska she goes. When she gets there, she doesn’t expect to see her father so comfortable and at ease in his element. He is adored by his employees and by the many townsfolk he delivers supplies to in remote villages. It’s surprisingly endearing. She also doesn’t expect to feel any sort of attraction to Jonah, the rugged, snarky pilot who is forced to babysit Calla while she’s in town. But after just a few days, she finds herself softening and opening herself up to many more life possibilities than she would have ever considered at home. Of course she will leave Alaska eventually, just like her mother did, but how bad could a quick vacation love affair really be?
This book is allllll over Bookstagram. For real, it’s everywhere. So many people were raving about it (and 16,000+ reviewers on Goodreads give it an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars, which is insane), so I decided to give it a looksie myself. I checked the book out from the library, ignored it for three full weeks, then finally decided to read it right before the due date. Wow, I’m so glad I did. I loved it.
I didn’t know my real father until I was 29, so I could relate to Calla’s experience. (At least she had a kind stepfather. I definitely didn’t have that…) Even though Calla comes off as shallow and annoying at first, I felt for her. Of course it sucks that her father has cancer—but I can also understand her hesitancy toward trying to build something with him simply because he’s sick. A relationship can’t be manufactured out of nothing, even in the direst of circumstances. Her reaction and feelings felt understandable to me.
I thought her ongoing interactions with Wren made sense, too. I really enjoyed watching their relationship grow in a slow, cautious way. I felt for both characters. I think if the book had been just about them, it may have felt depressing, or, worse, boring. So it was nice to have a little romance (with just the right amount of steam) thrown in there. In the end, the story felt very whole and complete. The ending was a perfect balance of sweet and sad, and I’m already anticipating the sequel that I’ve heard is supposed to drop some time this year.
I had no idea that author K.A. Tucker even existed before this book, let alone that she had written so many other novels (17 of them to be exact, ahem). I can’t wait to read at least some of them, especially Ten Tiny Breaths. I’M ALL IN, TUCKER!