In an effort to escape his family, Dylan decides to hike the Appalachian trail—but he never expected to run into love.
Dylan Taggart is on the run. His family is trying to put him in a school for psychologically challenged students, and he gets it—he has anger issues. But Believers Charter School is a complete overreaction. So he decides a six-month hike on the Appalachian Trail is the perfect place to hide out until he can legally drop out of school.
Dylan wanted independence, but being alone on the trail is more than he bargained for. Then he meets a mysterious hiker named Sophie, and the two begin to develop a bond he never expected. But will love be enough to escape what they’re both running from?
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Before reading this book, the only other novel that I had heard of and attempted to read was Cheryl Strayed’s ‘Wild’, which I never finished. I certainly hadn’t heard of young adult books with that setting, so I was pleased to read this one. I received this ARC from Sourcebooks Fire during my visit to their headquarters.
The protagonist is seventeen-year-old Dylan, who also becomes known by his trail name, Wild Thing. While Dylan often mentions that he has ‘issues’ trouble with socialization, emotions and connecting with others I don’t recall him every specifying a name for what he is afflicted with, only that his mother wants to put him in a school for psychologically challenged students.
I liked that there was a sort of slow reveal as to the real reason that Dylan had run away from home. Obviously he wanted to escape from his household but it was interesting how what happened to him and how he acted in the past was explained.
Even though they only appear a few times, I really liked the supporting characters Gator, Pepsi, Emerson and a few of the others. They were always nice and supportive towards Dylan and had great personalities. The three other sort of main characters other than Dylan were two hikers, Sophie aka Ghost and Rain Man and Dylan’s cousin Emily.
Dylan spends part of the book chasing after Sophie and the rest of it traveling with her. Overall, they had a good dynamic together. At times it seemed like their friendship was moving more towards relationship, which sort of made sense, but I liked them as friends too. I don’t know if I necessarily ship them romantically but I definitely ship them as friends.
Both Rain Man and Sophie have a big part of Dylan’s overall story arc and help shape his character development. All three characters change throughout the book, although I think that Dylan’s shift is a bit more noticeable.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a young adult book that deals with hiking and nature and who is looking for a book that is not romance driven or has romance as a big component. This book will be released on March 6.
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