Wild Blue Wonder by Carlie Sorosiak
There are two monsters in this story. One of them is me.
Ask anyone in Winship, Maine, and they’ll tell you the summer camp Quinn’s family owns is a magical place. Paper wishes hang from the ceiling. Blueberries grow in the dead of winter. According to local legend, a sea monster even lurks off the coast. Mostly, there’s just a feeling that something extraordinary could happen there.
Like Quinn falling in love with her best friend, Dylan.
After the accident, the magic drained from Quinn’s life. Now Dylan is gone, the camp is a lonely place, and Quinn knows it’s her fault.
But the new boy in town, Alexander, doesn’t see her as the monster she believes herself to be. As Quinn lets herself open up again, she begins to understand the truth about love, loss, and monsters—real and imagined.
Expected publication: June 26th 2018 by HarperTeen
Wild Blue Wonder has such beautiful writing and it broke my heart at times.
The chapters alternate in time by a few months. The past (summer) is Quinn talking to her best friend, Dylan. She is sharing stories and how she fell in love with him. We also find out that both her older brother and younger sister are also in love with Dylan. He was such an important person in their lives.
The current chapters are Quinn dealing with her grief and guilt over Dylan’s death. She and her family own a hippie summer camp. Dylan drowned while out on a boat alone with Quinn. They were looking for the local sea monster, Wessie. Quinn is determined to find Wessie and prove that she’s real. Because if Wessie isn’t real, then it’s all her fault that Dylan is dead.
“But as you know, in all camp stories, there are monsters. In this one, there are two. The sea monster. And me.”
The whole family is broken. All of them are grieving in different ways and none of the siblings are close anymore. Quinn’s Nana is my favorite person in this book though. The family believes in ghosts and all the stories around town. Even their camp is strange. Blueberries grow all winter. Animals show up in large numbers during winter storms.
“Nana says that The Hundreds has a heartbeat, same as a human.”
Quinn’s love for Dylan felt so real. I loved reading about how she fell in love with him, but was afraid to tell him. It was so pure and honest, though hidden.
“It was probably an accumulation of moments over fourteen years, like the way you cared for our mutual pet fish, Mr. Smitty, until he met his maker right before winter break (which was not your fault at all). Or when you let me borrow your favorite book, The Road, and I realized that you’d starred the best passages so I could know them, too. But still, really? Falling in love with you didn’t feel slow, like summer. It felt like springing from the high dive and plummeting into the deep.”
Hana is Quinn’s best friend and she does her best to help. Their friendship is pretty amazing. And then there is a new boy at school, Alexander. He came with his grandma from England and Hana invites him to their lunch table. Quinn and Alexander start spending a lot of time together. But as they get closer, Quinn pulls away. She just can’t understand how Alexander could like her and she is afraid of hurting him.
Quinn and her grandma decide to start working on the boat. The one they were on when Dylan died. Nana thinks it’s good for Quinn even though her parents don’t really agree. But they are willing to do anything to get her to feel anything besides grief again. She won’t swim, barely goes to school, skipped the dance, and has been spending a lot of time in her room. Nana and Quinn have these great talks and her friends slowly show up to support her.
There was so much to love in this book. It wasn’t one that I couldn’t put down, but the writing really pulled me in. The emotions felt so real and the family and friendships were also a big focus.
I gave this book 4 stars. Thank you to HarperTeen and Edelweiss for my copy to read early. All quotes were taken from an arc and may change before final publication.
Is this one on your TBR yet? What other books that deal with loss do you recommend?