The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker
Trigger Warning: Cancer in a parent
In one day, Calla Fletcher’s life has gone from okay to awful. She’s lost her job, her instagram account is going nowhere, and her deadbeat bush pilot dad has popped up out of the blue to say that he has cancer. Rather—his new lady friend has popped up out of the blue to say he has cancer. Without anything else going on in her life, Calla heads to Alaska to meet her father—and bumps into the most dickish bush pilot in the world.
Honestly, around the 100 page mark I was pretty sure that I was going to set this book down and ask y’all that the ever-love hell was going with your five stars, because you folks were out of your collective minds.
Seriously. This book was EVERYWHERE on my Goodreads last year, with everyone and their great-aunt raving about how amazing this thing was.
And yet 100 pages in and I was absolutely sick of entitled, bratty and utterly judgmental Calla and her soy-milk drinking self. I also was not a huge fan of Jonah, even if he did have an interesting sense of humor.
Fast forward to 200 pages in.
And I got it.
Their banter is fucking hilarious, and once Calla pries the Alaska-sized stick out of her ass she’s actually pretty funny too. And once Johan removes the massive misogyny in his head about those girls (and what they wear). Wtf does that even mean, anyway?
And the supporting characters are warm, welcoming and an absolute delight to read. Mabel is the best, and I don’t understand how Agnes dealt with everyone and never showed her anger. Because pilots, man. Fucking pilots.
And Simon is the unsung hero, although no one should ever settle for a lifetime of unrequited love.
Because honestly, fuck Susan.
Anywho, without giving anything away (fuck it, this is a romance novel, you know there’s an HEA somewhere), I loved the theme of regret running through the book—and the idea that you can go into something knowing that it won’t last but that it wasn’t a mistake either. The heart of this book—of blood family and found family and home and the theme of returning and leaving—omg. Plus the entire theme of cancer and grief and overcoming the hurt from the past…oooof.
I laughed a loud (woke up my wife) and also cried like a little bitch (softly, so she wouldn’t hear and freak out).
One star knocked off for the ambush-kissing scene (consent is kinda a big deal) and also because someone needs to teach the author to cool it with all the murmuring, muttering and musing, because damn (and because it’s really, really, really hard to murmur things in a regular conversation).
Aside from those minor quibbles (okay, the murmuring almost made me put the thing down more than Calla’s shallow performative femininity), this is a must-read for New Adult romance enthusiasts.
Just…grit your teeth and bear it through those first 150 pages.