ARC Review: The Wild Ones by Nafiza Azad

Posted August 2, 2021 by Lisa Mandina in Review / 4 Comments

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

ARC Review:  The Wild Ones by Nafiza AzadThe Wild Ones by Nafiza Azad
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books Genres: YA Fantasy
Pages: 352
Source: the publisher
Format: ARC
My Rating: four-stars
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Synopsis:

From William C. Morris Finalist Nafiza Azad comes a thrilling, feminist fantasy about a group of teenage girls endowed with special powers who must band together to save the life of the boy whose magic saved them all.

Meet the Wild Ones: girls who have been hurt, abandoned, and betrayed all their lives. It all began with Paheli, who was once betrayed by her mother and sold to a man in exchange for a favor. When Paheli escapes, she runs headlong into a boy with stars in his eyes. This boy, as battered as she is, tosses Paheli a box of stars before disappearing.

With the stars, Paheli gains access to the Between, a place of pure magic and mystery. Now, Paheli collects girls like herself and these Wild Ones use their magic to travel the world, helping the hopeless and saving others from the fates they suffered.

Then Paheli and the Wild Ones learn that the boy who gave them the stars, Taraana, is in danger. He’s on the run from powerful forces within the world of magic. But if Taraana is no longer safe and free, neither are the Wild Ones. And that…is a fate the Wild Ones refuse to accept. Ever again.

My Review:

The world in this story was so vividly written that I could see the colors and all that was described. Once again this was another story that talked about so many foods I had never heard of, so I googled them as I was reading, and now I have so many more things I want to taste.

Obviously the story was much more than the descriptions and the food. It was about girls who had been through things that so many girls out there unfortunately actually go through every day. The Wild Ones were a group of girls that the sort of main, or original wild girl, Paheli, found at the same moments when she was first made what she is now. They were at the point having been betrayed and hurt, but also this moment after the people they loved, had always trusted, had betrayed them the most. We knew Paheli’s story because we start with her, even if we don’t get very specific details. Honestly there was really only one girl we got that from, and it was a girl that all of them stop to talk to and offer their life to.

Taraana is a boy with stars in his eyes. He is the boy that ran into Paheli on the day that she was at this point, and started the whole life of The Wild Ones. When she runs into him again, she learns that he is also running, and that maybe she and her Wild Ones are the only ones who can help him save both him and their own lives.

There was a lot of story and mythology as well as interesting takes on magic both by humans and by what were called the middle-worlders. The setting included so many cities all over the world, most on the other side of the world from the US, except we got a bit of the story set in one of my favorite cities, New Orleans.

My only complaint is that for a lot of the chapters I couldn’t tell if it was supposed to be from a specific girl’s point of view. Paheli’s chapters were clear. But the others were told as “we did this, we did that.” I get the point of it, I think that it is supposed to show how really all girls experience this, or how many girls have experienced some of the same horrors as these characters. But for me, in the back of my mind, I was always wondering if I was supposed to know which specific Wild One was narrating and if I had missed something.

Overall, this was such a beautifully written story, and I definitely am highly recommending it.

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