Friday, April 29, 2016

Review: Wandering Wild by Jessica Taylor

Wandering WildTitle: Wandering Wild
Author:  Jessica Taylor
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Publishing Date: 
Pages: 368
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance/Coming of Age 
Series:  Stand Alone
Source:  ARC
Raised by Wanderers, sixteen-year-old Tal travels the roads of the southern wild in her Chevy by day and camps in her tent trailer at night. Hustling, conning, and grifting her way into just enough cash to save her fifteen-year-old brother, Wen, from bare-knuckle fighting was once enough to keep her dreams of traveling the whole world at bay. Everything changes when the Wanderers set up camp in a little town called Cedar Falls.

There, Spencer Sway, a boy Tal tried to hustle at a game of billiards, keeps popping up into her life—and worst of all—into her scams. Buttoned-up, starched-and-ironed Spencer talks of places where Tal’s truck can’t take her. His promises of traveling across oceans are almost enough to shatter her love of the Wanderer life.

When a boy shows up at camp, ready to make good on a nearly-forgotten arranged marriage to Tal, Tal and Wen make a pact: No matter the cost, they will use their limitless skills of grift to earn the bride price and buy back her future—even if Spencer Sway gets used along the way.

I love this cover. I don't know what it is about it but I love it. So that is what first attracted me to this book. The second thing... the synopsis. Gypsies, love, con artists, scams, yup sounded like an interesting book. New story too. I am always up for something fresh and new. I really really enjoyed this book. It was a pleasant little surprise, a hidden gem.  

Tal is a gypsy, a wanderer. Her and her brother travel with a caravan from place to place, conning people for money. This is their life and have been since they were born. They lost their mother and their father, they only have each other... well and the other gypsies. The problem is Tal is promised, bought, by another Gypsy group. To be married off. Shes does not want this  life and sets off to earn some money to pay her bride price, her freedom. A little glitch in the plan she falls in love. Her life changes, the meaning of it, the future, everything. She needs to figure out if life wandering is the life for her. 

This book really got me invested from the very beginning. I really liked the voice of Tal and could tell right away I would connect with her. She was wild, independent, street smart, wise, mature for age. She seemed to have it together, as much as she could with the life she has lived. I connected with her and I felt her. I liked her. 

Her brother, Wen, I liked too. Just really liked all the characters and what they had to offer to the story. Wen was a cool and chilled and really wanted to look after and protect Tal, even though he was younger. Spencer, the love interest was awesome. I think he was really understanding, sweet, and a truly good guy. 

The romance was sweet, a little fast but I think with Tal, it was expected. She has never really fell in love and when she meets her match and he is a knight in shining just happened. I liked the way the romance felt and the direction it was headed. It wasn't perfect and little cliche.... broken girl sweet boy but not without his issues. They meet and save each other. Yup that is it,but I still really much enjoyed it. Made me smile on many occasions. 

The struggles in the book felt real even though it was a world I know nothing about but I can how this world would be like the one described in this book. A band of modern day outlaws. There were arranged marriages, bride prices, king boss, alpha omega type thing. It was interesting and exciting without being over done. 

The ending was good. It wasn't full resolution, but enough to end the book on a happy note. It would be awesome to have a companion novel that also shows the progress of the main characters of this book. I would love to visit this world again. 

The book was well paced, written well. It had developed characters, an interesting story line, and a cute romance. 

A good read, very enjoyable. Great for those who love cute romances with a bit of seriousness and trouble. 

Jessica  Taylor

My debut, Wandering Wild, a young adult magical realism novel, launches May 3, 2016 from Sky Pony Press. My first contemporary young adult novel, A Map for Lost Girls, is coming from Dial Books for Young Readers/Penguin in 2018. Represented by Melissa Sarver White at Folio Literary Management.
I adore sleepy southern settings, unrequited love, and characters who sneak out late at night. After graduating from law school, I realized I'd rather write my own stories than read dusty law books. I live in Northern California with a sweet-yet-spoiled dog and several teetering towers of books.


  1. This sounds like a nice read. I like it when books give off that realistic feel. Great review! :)

    czai @ the Blacksheep Project

  2. I love that cover too! I am so glad you liked this one! It looks really interesting. I am not sure I have read a lot of books about that kind of lifestyle exactly and I am intrigued. I will be adding this one to my TBR pile. :D


Imagination Designs