This book is one of the wonderful examples of why I love buying secondhand books, because I may not have found this title if it wasn’t for sale at my doctor’s practice! I enjoyed Wild Boy so much & ordered the sequel as soon as I’d finished it; if you love a good ol’ MG/teen mystery with a circus setting & great friendships then you’ll love this book!
⚠ This book contains very mild (age-appropriate) violence,
including mild scenes of abuse toward Wild Boy ⚠
Wild Boy was partially a cover buy – I saw it & got circus vibes, read the blurb & couldn’t resist it! And I wasn’t disappointed. Wild Boy is a story about a boy who is covered in hair & is used as an amusement as part of a freakshow; but when he get’s accused of murder Wild Boy has to do everything he can to clear his name, even if it means revealing his secret.
I seriously loved this book; Wild Boy was such a great character to read about – he was kind & honest, but lost his temper when he thought someone was being unfair; his temper didn’t feel wrong though, instead it felt very realistic when you consider the childhood Wild Boy had & everything he got angry over felt justified. There were a handful of characters in this book, some good, some bad, but all of them were well-written & very well fleshed out, especially for a MG book (to me it felt MG but it might be more teen depending on your view of the themes & some of the language used).
This book also has two characters that go from hating each other to being best friends, & relying on each other a lot – & this is a trope that I love… in YA it’s often hate-to-romance but I much prefer this version, which is one of the reasons I’m starting to prefer MG. The person that becomes Wild Boy’s best friend (I’m avoiding spoilers here) was a lot of fun; the character also had a bad childhood & this definitely affected their personality, but they were fiercely loyal to Wild Boy in the end & made an excellent sidekick. They were also really funny & I loved their courage & determination.
As for the plot of Wild Boy – I also loved that; it was one that fooled me massively as I was convinced I knew who the murderer was, but alas, I did not. In-fact, I’d go to say I was completely off-target. The story kept me interested & I wanted to solve the mystery just as much as Wild Boy, & I felt the same frustrations as he did over the answer being right in front of him. There was also a lot of mystery surrounding all the adults in the story, which is a great theme of MG books & I saw them all to be just as cruel & bad as Wild Boy & his sidekick did.
Overall, Wild Boy had everything in it that I like in a MG novel; humour, an interesting plot, a main character you can fall in love with, a brilliant best friend/sidekick & fantastic pacing. I read this book incredibly quickly (partly because of being off work sick but), mainly because I was hooked & obsessed. As soon as I finished this last night (at the time of writing) I ordered the sequel, although I’m sad to see that the series is only a duology.
If you’re into funny, MG mysteries then order a copy now using the links below (or just add it to your never ending TBR on GoodReads):
Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com | Book Depository | Waterstones | Wordery
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