Wilder by Rebecca Yarros

31677595He’s Paxton Wilder.

Twenty-two-year-old, tattooed, smoking-hot leader of the Renegades.

Five time X Games medalist.

The world is his playground—especially this year—and for the next nine months I’m stuck as his tutor on the Study at Sea program.

He’s too busy staging worldwide stunts for his documentary to get to class.

But if I can’t get him to take academics seriously, I’ll lose my scholarship…if I don’t lose my heart first.

Six unlikely friends on a nine-month cruise with the Study at Sea program will learn that chemistry is more than a subject and the best lessons aren’t taught in the classroom…but in the heart.

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My Review:
3.5 stars — I received a free copy in exchange for an honest and unbiased review/opinion.

Truthfully I think this book is actually a 4 star for normal me, but I haven’t had normal me this week.  I’ve had sleep-deprived, headache riddled me.  So I had a HELL of a time concentrating on this book.  I just couldn’t get sucked in, I kept having to reread passages.  I should have set the book aside truthfully, but then what would I have done?  I don’t know what to do without reading…

This book brought so much of what I love about Rebecca Yarros books…  Super sexy book boys, strong but damaged characters all around, a wee bit of angst (though angst that I can tolerate as a non-angst-loving reader), and a heap full of sass.  And this particular series is bringing some fantastic sports elements, a truly awesome travel-around-the-world vibe that has me wanting to visit so many sites, and even a bit of a suspense/mystery element.

Characters are definitely where Ms. Yarros excels, and I truly did enjoy both Paxton and Leah.  I will admit one shameful secret though: I’m not a huge “alpha guy” fan.  I’m not NOT a fan, I mean, I don’t mind them…but I don’t seek them out and go ga-ga over them either.  But Paxton was definitely a good example of alpha…he was strong, and a leader, but beneath his bit of damage he had a good heart and a sensitivity.  And I loved the way he fell for Leah.  Definite *swoon* points there.  I wasn’t always impressed with the way he pushed Leah to try such extreme things, even if it was under the guise of her wanting to get over her fears.  As someone who is deathly afraid of heights, I just can’t believe how many times Leah embraced what would have me puking and shaking and crying in a corner.  The zip line, sure…the parasailing, well ok…  But in Greece?  Nope.  Nope nope nope….

Leah was an intriguing character as well, and my heart just felt for her and what she went through in her past…seriously ACHED.  I was worried it would be kept secret for too long, but I was satisfied with how that bit was revealed.  She is such a strong character in some ways.  And I loved the growth we saw in her and how she didn’t try to change Pax too much, even if the stuff he did scared her.

I had a few niggles with this book.  I enjoyed the action and suspense parts, but for some reason the second time Leah was put into a near death situation because of the bad guy, I was a little disappointed when it was yet again reminiscent of her past.  I really loved the first time and what it brought back to her and how she dealt with it…I was blown away and felt it really added.  The second instance felt too repetitive.  But this could be just a me thing.  It’s hard to discuss without ruining things.

My other niggle was the sort of secrets that were kept.  There was the mystery, and that was fine (and kept me on the edge of my seat and totally caught off guard when it was solved).  It was the Landon stuff and some of the Nick stuff that was vaguely referred to, but kept secret from the reader for longer than I had anticipated.  Maybe it was that there were two secrets PLUS the mystery PLUS how long it took to find out about Leah’s past…but it was one too many for me.  I don’t think it would have hurt the story or the pacing to have let the readers in on it a little earlier.  I mean, I did make some guesses on 2 of them, but yeah…again, probably just another me thing.

And thus we come to the end of the review.  Like I said, I really did enjoy so much of this.  Oh, I forgot to mention chemistry — definitely had that in spades.  My problem was a concentration one, and until I read this book again, I couldn’t tell you if it was truly just me and my state of mind, or if there were problems with pacing.  But I will say I truly believe it was me in this particular case.  And I will add that the ending totally sucked me in and had me wanting to keep reading, and now I cannot wait for the next books.  Ohhhhh, and also, from pretty early on I knew I was going to want the next books, so the secondary characters definitely sucked me in…


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