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A promising talent makes her electrifying debut with this unforgettable novel, set in the Alaskan wilderness, that is a fusion of psychological thriller and coming-of-age tale in the vein of Jennifer McMahon, Chris Bohjalian, and Mary Kubica. A natural born trapper and hunter raised in the Alaskan wilderness, Tracy Petrikoff spends her days tracking animals and running with A promising talent makes her electrifying debut with this unforgettable novel, set in the Alaskan wilderness, that is a fusion of psychological thriller and coming-of-age tale in the vein of Jennifer McMahon, Chris Bohjalian, and Mary Kubica. A natural born trapper and hunter raised in the Alaskan wilderness, Tracy Petrikoff spends her days tracking animals and running with her dogs in the remote forests surrounding her family’s home. Though she feels safe in this untamed land, Tracy still follows her late mother’s rules: Never Lose Sight of the House. Never Come Home with Dirty Hands. And, above all else, Never Make a Person Bleed. But these precautions aren’t enough to protect Tracy when a stranger attacks her in the woods and knocks her unconscious. The next day, she glimpses an eerily familiar man emerge from the tree line, gravely injured from a vicious knife wound—a wound from a hunting knife similar to the one she carries in her pocket. Was this the man who attacked her and did she almost kill him? With her memories of the events jumbled, Tracy can’t be sure. Helping her father cope with her mother’s death and prepare for the approaching Iditarod, she doesn’t have time to think about what she may have done. Then a mysterious wanderer appears, looking for a job. Tracy senses that Jesse Goodwin is hiding something, but she can’t warn her father without explaining about the attack—or why she’s kept it to herself. It soon becomes clear that something dangerous is going on . . . the way Jesse has wormed his way into the family . . . the threatening face of the stranger in a crowd . . . the boot-prints she finds at the forest’s edge. Her family is in trouble. Will uncovering the truth protect them—or is the threat closer than Tracy suspects?


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A promising talent makes her electrifying debut with this unforgettable novel, set in the Alaskan wilderness, that is a fusion of psychological thriller and coming-of-age tale in the vein of Jennifer McMahon, Chris Bohjalian, and Mary Kubica. A natural born trapper and hunter raised in the Alaskan wilderness, Tracy Petrikoff spends her days tracking animals and running with A promising talent makes her electrifying debut with this unforgettable novel, set in the Alaskan wilderness, that is a fusion of psychological thriller and coming-of-age tale in the vein of Jennifer McMahon, Chris Bohjalian, and Mary Kubica. A natural born trapper and hunter raised in the Alaskan wilderness, Tracy Petrikoff spends her days tracking animals and running with her dogs in the remote forests surrounding her family’s home. Though she feels safe in this untamed land, Tracy still follows her late mother’s rules: Never Lose Sight of the House. Never Come Home with Dirty Hands. And, above all else, Never Make a Person Bleed. But these precautions aren’t enough to protect Tracy when a stranger attacks her in the woods and knocks her unconscious. The next day, she glimpses an eerily familiar man emerge from the tree line, gravely injured from a vicious knife wound—a wound from a hunting knife similar to the one she carries in her pocket. Was this the man who attacked her and did she almost kill him? With her memories of the events jumbled, Tracy can’t be sure. Helping her father cope with her mother’s death and prepare for the approaching Iditarod, she doesn’t have time to think about what she may have done. Then a mysterious wanderer appears, looking for a job. Tracy senses that Jesse Goodwin is hiding something, but she can’t warn her father without explaining about the attack—or why she’s kept it to herself. It soon becomes clear that something dangerous is going on . . . the way Jesse has wormed his way into the family . . . the threatening face of the stranger in a crowd . . . the boot-prints she finds at the forest’s edge. Her family is in trouble. Will uncovering the truth protect them—or is the threat closer than Tracy suspects?

30 review for The Wild Inside

  1. 4 out of 5

    Will Byrnes

    I learned in school that blood has a memory. It carries information that makes you who you are. That’s how my brother and me ended up with so much in common, we both carried inside us the things our parents’ blood remembered. Sharing what’s in the blood, that’s as close as you can be to another person. …I spent as much time as I could in the woods. To look at me, you might of thought, But you are only seventeen, and a girl, you have got no business being off in the wild by yourself where a I learned in school that blood has a memory. It carries information that makes you who you are. That’s how my brother and me ended up with so much in common, we both carried inside us the things our parents’ blood remembered. Sharing what’s in the blood, that’s as close as you can be to another person. …I spent as much time as I could in the woods. To look at me, you might of thought, But you are only seventeen, and a girl, you have got no business being off in the wild by yourself where a bear could maul you or a moose trample you. But the fact is, if they put me and anyone else in the wilderness and left us there, you just see which one of us come out a week later, unharmed and even thriving In the great north, snow and isolation can hide a world of secrets, but some will still bleed through. Being a badass has certain advantages, particularly when one spends so much time in the Alaskan woods. It’s maybe not always an advantage in places with fewer trees, like school. Tracy Sue Petricoff is seventeen. She can handle herself in the wild. But she is not yet able to handle the wild in herself. You might even see her as half-feral. Her latest attack on a classmate, however justified it might have been, has resulted in her being cast out of the more structured world of public education, and left her to the somewhat less restrictive environment of home. Of course, home has not been an entirely safe place for her either. Jamey Bradbury - from her site Her mother had died when Tracy was fifteen, hit by a car while walking on the side of the road near their home. This left a huge gap in Tracy’s upbringing, as mom was the person who knew her best, who had taught her to recognize animal tracks, who had taught her to identify plants and their uses, and who truly understood her innermost self, an unspoken family legacy that is both a gift and a curse. Her father, Bill, a good man, a regular contender in the annual Iditarod, was rocked by his wife’s death, lost his focus, struggled to cope, but is trying his best to be mother and father to Tracy and her younger brother, Scott. This includes rules, but Tracy reacts to rules like a bear might to a trap. Her mother gave her one cardinal rule. Never make another person bleed. Sorry, Mom. Returning home from the woods one night a large man slams into her. In the ensuing tussle, she is tossed hard enough against a tree that she loses consciousness. On waking she finds there is blood on her knife, and a trail where the man had gone. Her memory of the event is fuzzy. Did she cut the man? Why had they crossed paths? She tries to put it out of her mind, but when neighbors report an intruder having stayed in their cabin, and her father comes to the aid of a bleeding man emerging from the woods, she wonders if this is the man she had encountered, and will he be coming back, for her. I felt the trail tugging at me, every acre of land behind the house yearning for me to roam its familiar hills and hollows. Any other evening, I might of stole away for a few more minutes, long enough to satisfy the craving in me. But underneath that pang was my heart, stuttering, and my skin prickling. A pair of eyes, a hunched shadow, hidden by the night and waiting. Thoughts of the stranger made my breath stop, and it wasn’t a feeling I enjoyed. I wouldn’t feel settled, I realized, till I knew he was no longer a threat. The Wild Inside is a riveting, genre-bending coming-of-age/thriller/mystery/horror novel with a dose of fantasy and a touch of romance. Tracy would like nothing more than to be left to her devices, hunting, setting traps, retrieving what she catches for food and fur and racing with her dogs. Her personal receiver is tuned to the call of the wild, as she feels a particular affinity with the animals of the forest, can perceive and interpret sounds, smells, and sights that most will overlook. She is as much a creature of the woods as she is a civilized human being. I was very much reminded of the character Turtle from My Absolute Darling, in her toughness and feel for the natural, not that other stuff. She is a woodland detective, as skilled as Sherlock Holmes at spotting clues, but with the nose of a hound and the night vision of an owl. And she is determined to unravel the mystery of her forest fracas. For reasons of her own, Tracy does not tell her father about her unfortunate encounter. (What a tangled web we weave) The secrets involved with that event lock her into a series of lies that make her life much more complicated than it needs to be, with tragic results. Image is from the author’s site More complications ensue when dad hires a young drifter to help out. Bill trains dogs, has forty doghouses and a kennel on the property. That is a lot of shoveling, and other chores as well. As he takes on outside work in addition to bring in enough to provide for his family, Bill could sure use the help. How much do they really know about Jesse Goodwin, who seems to be particularly adept at gaining Bill’s trust? Can Jesse be trusted? There is something off about the new hired hand, an odd sort, whose CV does not always hold up to close, or even routine scrutiny. Trying to figure out the mystery of Jesse is part of the fun of the book. The tension of wondering if/when the mysterious man from the forest will return and wondering what he will want is another. The boogeyman just outside the frame is a device that works well to sustain the tension level. The Iditarod features large in this landscape, Dad having been a regular contestant, Tracy having competed in the Junior Iditarod, with her final Junior race and the full-on Mush-mania, for which she will be eligible for the first time, both on a near horizon. Tracy loves to race dogs as much as she loves to run, to hunt, and to breathe in the fullness of the woods. It provides motivation for some of her decision-making, both the good and bad sorts. Although she is basically a good person, she is no paragon. In fact, she can be a pretty self-involved teenager and if you count on her to always do the right thing, your totals will be off. There is a dramatic, dark twist near the end that some readers will find discomfiting. I thought it made sense under the circumstances, and how Tracy handles it is consistent with what we have seen of her up to then. It’s a pretty daring move by Bradbury to steer her tale in that direction. Whether you approve or not, it will definitely jangle your senses, and makes for an outside-the-box ending. There was one item in the story that jangled my senses a bit. I did not understand how Tracy thought she could get away with paying substantial entry fees for races without having a well-prepared explanation for how she got the money. A solution is found later but Tracy’s presumption seemed a bit much, even for a teenager. In another instance. I thought it a stretch that one character was far too ready to try talking with another who had already confessed to some pretty dire deeds. A more reasonable range of choices would seem to be either lock and load or stay the hell away. Image is from the author’s site Bradbury’s love for the landscape comes through loud and clear (and, I expect, played a role in her decision to live in Anchorage for the last fifteen years, having been born and raised in Illinois) in her lyrical, beautiful writing. The cold, the woods, the severe beauty of the landscape all serve as a wonderful backdrop for and echo of the harsh challenges Tracy faces. Tracy Sue Petricoff’s physical DNA is known, but if I were checking her literary DNA markers, I would be looking for signs of Mowgli, John Clayton, and Katniss Everdeen. Jamey Bradbury’s freshman novel is a triumph, a coming of age tale set in the borderlands, interior and exterior, where the wild meets the world. Her struggle to understand and gain some control over the urges she experiences makes her relatable, even though our adjustments might not have been so daunting. It is riveting, tear-inducing, and jolts through such sudden turns that you will need to make sure your feet are firmly planted on your sled, and your team is exceptionally well-trained. You would hate to tumble and be left behind. This is one ride you will want to mush through to the end. Review posted – January 26, 2018 Published – March 20, 2018 =============================EXTRA STUFF Links to the author’s personal, Twitter, Instagram and FB pages Here is extra material that did not make it into the final version of the book A Dead Darling- from Bradbury’s site Bradbury works as a freelance writer. Here is a stack of her writings for the Anchorage Daily News The author reading an early excerpt from the book at a Gathering of the Tribes on May 15th 2011 Quiet Works, a collection of short stories, was submitted as Bradbury’s 2009 MFA thesis ===============================INTERVIEW I sent Jamey Bradbury a message inquiring into whether she would be up for answering a few questions. She was extremely gracious, and, as you will see, very forthcoming. On Writing Process Was the structure of the book the same from the time you first decided to write it to the point of times up, fingers-off-the-keyboard? If it changed, what was removed, added? JB - The biggest change between early drafts of the book and what readers will see was the structure of the book. The Wild Inside was inspired, in part, by a 1961 horror novel by Theodore Sturgeon called Some of Your Blood; the book is told piecemeal by a colonel, a military psychiatrist, and their patient, called George, who writes his own story in the form of a journal. I structured The Wild Inside similarly, with early chapters dedicated to a grown-up Scott seeing some of his sister, Tracy’s, behavior playing out in his own daughter. I threw in some epistolary storytelling in the form of letters between Bill and Scott. And finally, Tracy got her say in the form of her own journal, which she wrote at the encouragement of a school guidance counselor. Ultimately, though, after feedback from some early readers and after getting to know Tracy—who says things in her own very distinctive and determined way—I realized this was a girl who didn’t need any help telling her own story. Her story was hers, and everything was someone else’s interpretation. So I let Tracy take the reins. How is your writing time structured? Do you have a set number of hours a day, or per week, that you devote to book writing, to other writing? Maybe a target of a number of pages or words per day? JB - In addition to being a fiction writer, I also have a full-time job:  I write copy and do storytelling for an Alaska Native nonprofit social services organization. That means, in order to get any fiction done, I have to deliberately set aside time for it—and it can’t just be any old time because after spending eight hours of my day at a computer, the last thing I want to do when I come home is stare at a glowing screen for another couple hours. So I get my fiction writing done first thing. I keep what my friends lovingly refer to as “grandma Jamey hours”—I often go to bed around 8:00, 8:30 so I can get up around five a.m., guzzle some coffee, squint at my email, then get writing. I don’t have a target number of words or pages; some days I struggle to get through a single scene, others I fly through a dozen pages of revision. But I work a pretty solid two hours more most mornings before it’s time to shower and join the world. I often have ideas pop into my head about a review I am working on at times that are not conducive, such as when I am just about to drift off to sleep and if I stay up to write the thing down in my bedside notebook, I won’t be able to get back to sleep for an hour. Grrrrrr. How do you record the random thoughts that pop to mind when you are away from the desktop, say, while running?  JB - All I can say is thank Our Lord Steve Jobs for the iPhone, which I started taking with me when I was training for my first marathon and realized it might be nice to be able to listen to music, not to mention be able to call for help if I twisted an ankle or got mugged. The added bonus is that whenever I get those random ideas and have those “aha!” moments—which always seem to come as soon as I hit my stride—I can text myself. Usually I’ll stop to stretch and type out a text, but sometimes I use the voice function and get texts from myself that look like, “Railroad GASP getaway WHEEZE car…” Was there any one scene in particular that was the most difficult to write? JB - How to say this without spoiling things? There’s a particular mistake Tracy makes at one point that I didn’t see coming for a long time. Once I realized that she was going to make this mistake, though, my heart broke. I didn’t want to write the scene, I didn’t want to go through the fallout the characters would experience afterward. Some scenes are technically hard; it’s difficult to get the mechanics of the plot working. Others are hard because you can’t find the right words. But this one was emotionally hard:  I was wrecked, working on it. But it also afforded me an opportunity to write what would become one of my favorite parts of the book—a glimpse into the life and history of a character readers wouldn’t have otherwise gotten to know in that particular way. Was there one particular plot element that gave you the most grief? JB - Figuring out what, exactly, the history of two characters was before they appear in the book was one of the more irksome elements I had to work through. Partly because the relationship had to be both loving and antagonistic, and also because that part of the relationship would be revealed by a third party, in an unconventional way. Boy, trying not to spoil things has me feeling like Tracy!—as she says, some things you just don’t talk about, except to talk around them. Was the ending you chose always the way you wanted to go, or did you consider other endings before settling on the one in the book? JB - By the time I got to the ending, it kind of wrote itself. The way I write, I rewrite and rewrite and rewrite the first part of the book, gradually getting to know my characters as I rework the same material over and over. By the time I get to the last third or quarter of the book, the writing actually gets easier—and, with this book, the momentum of the plot, and the way Tracy’s mind works, kind of pointed the way toward the ending. Sources and influences How long did you work for John Irving? How did you get the gig? What can you tell us about the experience? What did you learn from him? Did he offer useful advice, support, connections? JB - At a post-reading party at the University of North Carolina Greensboro, where I got my MFA, my workshop teacher, Craig Nova, came up to me and said, “My friend John Irving is looking for a new assistant. He lives in Vermont. I thought you’d be a good candidate, since you’ve lived in Alaska and you know how to drive in the snow.” A few weeks later, I flew to Vermont from Greensboro to interview with John and his wife, Janet. And at the end of that summer, I moved to Vermont to be John Irving’s assistant. Working for John was a little like winning a spot at a very exclusive writing fellowship. I worked at an office in his home, and I did a good amount of your typical office work—answering phones, talking to his publisher, opening mail, filing contracts. But the bulk of my day was dedicated to typing up the pages of the manuscript he was working on at the time, the novel that would be titled In One Person. John still writes mostly by hand, so I would update a computer file on my Mac every day with his new pages. It was a firsthand look at the daily life of a working writer, his habits, and his way of writing a first draft and revising. One writer’s method doesn’t necessarily work for another, but I learned a lot watching him work through plot and character development. Plus, I got great insight into the process of publishing a book, thanks to working with John’s editor, copyeditor, publicist, and others. The other part of the experience that was incredibly valuable was my own writing time. Whenever I didn’t have stuff to do from John, I was able to work on my own fiction; in fact, I started The Wild Inside while still working for him. Once I got a first draft done, John was gracious enough to take a look and give me feedback that helped me tremendously (as did Craig, the teacher who referred me). Was there a specific seed or seeds from which The Wild Inside sprouted?  An image, a phrase, a news article? An experience? Several? JB - The earliest idea for The Wild Inside was an image:  a house, its windows lit against the heart of Alaska’s winter darkness, at the edge of a wood. I knew that inside that house, there were two men—brothers? a father and a son?—waiting for a third person to come home. Whoever that third person was, though, I knew she wasn’t coming home soon. How did I know this? Why wasn’t she coming back? I had no idea, but the image intrigued me enough that my mind kept chewing on it for months—more than a year—before I finally sat down to write what would eventually become Tracy’s story. What were your sources for character and pooch names? JB - I don't have a pooch, so I named a lot of the dogs after my friends’ dogs. Zip and Stella are named after two real-life pooches I regularly dog-sat for (the real Zip, sadly, died a few years ago; the real Stella is my dog soulmate and if I could steal her from her owners, I would). I went on a sailing trip with the real-life Homer and Canyon and their owners. I had a lot of fun just coming up with other dog names. Here’s a fun fact:  Some mushers will give litters of dogs theme names, so they’ll have the “famous authors” litter, or like musher and writer Blair Braverman, the “bean” litter (including dogs named Fava, Hari(cot), and Refried). So Tracy’s dogs include a “bear” litter (Panda, Grizzly, Teddy) and a “words that convey movement” litter (Chug, Zip, Flash, Pogo). Old Susitna, though, is named for my favorite mountain visible from Anchorage:  Susitna, the “Sleeping Lady.” (continued in first comment below)

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ellen Gail

    Never Lose Sight of the House. Never Come Home with Dirty Hands. Never Make a Person Bleed. 2.5 very confused stars. A very strange tale of sled dog racing, blood, secrets, and more blood. Okay. How do I talk about this without spoiling the fuck out of it? Cause there's a lot to talk about. You can peep the synopsis for details, but in short, Tracy Petrikoff (teenage delinquent? feral youth? what kinds of words can I even use for her?) is a born and raised Alaskan musher, as well as a trapper and hunte Never Lose Sight of the House. Never Come Home with Dirty Hands. Never Make a Person Bleed. 2.5 very confused stars. A very strange tale of sled dog racing, blood, secrets, and more blood. Okay. How do I talk about this without spoiling the fuck out of it? Cause there's a lot to talk about. You can peep the synopsis for details, but in short, Tracy Petrikoff (teenage delinquent? feral youth? what kinds of words can I even use for her?) is a born and raised Alaskan musher, as well as a trapper and hunter. Her woods are her home. Despite the dangers inherent, she's safe there. Until the day she's knocked unconscious by a man in the woods. Tracy is fine, if a little shaken from the encounter. But the familiar looking stranger stumbling from the woods injured by a hunting knife might not be. A blood soaked stranger. The impending Iditarod. A grieving family. A wanderer with something to hide. Bootprints in the snow. There all all kinds of wildness to be found. First, what I liked. Alaska! DOGS! Jamey Bradbury lives in Alaska and it shows in the way she writes the woods and the general atmosphere. I also have to give major points for boldness. Setting aside for a moment what I liked and what I didn't, some of these plot choices were brazen and fearless and I admire that. Like there's a BIG moment that happens in the midst of a snowstorm and only one word is spoken and that was really well done. Seriously, congrats on that scene. Now, onto what I didn't. First, all dialogue is sans quotation marks. It's a stylistic choice that unfortunately doesn't always work for me. The Road is probably the only case where I've outright loved it, but it was tolerable in Corrosion. Here I didn't 100% hate it, but it was confusing. Not a home run by far. Also, this goes back to the risk taking thing, but I need to talk about Tracy. I HATED her. Mostly for reasons related to super duper spoilery things. If you've read this you know the thing; THE SUPER SPOILERY THING SHE DOES A LOT. WHAT THE FUCK. But also; she killed a cat. Bit people. Yes, people plural. Unprovoked. And her attitude to her parents - I guess you know you're an adult when you feel bad for the dad and not the teenager. And it's not that I mind downright awful protagonists. You and Hidden Bodies feature a terrible person as the protagonist. He thinks, says, and does awful things. But Tracy Sue Petrikoff just did NOT work for me. At all. I LOATHE her. So The Wild Inside is a striking and ambitious first novel, but for various reasons, (many of them confusing and spoilery as all get out), it fell short of the mark for me. Thanks to William Morrow and Edelweiss for the drc!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Bentley ★ Bookbastion.net

    See this review and more like it on my blog: www.bookbastion.net! ________ I came across The Wild Inside when browsing Edelweiss for advance review copies. I've grown very particular over the last year about what I'll request from publishers, as time seems to be a commodity that I have less and less of lately. I was drawn this debut offering from Jamey Bradbury and William Morrow in part because of the gorgeous cover, and literary fiction infused with horror and fantasy elements seemed quite intri See this review and more like it on my blog: www.bookbastion.net! ________ I came across The Wild Inside when browsing Edelweiss for advance review copies. I've grown very particular over the last year about what I'll request from publishers, as time seems to be a commodity that I have less and less of lately. I was drawn this debut offering from Jamey Bradbury and William Morrow in part because of the gorgeous cover, and literary fiction infused with horror and fantasy elements seemed quite intriguing. Many writing courses and lecturers tell aspiring authors, "write what you know." Bradbury puts that advice into practice, setting her debut novel in her adopted state of Alaska. She chooses to center a core component of the plot around the Alaskan sport of dog mushing, particularly on the Iditarod trail. If Bradbury herself is not a dog musher by practice, I must give her credit where its due for the research and effort put forth here as she conveys critical aspects of that sport to her readers. I bought all of it, and came away feeling like I had learned something, which is impressive in its own right. Oddly enough, though fantasy, horror and suspense are my mainstay genres to read in, I found their inclusion here less of a motivating factor to continue reading. In a way, I think Tracy's story was complex enough without adding a fantastical element that I can only describe as poorly defined. It created more questions than it answered - particularly about Tracy and how she interacts with everyone around her. Is Tracy damaged by her past? Absolutely. Is she struggling to find her place in a changed world as a young adult. Yup. Is she a supernatural being, or is she delusional? I'm less sure about the answer to that last question. Unfortunately the story never takes the time to pin down a satisfying answer. The result is that the story frequently becomes bogged down by strange interludes - dark passages that don't really make much sense and are never clarified in the scope of what it means for Tracy, and how it began. I'm choosing to remain intentionally vague here as I hate spoilers, but I will say that Tracy's entire existence comes to revolve around her need to engage this fantastical element and it really made me dislike her as a character. She never questions the sanity of what she's doing. She makes a number of leaps of logic that ultimately end up hurting other people a great deal because of it, and yet she never considers stopping. Her ardent fear towards the antagonist of the story really suffered in the face of this because I always considered Tracy a completely unreliable narrator. I was awaiting some massive twist in which this level of distrust would be used to inform on why nothing is ever explained, but it never comes. As frustrated as I was by the lack of explanation given, there was still a great deal to love about this novel. I think for a debut outing it's quite strong. The characters aside from Tracy were rather well defined, with distinct backstories that are delivered over the course of the story. Some of them were a bit more strongly constructed than others, but for the most part they felt real and well developed as people. I'll be excited to see how Bradbury's work expands moving forward. I think she shows a great deal of promise as a young author, and will be interested to see how her works shift into either clear literary fiction or a more dedicated fantasy/horror focus in the future. 3 out of 5 stars

  4. 5 out of 5

    Asheley

    ***Favorite book so far this year*** I wish I could adequately put words to how much I truly love The Wild Inside by Jamey Bradbury. I have dreamed of Alaska my entire life: visiting there, living there, experiencing the wilderness in a way that I just haven't been able to yet. But when I opened this book and started reading Tracy Sue Petrikoff's story, I was as close as I have ever gotten. Minus a few things. Tracy is a little bit of a strange one. She is a teenager living with her father and brot ***Favorite book so far this year*** I wish I could adequately put words to how much I truly love The Wild Inside by Jamey Bradbury. I have dreamed of Alaska my entire life: visiting there, living there, experiencing the wilderness in a way that I just haven't been able to yet. But when I opened this book and started reading Tracy Sue Petrikoff's story, I was as close as I have ever gotten. Minus a few things. Tracy is a little bit of a strange one. She is a teenager living with her father and brother outside of a small Alaskan village, basically in the Alaskan wilderness. Her entire life is the outdoors: hunting, trapping, her dogs. She loves racing them and dreams of competing in the Iditarod like her father. The problem is, money, because the entry fee is expensive, and the strange issues with a man they call Tom Hatch. Tracy met Tom in the woods one day. Not on purpose; she literally stumbled upon him. This was really weird since she typically goes days, weeks, sometimes months without seeing a single soul out there. But out of the woods Tom came one day, sort of flinging himself onto her body, which caused Tracy to fly into a tree and black out from the force of the hit. When she woke up, her knife was bloody and there was a bloody trail leading back into the  trees. It is possible-even likely-that Tracy stabbed Tom Hatch in self defense. But why doesn't she remember it? And where is he now? HERE'S THE THING: Tracy never tells her Dad about this encounter in the woods, which is such a bad idea. Because it starts a mighty cascade of events that honestly never seems to end for her. One thing after another happens that causes one lie after another lie, and every unfortunate thing seems connected in some way or another. But is it? I felt like everything would be connected, but I wasn't sure exactly how. And above everything is Tracy's dream of racing her dogs. With her safety and the safety of her entire family at stake (because of Tom!), Tracy has to seriously consider whether or not she will continue with the race. FIRST OF ALL: Holy cow, Tracy Sue Petrikoff is a hell of a character. I love her. Which is interesting, because I'm not entirely sure that I'm supposed to love her? She is wildly different than any other person around her, so there is no practical chance for her connect with other people in any real way. Not really. Also, she is grieving her mother's death in the most intense way possible, and this drew me to her. Her mother was the only person she felt connected to, and now she is gone. And in her absence, Tracy realizes that she truly didn't know her mother as well as she thought, which is always such a heartbreaking thing. I wanted to reach through the book and just hug her so tightly. But Tracy held everyone at arm's length. She has her reasons for this, and MAN they are crazy and appropriate. They are kind of otherworldly, actually. This girl is almost feral. She is nearly wild. Her father barely knows what to do with her most of the time, but he loves her fiercely. I think many readers may find themselves completely aghast at Tracy and her behaviors, but I really felt myself endeared to her overall. Her behaviors and the way she was raised are not her fault, you see, and I found that if I just read the story from her point of view, she was super interesting. There are other characters in here that add to the story. An interesting crowd. There are some things that come up in the narrative that I wasn't expecting at all. So many things happened that made me talk out loud to these characters and try to will them to change their minds or change their courses of action, but alas that was not to be. I was particularly moved by Tracy's father in his effort to just be a Dad, living in a harsh place and also living in the in-between a place of grief after losing his wife and his hope for a new possible relationship. I love the awkwardness of his interaction with Tracy, how he tries so hard but still just doesn't really know how to reach his grieving, teenage daughter, and vice versa with her; they're both stuck in such a difficult place. And this ultimately lead to an end that just oh my gosh, my heart. The Wild Inside is so beautifully written. I just cannot believe some of the passages on the inside-I marked so many of them. I read chapters, and then I read them again. And I marked sentences and whole paragraphs because I felt transported by them. And then suddenly, on the next page: I cringed at something a little gross or weird! This isn't just plain literary fiction-there is so much suspense on these pages. I felt it down to my bones while I was reading. But at the same time, I felt the beauty of the landscape and everything about the main character while I read. I have loved everything about this book. The author's use of setting clearly is taken from her living in Alaska and I love it. I love it so much that I was in tears at the end of the book. I don't know-maybe you'll feel the same way. But I could barely speak by the time I got to the end. I just- I have to own this book in every format. I have to listen to the audiobook, because I need to hear Tracy speak in her not-at-all-correct way of speaking. I need to hear her thought processes out loud. This is like a coming-of-age of a girl that is not at all someone that normal society would deem appropriate or okay, but that I have a lot of empathy for. I found a ton of beauty in this story and in the language that was used to build it, which was interesting to me given its horror/thriller categorization by other readers. I'm not entirely sure this review is cohesive because I struggle a little bit with organizing my thoughts. Just know that this is my favorite book this year so far. This will take a coveted spot on my top shelf. I have literally sat here clutching this book as I read for the past few days, enamored, white-knuckled, and I am already ready for so much more from Jamey Bradbury. 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. Thank you, William Morrow Books! Find this review and more like it on my blog, Into the Hall of Books!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Barb (Boxermommyreads)

    I finished this book just last night and if I don't write the review soon, I fear I may never do so. I like books that are strange and odd but even this one had me going at times. First let's talk about the things I liked in the book. I really enjoyed the family dynamics. Tracy's mother died a few years back when she was tragically hit by a car (or I think she was, now I'm not sure) and it's interesting to see how Tracy, her brother Scott and her father pick up the pieces following the tragedy. I finished this book just last night and if I don't write the review soon, I fear I may never do so. I like books that are strange and odd but even this one had me going at times. First let's talk about the things I liked in the book. I really enjoyed the family dynamics. Tracy's mother died a few years back when she was tragically hit by a car (or I think she was, now I'm not sure) and it's interesting to see how Tracy, her brother Scott and her father pick up the pieces following the tragedy. They don't always get along and the struggle to put everything back into its proper place is very believable. I also enjoyed the dog aspect of the book, as I knew I would. The whole family, minus Scott, is active in the "mushing" lifestyle. They raise dogs and while it would be impossible for me to do so because I'd have the WHOLE TEAM inside with me, the dogs added a very enjoyable aspect to "The Wild Inside." I also liked that Bradbury created a very diverse character and wove them into the plot without shouting "LOOK AT THE DIVERSE CHARACTER!" if that make sense. Now for some things that didn't work for me. And I'm going to be honest - there was a lot. Having finished the book, I still don't know what the heck happened. The author makes no secret that Tracy possesses something others don't. She is able to drink blood of animals, which she needs for strength, and experience what they have went through. She is able to do the same thing with people, but her mother told her not to do so. Does she listen - NO. And it causes all kinds of problems, but not the ones you'd suspect. Tracy becomes weak when she tries to stop this disturbing habit, so she is unable to do so for long. But not once in the book is it explained why Tracy can do this. I don't think she's a shifter, but is she a vamp? Probably not because she doesn't shy away from sunlight. Is she mentally ill - probably but it brings about the chicken and the egg controversy. I didn't really care for many of the characters, especially Tracy and Jesse, but I didn't hate them either. Finally, I have to add this. This book kind of grossed me out which is hard to do. Tracy needs blood to stay strong. But when it isn't available, she is at least able to remedy the problem once a month. You see where I'm going right? Because I refuse to spell it out. I requested my library order "The Wild Inside" when it came out and they complied. I really did want to read it and despite my rating, I never once considered DNF'ing it. I mean, I wanted answers. But I didn't get them. And oh, there might be ghosts. I won't say there is animal cruelty because the dogs are well cared for in the novel but there is a lot of hunting...and blood drinking...and oh, a cat dies which I found extremely sad and vicious. So if any of that bothers you, stay away from this book. But if anything sounds uniquely intriguing, then give this book a try. The immediately afterwards hit me up on Goodreads and feel free to explain it to me.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

    Brief review to be revealed soon.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Elaine

    I won a copy of The Wild Inside from a Goodreads Giveaway. I didn't have high hopes that I would like it; I've had bad experiences with books that have to do with the wild or desolate landscapes with 'troubled' main characters. The Wild Inside was no exception. Tracy is a strange eighteen year old living in Alaska with her brother and father. Having been recently expelled from school, she spends her days with chores and taking care of the dogs. And missing her dead mother. She is an animal I won a copy of The Wild Inside from a Goodreads Giveaway. I didn't have high hopes that I would like it; I've had bad experiences with books that have to do with the wild or desolate landscapes with 'troubled' main characters. The Wild Inside was no exception. Tracy is a strange eighteen year old living in Alaska with her brother and father. Having been recently expelled from school, she spends her days with chores and taking care of the dogs. And missing her dead mother. She is an animal trapped inside a human body. She prefers to be outside, trapping, hunting, sleeping in a tent, being with nature, than inside; reading, learning, studying. Tracy dreams of entering the Iditarod, her father is a well known musher, and longs to follow in his footsteps. Then, an injured man appears in the woods and later, a young man arrives seeking work. These men carry secrets that threaten Tracy's quiet life and her future. There were many things I didn't like with this story. Let's start with the main ones: 1. Tracy's uneducated voice. I understand she was educated at home for the most part and recently expelled but she sounds like Cletus from The Simpsons and her speech is incredibly distracting to follow. Sometimes, I forgot she was 18 years old and kept thinking she was much younger. That's not good. 2. Tracy sounds kind of autistic, emotionally inappropriate and erratic. She is aggressive and lashes out at her classmates. She drinks blood and can 'see' what a person has gone through. The paranormal elements come out of nowhere and lack context which made suspending disbelief difficult. Also, I didn't like Tracy. 3. I wasn't interested in Jesse and his relationship with Tracy or what happened. The story dragged and kept flipping back and forth between Tracy and Jesse and Tracy and her mom. It felt like the author wasn't sure what she wanted to focus on. 4. I hate it when dialogue lacks quotation marks. This is not arty; it is annoying. 5. The silly romance blooming between Tracy and Jesse. Like I always say: a romance is not necessary in every story. What I did like: DOGS! The descriptions of Alaska and preparation for the Iditarod was informative but the entire story was bland and lacked urgency. I could not summon the energy to care.

  8. 5 out of 5

    ash lloyd spanton

    Originally posted on citygirlscapes.com. I’m inevitably drawn to books about the wild, nature, wolves and the like. The Wild Inside by Jamey Bradbury spoke to me before I even knew what the book was about. It sounded like a mix of a few different genres, so I really didn’t know what I was getting into. The voice in this book takes a bit getting used to; at first it was a bit dominating and overwhelmed the rest of the story. But it’s also a vital component of the character and it does, somewhat, g Originally posted on citygirlscapes.com. I’m inevitably drawn to books about the wild, nature, wolves and the like. The Wild Inside by Jamey Bradbury spoke to me before I even knew what the book was about. It sounded like a mix of a few different genres, so I really didn’t know what I was getting into. The voice in this book takes a bit getting used to; at first it was a bit dominating and overwhelmed the rest of the story. But it’s also a vital component of the character and it does, somewhat, grow on you the further you read and the more you get to know Tracy. I felt that calling this a thriller was a bit misleading. There were some secrets and some mysteries to uncover, but it wasn’t in a thriller-type sense. To me, it felt a bit more supernatural than anything else, which isn’t at all mentioned anywhere. This part could have been a much more interesting element, but it’s not explored to it’s full extent and I feel like the author was actively trying to avoid being too supernatural. This part is reoccurring through the entire book and ends up being pretty in your face towards the end, but there’s no real context to it. It was a style chosen, not to give those details, but I’m the kind of person who likes those details and if that’s what you’re going for, then wear that proudly and explore it to its depths, don’t just touch upon the surface. It’s clear that Bradbury is writing about what she knows, dog racing and the cold, blank Alaskan backdrop. I, however, know nothing about dog racing nor do I really have much of an interest in it, which made parts of this book a struggle for me. I liked how this all set the scene, but it was a very dominant character for the first part of the book and I felt things dragging a little bit. I also want to mention that hunting and trapping is a large part of this story and the scenes are gratuitous, but they are somewhat descriptive, which won’t be for every reader. I did really enjoy the wolf/dog attributes that came out in Tracy’s feelings and descriptions of things. I liked how tied to the woods she was and how running made her feel liberated and free. Those sentiments always paint a nice picture for me and I enjoyed exploring those parts. I also really enjoyed the ending, when things finally came together and where Tracy ended up in the whole thing. I found it satisfying and it fit with the rest of the story. However, overall, this book didn’t really do it for me. It was well written, but I personally didn’t care that much for the content or the characters and just as I started to become interested and be pulled into this mysterious supernatural attribute, that part would end and we’d go back to dog racing. I guess I’m not as akin to nature as I thought.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kim McGee

    Tracy has always felt better outside in the Alaskan wilderness than indoors in the cabin. She can hunt and survive just about anything except denying the hunger inside her. Her mom understands this strange affliction of her daughter's and tries to help Tracy by giving her simple rules to live by. The most important being - never make a human bleed. After Tracy is attacked in the woods she thinks she almost killed the stranger who attacked her and now fears his return. Then there are these new fe Tracy has always felt better outside in the Alaskan wilderness than indoors in the cabin. She can hunt and survive just about anything except denying the hunger inside her. Her mom understands this strange affliction of her daughter's and tries to help Tracy by giving her simple rules to live by. The most important being - never make a human bleed. After Tracy is attacked in the woods she thinks she almost killed the stranger who attacked her and now fears his return. Then there are these new feelings toward Jesse the curious young drifter who her dad has hired and her ambitions to compete in the Junior Iditarod. This glorious hybrid is a combination of the wild beauty of Alaska, the harsh landscape and lifestyle of the people who live there and a bit of supernatural hyper-awareness that Tracy feels after succumbing to the hunger and filling the need for blood. This coming of age story in an unforgiving land will stay with you well after the last page. My thanks to the publisher for the advance copy.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Laura Chase

    It was amazing. I had a hard time putting down. (I read it durring my lunch breaks at work). I kept thinking that Jamey Bradbury is a Jean Craighead George (Julie of the Wolves) except geared towards adults rather than YA. I really got intrigued in how Tracy came to turns with the fact that she's part wolf. It was amazing. I had a hard time putting down. (I read it durring my lunch breaks at work). I kept thinking that Jamey Bradbury is a Jean Craighead George (Julie of the Wolves) except geared towards adults rather than YA. I really got intrigued in how Tracy came to turns with the fact that she's part wolf.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Deb

    I admit it was the "an unusual love story and a creepy horror novel--think of the Bronte sisters and Stephen King" quote from John Irving that had me signing up for this book tour, then it was the gorgeous cover and Alaska setting that pulled me into the book. I'm not sure what I was expecting going into the book but it definitely is different--a bit horror, a bit coming-of-age, some family drama, a dash of suspense, and yes, a little romance. It's also hard to explain in much more detail than t I admit it was the "an unusual love story and a creepy horror novel--think of the Bronte sisters and Stephen King" quote from John Irving that had me signing up for this book tour, then it was the gorgeous cover and Alaska setting that pulled me into the book. I'm not sure what I was expecting going into the book but it definitely is different--a bit horror, a bit coming-of-age, some family drama, a dash of suspense, and yes, a little romance. It's also hard to explain in much more detail than the blurb gives without giving away spoilers for the story that are best left to unfold on their own. I will say that this is wild country and the main character, Tracy is just as wild. She's much more comfortable sledding with her dogs and hunting in the isolated Alaskan woods than she is with people--including her father and younger brother. She grieves for her late mother, who she feels is the only one who understood her and who has left Tracy with many unanswered questions. The story is at times quite dark, (remember 'creepy horror novel') so if you are someone who gets disturbed easily, this is probably not the book for you. Also, if a lack of quotation marks in books bothers you, you are not going to like The Wild Inside. The dialogue in the book doesn't have them, which does make it a challenge at times to figure out whether Tracy is talking to herself or to the other characters. Add to that Tracy's lack of grammar skills and it is an English teacher's nightmare (and no, that's not the horror I was referring to earlier). I think it kind of works here though, adding to Tracy's character and the tone of the book. I'm curious to hear the audio book to see how Tracy character is voiced. I have long been fascinated by Alaska and sled dog racing and the Iditarod--the annual long-distance race from Anchorage to Nome, and I loved the glimpse into this world that the author provided. The beauty and isolation of the Alaskan wilderness is described in such a vivid way that it is almost a character. I also liked the author's ability to surprise me with the various twists and turns the novel took. There were a few things I saw coming but there were many more surprises. I found myself totally caught up in Tracy's world--even the more disturbing parts--and although I wouldn't call her exactly likable, I found myself rooting for her life to have a positive outcome and was sorry to see the book end. The Wild Inside won't be everyone's cup of tea or cocoa (cocoa seems more fitting for the wintry feel of this book) for the reasons I mention above-but if you like very unique stories and characters, horror and slow-burning suspense, and books set in beautiful but spooky and remote locations like Alaska, you will enjoy it. You can see my review as well as a recipe inspired by the book on my blog post here: http://kahakaikitchen.blogspot.com/20... Note: A review copy of "The Wild Inside" was provided to me by the author and the publisher, Harper Collins, via TLC Book Tours. I was not compensated for this review and as always, my thoughts and opinions are my own.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Melody

    It took me a long time to catch the blood connection. But it was really a good audio book. Held my attention well.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    "I learned in school that blood has a memory. It carries information that makes you who you are." Well, this might be the most unique book I've read in a long time. Unique can either have good or bad connotations and, although I'm leaning towards good, I'm not 100% convinced with this story. The biggest part of that indecision is that I almost always want my questions answered by the end of a story - and, in this case, that does not happen. There are open-ended trails in this book that I have to c "I learned in school that blood has a memory. It carries information that makes you who you are." Well, this might be the most unique book I've read in a long time. Unique can either have good or bad connotations and, although I'm leaning towards good, I'm not 100% convinced with this story. The biggest part of that indecision is that I almost always want my questions answered by the end of a story - and, in this case, that does not happen. There are open-ended trails in this book that I have to complete. But right now, this instant, I think I enjoyed this tale. Tracy Sue Petrikoff is 17 years old. Her mother was struck by a car and killed a year ago, leaving behind Tracy, her dad, and her younger brother Scott. They live in Alaska on ten acres her grandfather built on, surrounded by thousands more acres of undeveloped Alaskan wilderness. Even though it's not hinted at much in the blurbs of this book, this is a horror story. I won't tell you WHY it's a horror story but it is. Strange characters, strange happenings, strange story - but I think I enjoyed it. I received this book from William Morrow Books through Edelweiss in the hopes that I would read it and leave an unbiased review.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    Thanks to William Morrow and TLC Book Tours for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest review. Check out my blog for more about the author! I love when thrillers and mystery novels dive into topics and lifestyles that I know very little about. In THE WILD INSIDE, Jamey Bradbury's knowledge on the topics shines through. She places you right in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness, having never been there myself, I felt like I was there. Tracy Petrikoff is a natural born trapper and hunter. She Thanks to William Morrow and TLC Book Tours for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest review. Check out my blog for more about the author! I love when thrillers and mystery novels dive into topics and lifestyles that I know very little about. In THE WILD INSIDE, Jamey Bradbury's knowledge on the topics shines through. She places you right in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness, having never been there myself, I felt like I was there. Tracy Petrikoff is a natural born trapper and hunter. She spends her days running her dogs and tracking animals in the Alaskan wilderness. Tracy always follows her late mother's rules: Never lose sight of the house Never come home with dirty hands Never make a person bleed - the most important one All of this changes when Tracy is viciously attacked in the woods by a man. She is knocked unconscious and when she comes to she has little memory of what happened. She notices a man coming towards her from the trees and she notices that he is gravely injured from a knife wound that resembles her hunting knife. Did he attack her? Did she almost kill him? And why is he vaguely familiar to her? Meanwhile, she is preoccupied with helping her father cope with her mother's death and preparing for the Iditarod (a big dog sledding race). Enter Jesse Goodwin, a man looking for a job - Tracy can't put her finger on it, but something doesn't seem right about him. There was a lot of good suspense to this book. The fact that Tracy didn't share with her dad about her attack added a layer of tension. How can she share her worries about Jesse without telling her dad about what happened in the woods? I loved the characters and the setting. This was a very atmospheric novel and with it all taking place in the woods around her home there was a small claustrophobic feeling. If you aren't a fan of stories that don't quite answer ALL your questions then it might be a little frustrating for you, but overall, I did like the ending. I give this debut a solid 4/5 stars!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kendra

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I’m sorry but what in the literal fuck?! Last book I read was too terrible and messed up. Pick up this one for a change of scenery and at first I was like oh this is a beautifully written alaskan book about survival sled dogs and coping with loss. WRONG! This book is all sorts of messed up! So we have a girl. Her mom used to taste people/animals blood. She pops out a child and lets her baby taste blood. She grows up to this deranged freak who drinks animals and humans blood! Mom dies. She’s getting I’m sorry but what in the literal fuck?! Last book I read was too terrible and messed up. Pick up this one for a change of scenery and at first I was like oh this is a beautifully written alaskan book about survival sled dogs and coping with loss. WRONG! This book is all sorts of messed up! So we have a girl. Her mom used to taste people/animals blood. She pops out a child and lets her baby taste blood. She grows up to this deranged freak who drinks animals and humans blood! Mom dies. She’s getting disciplined by her father. No hunting. No racing. And shit I don’t blame him! She shouldn’t hunt! She stabs some stranger in the woods or maybe this stranger never even existed?! Hard to say. Then some homely kid stumbles into there yard to work for a place to stay. Turns out the kid is a boy pretending to be a girl. The messed up girl acquires an obsession for this girl Jesse. So I figure okay.. were gonna here her stories about survival and running in the Iditarod which I thought was always fascinating! Nope. She drops out of the race and back to drinking peoples blood. Her dad meets someone but SPOILER the messed up girl murders the hell out of her then dumps her body in the frozen over lake. Scares away the girl Jesse trying to drink from her again. And the book ends with the messed up girl taking off and fleeing to the woods and never coming back. Which good. She’s no normal girl.. So save your time! Like literally how on earth is this even a book?! Could’ve been a beautiful book then you throw all this drinking nonsense in here!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Hiroto

    What a weird book. There's a lot of elements I've found creative and well-done, such as the setting. It's really easy to get immersed, and I liked how the author never really described the cold (we're in Alaska after all) as much as the snow under all the forms it can takes. She also did a great job of explaining the "mushing", a sport where a sled is pulled by several dogs. Her writing shone in those moments. But Tracy, the MC, just didn't do it for me. I couldn't get behind nor understand any o What a weird book. There's a lot of elements I've found creative and well-done, such as the setting. It's really easy to get immersed, and I liked how the author never really described the cold (we're in Alaska after all) as much as the snow under all the forms it can takes. She also did a great job of explaining the "mushing", a sport where a sled is pulled by several dogs. Her writing shone in those moments. But Tracy, the MC, just didn't do it for me. I couldn't get behind nor understand any of her choices, thus me feeling very distant from her. Also, the supernatural element felt kinda lacking, it needed more "rules" to be credible, so what I end up thinking is that Tracy is "only" delusionnal/mad.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lori L (She Treads Softly)

    The Wild Inside by Jamey Bradbury is a so-so debut horror/rural noir novel set in Alaska. Tracy Petrikoff, seventeen, has been raised hunting and trapping, as well as caring for the family's sled dogs, in Alaska. She runs wild in the wilderness and gets her strength from it. It has been nearly two years since her mother's death, and her father, Bill, is still recovering from her death. Now she has been expelled from school, her father is trying to load her up with chores and limit her time trappi The Wild Inside by Jamey Bradbury is a so-so debut horror/rural noir novel set in Alaska. Tracy Petrikoff, seventeen, has been raised hunting and trapping, as well as caring for the family's sled dogs, in Alaska. She runs wild in the wilderness and gets her strength from it. It has been nearly two years since her mother's death, and her father, Bill, is still recovering from her death. Now she has been expelled from school, her father is trying to load her up with chores and limit her time trapping and running through the woods. Tracy wants to enter her first adult Iditarod, but her father isn't listening to her. He was a champion musher, but has essentially retired now. When Tracy goes out to check her traps, a stranger attacks her and knocks her unconscious. She comes to with her bloody knife lying nearby. The next day a man emerges from the woods onto their property with a deadly knife wound. Did Tracy inflict the wound with the hunting knife she always carries? She can't remember, but he seems to be familiar. Tracy keeps all her thoughts to herself and doesn't tell her father what happened. Positives about the novel were the beautiful descriptions of Alaska. This book evoked a rollercoaster of emotions for me, however many of them were not positive. There is one thing Tracy does, aside from her horrible grammar, which made the book almost a "did not finish," something I don't do lightly. Tracy's bad grammar will grate on many readers nerves after a while in this first-person narrator; it's just a fact. Tracy is feral in many ways. The one activity that Tracy does, which I won't describe, is disturbing. There is a description/revelation of it that happens early in the book, which really cemented my averse reaction to Tracy as a character. Sometimes something is simply too weird for some readers. Take note that there is no mention of any supernatural elements in the description, which would have steered me away from this book. Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of HarperCollins Publishers http://www.shetreadssoftly.com/2018/0...

  18. 5 out of 5

    Alison

    I rarely read without taking breaks, but I just stayed in one spot and couldn't stop with this one. About halfway through I realized I was reading a crime novel--a true noir wherein a character's downfall is entirely of her own making due to circumstances she cannot control (my favorite kind of book). But then the crime novel is couched in this The Call of the Wild/Julie of the Wolves survivalist vibe, and, oh, the story is also packed with and built upon heavy magical realism (think Eowyn Ivey' I rarely read without taking breaks, but I just stayed in one spot and couldn't stop with this one. About halfway through I realized I was reading a crime novel--a true noir wherein a character's downfall is entirely of her own making due to circumstances she cannot control (my favorite kind of book). But then the crime novel is couched in this The Call of the Wild/Julie of the Wolves survivalist vibe, and, oh, the story is also packed with and built upon heavy magical realism (think Eowyn Ivey's The Snow Child, another gorgeous Alaska novel). I hate magical realism. I liked it in this book. There's also a beautifully written transgender character in the novel. You don't see many in mainstream literature and when you do they're caricatures. So what I'm getting at is that I respect the hell out of Jamey Bradbury's ambition. I mean, good lord. There were times when the writing was opaque, times when I wanted her to write the violence and the sex instead of just implying that it happened. I wanted Bill Petrikoff to be a bit more there on the page. He seemed to have a darkness in him that was left unexplored--it kept getting cowed by the cliched, clueless dad part of him. But all of that said, I feel like I'm quibbling. This book was original, bold, propulsive. Wild.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Feliza Casano

    I received a review copy of this title based on my interest in this book's premise: a female sled dog racer who discovers a threat to her family. But upon completing the book, I was extremely disappointed. The story largely focuses on a speculative fiction element, which I'll hide in a spoiler tag: (view spoiler)[the narrator/protagonist, Tracy, is a supernatural creature of some sort that drinks blood to stay alive and retain her humanity. Originally, I thought she was a werewolf or a vampire, I received a review copy of this title based on my interest in this book's premise: a female sled dog racer who discovers a threat to her family. But upon completing the book, I was extremely disappointed. The story largely focuses on a speculative fiction element, which I'll hide in a spoiler tag: (view spoiler)[the narrator/protagonist, Tracy, is a supernatural creature of some sort that drinks blood to stay alive and retain her humanity. Originally, I thought she was a werewolf or a vampire, but based on the ending, I suspect she's actually some type of wendigo. It's never mentioned in the story how she should be categorized. (hide spoiler)] The book's description makes only a very brief mention of the speculative element, which I interpreted to be a "thriller" type of description and not a speculative one: "Tracey senses that Jesse Goodwin is hiding something, but she can't warn her father without explaining about the attack - and why she's kept it to herself." After reading the novel, it's obvious this is a reference to (view spoiler)[the fact that Tracy attacked Tom Hatch while she was drinking blood from an animal she trapped (hide spoiler)] and not to anything that's sinister or frightening. (This particular speculative element never actually feels frightening at all.) Though the book is described as a thriller, there are no parts that feel particularly thrilling, except for (view spoiler)[Tracy's run in the Junior Iditarod, (hide spoiler)] which ends up cut short. However, her intense fear during this scene doesn't connect emotionally, and it's ultimately disappointing. While I didn't feel squeamish about the hunting and trapping elements of the book, which might bother some readers, I was pretty grossed out and disturbed by (view spoiler)[a passage in which Tracy describes drinking her own menstrual blood when she can't find animals to drink from. (hide spoiler)] That, coupled with the weird power associated with the supernatural element that's not led up to or foreshadowed in the least, makes the supernatural element feel very poorly-done. Finally, enclosed with the review copy was a review that referred to the novel as "a creepy horror novel - think of the Brontë sisters and Stephen King," and I seriously wonder if the author has ever actually read a Stephen King book, because The Wild Inside lacks even a shred of the suspense and terror that makes those novels enjoyable. While The Wild Inside has a strong premise, it veers off wildly from the description, and I have the distinct impression it's because either the author or the publisher doesn't want to call it "supernatural" because that would make it "not literary." (Which is frankly not true, but that's a fully separate argument.) This is not a book I'd recommend to most readers.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    The Wild Inside by Jamey Bradbury is an unusual paranormal novel about a young woman who lives in Alaskan wilderness. Seventeen year old Tracy Petrikoff loves the outdoors. She is an avid hunter with an unusual... proclivity for the animals she kills. Her family is heavily involved with dog sledding but following her mother's death,  they struggle financially after her father gives up mushing and sells the majority of their sled dogs. Tracy keeps hoping to change his mind about her competing in u The Wild Inside by Jamey Bradbury is an unusual paranormal novel about a young woman who lives in Alaskan wilderness. Seventeen year old Tracy Petrikoff loves the outdoors. She is an avid hunter with an unusual... proclivity for the animals she kills. Her family is heavily involved with dog sledding but following her mother's death,  they struggle financially after her father gives up mushing and sells the majority of their sled dogs. Tracy keeps hoping to change his mind about her competing in upcoming mushing events, but after she is suspended from school for fighting, her dad grounds her from taking care of the remainder of their dogs and roaming the woods surrounding their home. Headstrong and stubborn, Tracy defies him to check her traps but on one of her outings, she is suddenly attacked by a stranger in the forest. When the man, Tom Hatch, shows up at her home not long after their encounter bleeding from a knife wound, Tracy is afraid she is responsible but her memories of their first meeting are somewhat vague.  After her father hires drifter Jesse Goodwin to work in exchange for board, Tracy befriends him and she soon discovers Jesse is hiding many secrets. Tracy is the novel's sole narrator and she is not exactly a likable or sympathetic protagonist. She is rather selfish, very impulsive and extremely defiant. She greatly misses her mother who completely understood her daughter's need to hunt and freely roam the surrounding woods. Tracy inherited her mom's abnormal need for hunting and ability to psychically connect to animals and people in the aftermath of quenching her bizarre appetite. The book summary is a little misleading since there is no mention of a paranormal element to the storyline. While this aspect is not overpowering, it does factor heavily into the plot.  The hunting scenes are graphic but it is what Tracy does after the animals are dead that might make readers squirm. While the novel is well-written, Tracy does speak have a bit of a backwoods dialect. A lack of quotations marks during conversations is rather irritating. The story's setting is quite rustic and isolated but Jamey Bradbury's descriptive prose makes it very easy to visualize the surrounding forest. The Wild Inside is a slow-paced adventure that has unexpected supernatural/paranormal elements.  The suspense aspect of the plot is quite interesting  and Jesse is an intriguing addition to the cast of characters. However, Tracy makes such horrible decisions that she is unlikable and ultimately, irredeemable. A unique but very strange debut that is well researched and features a beautiful setting that is mish-mash of suspense, horror and paranormal genres.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kristine Lenda

    I'm more confused than I was when I started. That apparently does not stop me from enjoying the book though. This was so interesting... and weird. Okay. I have a lot of thoughts here, but I believe they are mostly leaning towards great. This was so weird though, okay? I'm more confused than I was when I started. That apparently does not stop me from enjoying the book though. This was so interesting... and weird. Okay. I have a lot of thoughts here, but I believe they are mostly leaning towards great. This was so weird though, okay?

  22. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Ostaszewski

    Kudos to author Jamey Bradbury on her first novel! We want more!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Taylor

    DNF, couldn't get into it. Kind of bizarre. DNF, couldn't get into it. Kind of bizarre.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Cassie

    It's going to be difficult to talk about how I felt about The Wild Inside without traveling dangerously close to spoiler territory, but I'm going to try. Jamey Bradbury has lived in Alaska for much of her life, and it shows in the general atmosphere of this book and the descriptions of society, geography, and weather patterns. She also clearly did a lot of research into the sport of mushing, and I came away from this book feeling like I learned something, which is always a good feeling. Bradbury It's going to be difficult to talk about how I felt about The Wild Inside without traveling dangerously close to spoiler territory, but I'm going to try. Jamey Bradbury has lived in Alaska for much of her life, and it shows in the general atmosphere of this book and the descriptions of society, geography, and weather patterns. She also clearly did a lot of research into the sport of mushing, and I came away from this book feeling like I learned something, which is always a good feeling. Bradbury is also clearly a gifted writer, with prose that includes some occasionally gorgeous turns of phrase. The description of this book makes it sound like suspense fiction. It's really not, as some of the events described in the description are really almost inconsequential in the book as a whole. I thought I was reading a certain type of book, but instead discovered I was reading something else entirely. The Wild Inside is more of a character study than anything else, and I guess that was my main issue with it. Although Tracy is the first-person narrator and readers are in her head for the entire novel, I never connected with her and was frankly pretty turned off by some of her actions. This is where I will be very vague so as not to spoil anything, but the motivations for and origins of the....thing she did in the woods was never fully explained. Because what she did was kind of a weird thing, I felt readers were owed some sort of explanation, and because I never got it I just couldn't really accept it as a reader. I generally do not need to like a character to enjoy a book, but this was one instance where it definitely affected my reading experience. I spent most of the book confused about the type of story I was reading. I'm sure that I missed the point. Even though I didn't like Tracy, though, I did appreciate her narrative voice and have to give kudos to Bradbury for the complexity of the character. I'll be interested to see what she writes next.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Christine Bowen

    This book was such a let down. What I liked about the book, was the mushing (dog sledding) and descriptions of nature. It has actual accurate information! The book does an excellent job describing how the main characters have mushing at the centre of their lives and how they love the woods. The eloquent language and emotional descriptions really allowed me to connect with this part of the main character. Other then that, I disliked the main character. She was dramatic and spoiled. She dosen't eve This book was such a let down. What I liked about the book, was the mushing (dog sledding) and descriptions of nature. It has actual accurate information! The book does an excellent job describing how the main characters have mushing at the centre of their lives and how they love the woods. The eloquent language and emotional descriptions really allowed me to connect with this part of the main character. Other then that, I disliked the main character. She was dramatic and spoiled. She dosen't ever think about what she is doing and why. It has a good setting and so much potential with a teenager who needs to grow up, a grieving family, and strangers in the woods (all of which had good backstories and were unique)! But that potential is not met for two reasons: 1. The plot needed more direction. I felt like i was being pulled in different directions. Was it a coming of age story of dealing with grief? It had good family dynamics. Was it a thrilling romance about strangers in the woods? I liked that it was a divers romantic lead. The multiple directions, while representative of life, it doesn't make a good story. It was trying to be too many things at once. It should have been more straightforward, or at least somehow tied together at the end. 2. The fantasy included in this novel, i found actually detracted from the novel. It's not explained and leaves one confused as they read these darker passages. It creates unexpected problems for the main character this isn't really dealt with. Also some of it was a little gross for me. Basically I have no idea what that whole portion was about. I just couldn't like this book when I was confused, and based on the description was expecting something else.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Danae - WordPeace

    This one is hard to describe. I'd call it speculative fiction above all, but it also fits rural noir, Bildungsroman, psychological thriller, family drama; if anything, Bradbury shows off a tremendous talent in genre-blending in her debut novel. She breathes life into Tracy Petrikoff with a voice and a dialect that captivated me from page one. I felt I was there with her family in Alaska, learning about life in the wilderness and what an average day looks like for a professional musher. The fores This one is hard to describe. I'd call it speculative fiction above all, but it also fits rural noir, Bildungsroman, psychological thriller, family drama; if anything, Bradbury shows off a tremendous talent in genre-blending in her debut novel. She breathes life into Tracy Petrikoff with a voice and a dialect that captivated me from page one. I felt I was there with her family in Alaska, learning about life in the wilderness and what an average day looks like for a professional musher. The forests surrounding her home were both inviting and ominous. There was such a great atmosphere to this book, and every time I opened the pages my own world fell around me as I was enveloped into hers. Tracy frustrated me with her decisions, and yet that made the reading experience all the more gripping for me. I understood I had to accept Tracy for who she was early on, but that didn't make it an easy read. I appreciate when an author challenges me like that. It's a spooky novel, a weird one at times, and took me places I wasn't expecting to go. The underlying themes of human connection -- how close is too close? -- and of how we grapple with loss, guilt, and trust were handled in an uncomfortable, yet honest way. This book had everything I like and more, so I am happy to call it one of my favorites. I feel lucky to have stumbled upon it on a Barnes & Noble featured shelf one day.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kristine Offield

    I’m only giving this book 3 stars because of the world painted in it and the way with words this author has. I wanted to DNF it but I just couldn’t not finish it. I wanted answers that I don’t feel I actually got with the ending, mainly to do with the mother. A couple parts were just absolutely disgusting, no matter how good with words a person might be. Man or woman, I don’t see how a person could read these parts and not get disgusted or a bit squeamish. I’ve only read one book that didn’t hav I’m only giving this book 3 stars because of the world painted in it and the way with words this author has. I wanted to DNF it but I just couldn’t not finish it. I wanted answers that I don’t feel I actually got with the ending, mainly to do with the mother. A couple parts were just absolutely disgusting, no matter how good with words a person might be. Man or woman, I don’t see how a person could read these parts and not get disgusted or a bit squeamish. I’ve only read one book that didn’t have quotation marks and there was a very clever reason for it. This book didn’t have any particular reason, that I am aware of, as to why it didn’t have quotation marks and it makes for a bit of confusion at times that just felt unnecessary. As for the story itself, it has a depressing end that never feels justified. For all of the bad that happens, in the end the reasoning is weak. Just another conundrum a dumb teenager got into because fOr SoMe ReAsOn they just HAD to keep it to themself and not get help from their parents or an adult... That kind of story frustrates me to no end. I’m not sure if this is marketed as YA but it reads like one for the most part. Basically, the only positive is the writing, in my opinion.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Higgins

    A stunning debut novel that you will either love or hate. Tracy Petrikoff is a natural when it comes to hunting and trapping. Growing up in the Alaskan wilderness and the daughter of a famous dog sled musher who won multiple Iditarod’s, it only made sense that she follow in his footsteps. And she does, right up until her mother dies. Things for her dad start to fall apart after that, including dog sled racing. But Tracy is determined to get back on a sled to race. One day while in the woods near A stunning debut novel that you will either love or hate. Tracy Petrikoff is a natural when it comes to hunting and trapping. Growing up in the Alaskan wilderness and the daughter of a famous dog sled musher who won multiple Iditarod’s, it only made sense that she follow in his footsteps. And she does, right up until her mother dies. Things for her dad start to fall apart after that, including dog sled racing. But Tracy is determined to get back on a sled to race. One day while in the woods near the house, she is suddenly attacked by a stranger, but manages to get her knife before she is knocked unconscious. The next day, a stranger stumbles onto their property with a stab wound and her dad takes him to the hospital. Tracy fears for her freedom if it is the same man that she may have stabbed. Then another stranger shows up asking about lodging in their shed. Tracy doesn’t trust him from the start, but can’t share her full suspicions with her dad as he doesn’t know about the attack. How can Tracy get herself out of this tangled web? This was a very interesting book set in the Alaskan wilderness. The scenery was set beautifully by the author and the way of life in the wilderness really brought the concerns families in this area have to life. Occasional strangers passing through the areas that may or may not have good intentions, even though most are probably on a bucket list item to see Alaska as a survivalist. I enjoyed the difference in culture that always educates me on other areas. Tracy was a very flawed character, to say the least. She is basically a wild she-devil living out in the wilderness. She gets her fill when she is out hunting and sometimes just by drawing blood. Having the book told from her perspective was interesting and confusing at the same time. There were times that I had to go back to a previous part to make connections and understand where she was taking the story. I’m also not a fan of sans quotation mark dialogue. This is just a personal preference, but unfortunately I’ve seen more books going this direction and I really just don’t like it. Sometimes it hinders the story line and can be just plain confusing. Aside from that, there were some items that would keep this book from being suitable from a young audience. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Glee

    I really should have liked this one better. It has several of my favorite things: Alaska, confused teenager who is pretty feral, dog racing, wilderness and wilderness survival. But it also has one of my least favorite things: an unreliable narrator, or rather, unreliable narrator who is losing her grip on reality. I mean, growing up is hard, but no one should go through what she goes through. It is nicely creepy, but not a horror story exactly. The writing is very good. So, sort of a semi-creepy I really should have liked this one better. It has several of my favorite things: Alaska, confused teenager who is pretty feral, dog racing, wilderness and wilderness survival. But it also has one of my least favorite things: an unreliable narrator, or rather, unreliable narrator who is losing her grip on reality. I mean, growing up is hard, but no one should go through what she goes through. It is nicely creepy, but not a horror story exactly. The writing is very good. So, sort of a semi-creepy story that is gloriously set in the wild and a teenager trying to sort things out should have had it all for me, but somehow, it was a slog. It became a slog for me as things got worse for her because first person perspective doesn't let you get out of her head. And by the end, I very much wanted to get out of her head.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. There’s a surprise!trans character reveal about halfway through the book, and though the heroine seems to handle it well (telepathically confirms gender and continues to use correct pronouns), the plot hinges on secrets these two characters keep from one another. Thus trans identity is bound up with duplicity that leads to tragedy. The trans character survives, but an innocent person in the wrong place at the wrong time does not. I’m feeling pretty pressed about how well written yet ultimately d There’s a surprise!trans character reveal about halfway through the book, and though the heroine seems to handle it well (telepathically confirms gender and continues to use correct pronouns), the plot hinges on secrets these two characters keep from one another. Thus trans identity is bound up with duplicity that leads to tragedy. The trans character survives, but an innocent person in the wrong place at the wrong time does not. I’m feeling pretty pressed about how well written yet ultimately disappointing this book was.

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