Rating: 5/5 Converse
WARNING: Slight Spoilers
Hiiiii guys! This is going to be a post in which I attempt to summarize and review one of my favorite books ever, Wild Blue Wonder by Carlie Sorosiak! I have raved and raved and raved (and then raved some more) about this book, but I’ve never written an official review of it for my blog. Be prepared for lots of flailing, and we’ll see how this goes!
Wild Blue Wonder is Sorosiak’s second novel, and my first read of it was back in late 2018. Since then, I have read it once a year and plan to uphold that tradition basically as long as I live. It follows the story of three siblings — Reed (the oldest), Quinn (middle child and main character), and Fern (the youngest) — as they all try to come to terms with a tragedy that uprooted their lives over the summer.
Their family lives in Winship, Maine and hosts The Hundreds, an eccentric summer camp, every June and July. It’s one of the siblings’ favorite times because they have summers full of excitement and fun, especially since their fellow camp counselors are close friends. And their best friend in the entire world who’s practically family — Dylan — never misses an opportunity to join in.
But over this particular summer, something wild and maybe not so wonderful occurs: Reed, Quinn, and Fern all suddenly realize they’re in love with Dylan.
And worst of all? They don’t tell each other directly, as they normally tell each other things, nor do they really know how to tell him.
Quinn feels like she’s betraying her siblings by loving their mutual best friend, especially as she discovers bit by bit over the summer that they love him as well, but Dylan seems to only have eyes for her. Could it be so wrong, loving him? Maybe they could make it work.
With summer coming to an end, Quinn decides to go out on her family’s lake in a boat with Dylan one night and ends up telling him how she feels. But the evening doesn’t go as planned, and when Dylan dies in a diving accident, the three siblings’ world is completely turned upside down.
Struggling through the aftermath and grief of their friend’s death, Reed has become gruff and surly, avoiding Quinn and fighting with Fern. Fern is coarse with everyone, especially Quinn, and often sneaks out to get high with “friends” to forget her problems. And Quinn? Quinn blames herself for the events of that fateful night and believes she’s a monster that has broken her family into pieces. Once a budding swimmer with scholarships flying her way, she even refuses to swim and doesn’t want to think about college. The only thing she thinks she can do to repair her family and the tatters of her life is to fix the boat she and Dylan had been on and go out on the lake, searching for whatever made Dylan drown.
Then enters Alexander. The new kid, a transfer from London, who is awkward and wonderful and has many secrets of his own. He makes Quinn feel again, makes her feel less like a monster.
But Quinn thinks she’s too broken to be fixed and that she deserves to be miserable forever, never moving on from Dylan and the events that led to his loss.
Can Alexander and Quinn’s friends and family help Quinn and her siblings mend themselves back together? Or are they destined to drift further apart and be viewed as monsters forever?
I never cry when I read. I’ve mentioned that a lot over the years my blog’s been running. Yet without fail, every single time I read this book, I tear up. Sorosiak paints a gorgeous picture of love and loss, grief and forgiveness, healing and hope. I’ve never read a book that handles the stages of grief so well before.
This is an automatic five star read, one that I recommend to everyone who asks me for book recs. It has amazingly diverse characters, the nostalgia of summer days hanging out with friends and the ones you love, quality friendships, two side characters that get together so there are other romances throughout the story, and once again, an ability to show grief in its many different forms. I genuinely cannot talk about this book enough! I could probably write a whole book on why you should read this one, ha!
Some triggers and things to note for my readers who may be more sensitive: drowning/diving accident, death, mild cursing, stages of grief, teen drinking/smoking/drugs, romance, LGBTQ+ characters.
Have you read Wild Blue Wonder? What were your thoughts?