Reviews

The Wild Ones, by Nafiza Azad

addieneedsabook's review

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adventurous emotional medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.0

ravencake's review

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adventurous funny hopeful medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.25

bravereads's review

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emotional hopeful inspiring medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

5.0

Maybe the best book I've read in 2021.

acottageofwords's review against another edition

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3.0

Check out this review and others on my blog!

We have the temerity to be not just women, but women of color. Women with melanin in our skins and voices in our throats. Voices that will not be vanquished. Not now, not ever. We will not be silenced.


The story follows Paheli, an Indian character who was sold by her mother in exchange for a favor. After she ran away, broken and hurt, she bumped into Taraana, who tossed her a box of magic stars before vanishing. Paheli then gathered girls like her who were betrayed and abused, and together with the magic stars they help others who have lost hope and save them from misery.
Azad painted this story in a rich, whimsical writing style that left me starry-eyed (haha pun haha). The writing made up a huge part of the story, with it’s lilting style showcasing how much each Wild One went through before Paheli found them. The writing fills the plot with emotions, which made me sniffle and smile.
The plot was pretty slow for the first 20-25% of the book which had me a little irritated. After that it picked up pace though, and things were quite exciting after that! The scenes were action-packed and thrilling, but sadly the magic descriptions weren’t up to par. We just get told that the Wild Ones’ screams destroy the middle-worlders but the those scenes were limply described and I feel they could have been better done.
The world building seems quite complex but also kind of vague at first, with the Between getting most of the attention. However, it all unfurls nicely and we get to know even small things about it’s working.
However, the most important aspect of this book is the story itself. It tells us that no one is bound to the fate that the world asks them. It tells us that your suffering does not define you and you always have it in you to rise above the pain.
The Wild Ones look out for each other always and have a very close bond!! They are everything you would ask from the found family trope: banter, teasing and fierce protectiveness of each other!!
And not to forget, they love food. A lot. Everywhere they go, no matter how important the task at hand is, they always eat first and Paheli is the true leader in this matter. If I had to use one word to describe Paheli, it’d be MANGO

lune's review

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adventurous challenging emotional inspiring reflective tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0

"We, however, don't cry. We're too angry to." 
The Wild Ones foi uma experiência complicada. Eu li os textos da autora sobre esse livro e tenho imenso respeito e gratidão por ela ter escrito e ter colocado suas dores aqui. 
Eu me conectei com o livro, não acho que não tenha como não. Eu adorei a escrita e a forma como ela escolheu contar a história das meninas. Eu adorei os capítulos onde a gente não tem como saber quem é que está narrando e achei ótimo o uso do "nós". 
Enquanto o romance na maior parte do tempo não me incomodou como normalmente faz, acho que porque o processo de atração em si não aconteceu/não foi muito explícito, ele tomou uma parte muito maior do livro do que esperava e de certa forma foi muito imaturo pra mim. Eu não estou falando sobre trauma mas sobre a quantidade de tempo de vida dessas pessoas. Paheli leva todo o foco do livro e sendo a primeira ela é extremamente adolescente ainda, no começo foi interessante ver uma "líder" de forma diferente mas quando o romance toma conta da equação ficou maçante. 
Eu entendi a denúncia que a autora fez e de forma nenhuma quero ditar sobre perdão ou pespectivas, nada assim, mas me incomodou o fato de que apenas "garotas" são pensadas sobre no livro. Não houve uma vilanização de mães exatamente, porque eu senti o que autora trouxe mas eu acho que teria sido uma boa opção ter expandido essa questão. Não é só garotas adolescentes que sofrem, e claro que entendo o público alvo também mas eu acho tão importante o momento que a gente ganha maturidade e consegue olhar pra nossa figura materna e entender ela como mulher que sofre as mesmas opressões que a gente e acho que isso faltou demais aqui. 
O começo do livro foi maravilhoso pra mim, o audiobook (que corri atrás desesperadamente assim que comecei o livro correspondeu minhas expectativas) é ótimo, mas as últimas 100/150 páginas eu me vi ao ponto de desistir. Puxou tanto pro final as coisas que virou uma bagunça e tudo perdeu um pouco do sentido pra mim, nesses últimos momentos eu nem sequer me lembrava sobre o que grupo era e o que ele significava sabe. Com o passar do tempo fica complicado gostar do livro quando elas passaram horas andando e comendo e não exatamente resolvendo as coisas e acaba que algumas coisas ficam muito convenientes. Nem quer o livro de memorias foi bem explorado como estava sendo no início. O começo pode ficar complicado, tem várias info dumps pra explicar o universo e fica muito evidente porque as narradores conversam diretamente com você. O furo sobre magia me incomodou demais, é dito e mostrado todo tempo como mágica não funciona nelas então como o feitiço para localizar possíveis Wilds pôde ser colocado? Não fez sentido. 
A autora trouxe diferentes experiências, amostras do que o grupo faz, a gente tem um pouco de como elas ajudam mulheres ao longo do tempo. As vezes por acaso, de caso pensado e com uma rede de apoio mesmo e quando essa ajuda falha mas pra mim ficou raso. Como eu disse eu gostei dos capítulos narrados em conjunto mas sendo eles e os de Pahali, que fui perdendo a vontade de ler com o tempo, acaba que fica esse vazio sobre o que elas realmente fazem durantes esses séculos. Também pensei que raça ia ser pelo menos um pouco abordado e não foi como eu esperei. 
Eu não falei sobre Taraana mas ele faz parte da maioria do livro e eu não desgostei dele mas o plot dele não funciona pra mim, ainda mais quando um dos pontos que estavam funcionando, que era a vulnerabilidade dele, o fato de ele ter medo e de assumir seus traumas terem sidos meio apagados na transformação. 
Estava sendo um sólido 4 estrelas mas não sei se foi meu interesse, a falta dele, ou a autora foi se perdendo e acabou que não funcionou pra mim do meio pro final. 

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literarypansexual's review

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adventurous emotional informative mysterious sad fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

This book was just amazingly perfect. The writing, all of the main characters and their stories. BEAUTIFUL. I wish it didn’t ended, but that’s how it works. I loved this book from the first page. This has become an all time favorite of mine!

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foreverinastory's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional hopeful reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

This was incredible.

Rep: Indian female MC (aro-spec coded), French BIPOC trans female sapphic side character, Korean female side character, Indonesian female side character, Filipina female side character, West African female side character (wears a head scarf), Pakistani female side character, Fijian female side character, Turkish female side character, Muslim Iraqi female side character, Japanese female side character. Unsure who is queer but at least half are not attracted to men.

CWs: Abandonment, blood, confinement, death, emotional abuse, grief, homophobia, injury/injury detail, infidelity, kidnapping, lesbophobia, misogyny, murder, physical abuse, sexism, torture, trafficking, prostitution, violence. Moderate: child abuse, child death, pregnancy, mention of attempted abortion, rape, sexual assault, sexual violence, suicide by running into traffic, bullying.
 

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loveforwords's review

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adventurous emotional inspiring sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.75

Oh... mygosh.

I had been yearning to read this book since I first saw the cover and synopsis last year and boi did I drop everything to read it as soon as I got it.

We stan the queens. Paheli and Valentina own my heart. All the Wild Ones and Taraana and Lalie do too, but Paheli and Valentina could ask me to give up my favorite books and I would.

The. writing. is. so. beautiful. It's even more magical than the Between.

I wasn't 100% invested in the plot, but give me magical doors and for some reason I forget everything.

The girls' struggle and pain aren't hidden or sugarcoated, they're stated on the page and visible through their actions and words, and Nafiza Azad does it in a really powerful way, allowing them to reclaim their life and their body.

Catch me recommending this book until my last breath.

kerrynspiers's review

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adventurous dark emotional hopeful inspiring medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

3.25

valentina has my heart 

theliteraryphoenix's review

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emotional medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

3.5

The amount you enjoy The Wild Ones will be directly correlated to the amount you enjoy poetry and flowery language. Azad’s writing reminded me of Nikita Gill and Rupi Kaur. As such, this book was very much not my cup of tea, but it’s not a bad book! Just not a fit for my tastes.

The make up of The Wild Ones is wonderful. It’s the story of a group of girls who come from traumatic, sorrowful backgrounds. They became part of the middle world when Paheli gifts them the stars they press into their palms, a gift given to her so long ago. The girls stay until they are ready to move on. The journey they take as a Wild One feels like a metaphor for processing trauma. So much of this book feels like a series of metaphors, and it makes you think, reread, reconsider.

The Wild Ones are Black girls, brown girls. They are a sisterhood of strength and recklessness and fearlessness. They rescue other girls who are in the same pain they were (are) in. When their creator, the Keeper of the Between, seeks them out, they protect him too. It’s altogether an interesting book, and I DO recommend it to the right reader. It’s extremely stylised, so it requires the right reader to appreciate it fully, but I believe to the right reader, this will be an amazing five star novel. I liked the diversity, I liked the world, but the pace and writing style lost me.

Because of the linguistic choices that Azad made in telling this story, I found the pacing lagged and my attention waned, leading to a lot of rereading. I cannot emphasise enough that this is entirely due to my own reading preferences and for others, this could be a non-issue. The style made the writing (to me) feel vague and scattered. There were single paragraphs and single scenes that I found lovely, but as a reader I felt like I was constantly chasing cohesiveness in the novel.

It’s a good book, but it wasn’t a good book for me. I think others will like it, but before diving into it, do note the prose-like writing style and go in prepared to navigate it.

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