The Simple Wild Book Review & Discussion
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The Simple Wild Summary
The Simple Wild by K.A Tucker is a contemporary romance novel set in Alaska. Calla unexpectedly finds herself without a job and learns her estranged father has cancer on the same day. Since her schedule is now wide open, she decides to take a short trip to Alaska to see him for the first time since she was two.
She’s a die-hard city girl and quickly realizes that she’s vastly unprepared for the rugged stay. Especially when her luggage doesn’t arrive with her. On top of everything else, she has to deal with the obnoxious, bush pilot who works for her Dad.
Although adjusting to the simple life is more than a bit difficult, Calla slowly sees the kindness and loyalty that embody the Alaskan people. Through the unlikely help of Jonah, her obnoxious pilot, she also starts to understand her Dad’s side of her parent’s story.
This book is an emotional whirlwind! I chuckled, teared up, and yelled at the stupid decisions Calla and Jonah made. I would love to read more about those two in the future.
The Simple Wild Book Review
After reading The Simple Wild and The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah, I must say I’m hooked on novels set in Alaska. The strenuous lifestyle set against the impressive qualities of the people add an unusual but heartening character to any book. Tucker’s depictions of an Alaskan pilot’s life ring with truth too. Although I can’t say this book made me want to move to Alaska, I certainly felt like I was there while reading.
This romance includes a version of the classic enemies to lovers trope. However, the characters are well-developed and the relationship doesn’t come together unnaturally. Calla is meant to be a typical high maintenance city girl. Thankfully, she never comes across as too superficial or annoying. Her sometimes selfish tendencies are tampered by a genuine relationship with her mom and stepdad and willingness to get to know her father.
As a blogger, it was also intriguing to read about Calla’s fashion/lifestyle blog. I could easily relate to the constant pressure to take gorgeous photos and write perfect captions.
Calla’s dad is a complicated man who lived forever at war between his love of Alaska and his love for her mom. Meanwhile, Jonah has no trouble showing that he puts his career flying planes above everything else. These two are surrounded by a few other lovable characters, including a sweet young neighbor. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know everyone in the small town.
The Simple Wild is equally about Calla’s relationship with Jonah and her Dad, adding depth not always found in contemporary romance novels. Plus, the Alaska setting sets this apart from other romance books I’ve read. I highly recommend it!
For another five star contemporary romance, check out my review of The Flatshare!
(The Simple Wild discussion questions contains spoilers. If you haven’t read the book yet, go read it and then come back!)
The Simple Wild Book Club Discussion Questions
Feel free to use these discussion questions for a book club or share your answers in the comments!
- How does Calla’s relationship with Simon impact her decisions throughout the story? Do you think she would have made different choices if he wasn’t in her life?
- What do you like/dislike about the enemies to lovers trope in romance novels? Did this relationship seem plausible or did it develop too quickly to be realistic?
- At the end, Jonah and Calla talk about their life together in Alaska. Do you think they’re making the same mistake as Calla’s parents?
- Wren says he never regretted falling for Calla’s mom, even though their relationship couldn’t last. If you were in their situation, do you think you would have made the same choices?
This book sounds wonderful! I loved Kristin Hannah’s descriptions about Alaska too. I like how you structured this with book club questions, too.
Thanks! I’m finally in a book club now so it’s fun to think of things we could discuss.
As a former AK resident, I read as much AK fiction as I can find but some how missed this one. Thank you for posting your review!
Have you tried anything by Eowyn Ivey? She has two books set in Alaska that are wonderful!
I read this book in two days and loved it. It made me cry and laugh. Thank you for the recommendation.
I’m thrilled you read it and loved it based on my review!
Just finished reading The Simple Wild based on Rachel’s review and I totally agree with her opinions. Not only was this an entertaining contemporary romance but, as Rachel said, it had depth and substance. It made me laugh and cry! The Alaskan setting was very accurate, to the best of my knowledge/experience (although I had just a couple of very minor questions…) Calla’s responses to her first experiences in Alaska mirrored so many of my own and brought back many good memories. Unfortunately, it doesn’t sound like any more books are planned with these characters and/or the Alaska setting, but one can hope and I will be trying out some of her other titles. Thanks again Rachel for the heads up on this one!
I’m so excited that you enjoyed the book!