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The Simple Wild Book Review & Discussion

the simple wild book review

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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.

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!)

Book Club Discussion Questions

Feel free to use these discussion questions for a book club or share your answers in the comments!

  1. 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?
  2. 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?
  3. 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?
  4. 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?

 

the simple wild book review

The Simple Wild Book Cover The Simple Wild
K.A. Tucker
Contemporary Romance
Atria Books
August 7, 2018
388

Calla Fletcher wasn't even two when her mother took her and fled the Alaskan wild, unable to handle the isolation of the extreme, rural lifestyle, leaving behind Calla’s father, Wren Fletcher, in the process. Calla never looked back, and at twenty-six, a busy life in Toronto is all she knows. But when Calla learns that Wren’s days may be numbered, she knows that it’s time to make the long trip back to the remote frontier town where she was born.

She braves the roaming wildlife, the odd daylight hours, the exorbitant prices, and even the occasional—dear God—outhouse, all for the chance to connect with her father: a man who, despite his many faults, she can’t help but care for. While she struggles to adjust to this rugged environment, Jonah—the unkempt, obnoxious, and proud Alaskan pilot who helps keep her father’s charter plane company operational—can’t imagine calling anywhere else home. And he’s clearly waiting with one hand on the throttle to fly this city girl back to where she belongs, convinced that she’s too pampered to handle the wild.

Jonah is probably right, but Calla is determined to prove him wrong. Soon, she finds herself forming an unexpected bond with the burly pilot. As his undercurrent of disapproval dwindles, it’s replaced by friendship—or perhaps something deeper? But Calla is not in Alaska to stay and Jonah will never leave. It would be foolish of her to kindle a romance, to take the same path her parents tried—and failed at—years ago. It’s a simple truth that turns out to be not so simple after all.

8 Comments

  • Reply
    Tina
    September 23, 2019 at 10:13 am

    This book sounds wonderful! I loved Kristin Hannah’s descriptions about Alaska too. I like how you structured this with book club questions, too.

    • Reply
      Rachel Kamery
      September 23, 2019 at 10:49 am

      Thanks! I’m finally in a book club now so it’s fun to think of things we could discuss.

  • Reply
    Barbara
    September 23, 2019 at 8:50 pm

    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!

    • Reply
      Rachel Kamery
      September 24, 2019 at 9:37 am

      Have you tried anything by Eowyn Ivey? She has two books set in Alaska that are wonderful!

  • Reply
    Jill Pierce
    September 25, 2019 at 11:07 am

    I read this book in two days and loved it. It made me cry and laugh. Thank you for the recommendation.

    • Reply
      Rachel Kamery
      October 1, 2019 at 8:15 pm

      I’m thrilled you read it and loved it based on my review!

  • Reply
    Barbara
    September 27, 2019 at 8:47 am

    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!

    • Reply
      Rachel Kamery
      October 1, 2019 at 8:15 pm

      I’m so excited that you enjoyed the book!

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