Wilder by Rebecca Yarros

Wilder by Rebecca YarrosWilder by Rebecca Yarros
Series: The Renegades, #1
Published by Entangled: Embrace on September 19th 2016
Pages: 296
Buy on Amazon

Twenty-two-year-old, five-time X Games medalist.
I have more tattoos than scars.
I've never seen a stunt I couldn't pull off...
Or a girl I can't get off.
Until she walks in.
My new tutor is sexy, smart, more stubborn than I am, and one hundred percent off limits.
That's right--the only rule this semester is “don't touch the tutor.”
For the first time in my life, I want someone I can't have.
She's the girl who obeys every rule.
I'm the guy who breaks them.
Our biggest risk is falling for each other, and I live for risk...

‘Wilder’, the first of the extreme sports series has so much crazy in it and I’m still wondering if that’s a good thing.

I struggled immediately with the entire setting which was just…way too batty to swallow without a vat of salt—a cruise ship with a work/study option sounded like a huge excuse for a frat party with equally trashy people around vying for bed-warming spots with every opportunity to film an extreme act after another.

Well, if anything, it’s a glimpse into the problems of the rich and privileged, aka, The Renegades, a group of extreme athletes who live hard and fast with everything.

But it simply seems that beneath the hot glow of the camera lights and the adrenaline thrill, we’re back to several tired tropes that seem stereotypical of this genre: extreme sports that engender extreme acts of behaviour, the apparent license to be a manwhore(s) given the privileged background of the romantic and the potential romantic leads, the sudden, inexplicable instant love and the constant mooning over why the heroine is different from other women and the ultimate twist that seemingly decides the fate of a relationship that seems to be based on arousal and heavy attraction.

The writing is good though; Yarros handles YA and the first person POV with a kind of deftness that helps flesh out the irksome and daft thinking of the self-indulgent characters who have their own issues to deal with in the stupidest of ways, which ironically, failed to endear me to any of them at all. I understood and even empathised with Leah’s fear of heights and her traumatic past, but couldn’t get past Wilder’s and Landon’s self-destructive, reckless behaviours and incredibly selfish ways of dealing with them. In fact, the latter felt like immature juveniles who needed to be managed by everyone around them because they couldn’t handle themselves at all, which made it increasingly difficult to see Leah and Wilder as equals in a relationship of respect and trust. I couldn’t see Wilder’s personal growth matching Leah’s own tentative steps into taking chances since her accident and that lack of sacrifice or compromise that he didn’t make for her (along with the instant lust) made both of them an unconvincing pairing.

My ranting skepticism here however, stems from my own personal hang-ups of overused tropes and clichéd characters that significantly lower the enjoyment of a book for me. ‘Wilder’ would generally be—and has already been—a hit for those who adore YA writing (and possibly over the top characters), so clearly it’s just me here.