Wild Wind by Kristen Ashley
Narrated by John Hartley & Stella Bloom
I wrote a whole review on Wild Wind by Kristen Ashley the first time I read it and somehow erased it. So I am going to just do a quickie (haha suuuure) review because I just can’t do it all again.
I am completely torn on this one. I loved the story. I loved the characters. But it was 3rd person and the language was so cringe! As a mom of teens with friends from everywhere, if they ever heard another kid speak like that, they’d laugh at them. But the adults just sounded ridiculous. The slang was more than most of Kristen Ashley’s books. Rad! (Really?) “da bomb”, and “brother”.
I also felt like Kristen tried too hard to be all inclusive in this one, showing interracial couples, white kids bullying black kids, trans, pan…add that to the try-to-hard-to-be-cool language, and it almost ruined an amazing story for me.
Luckily, this was an emotional and full story for a novella. Jagger was a young man visiting his dad’s grave he connected with Archie who just lost her mom. They left notes and bumped into each other a few times over the years, but they basically had 10 years of missed connections.
Archie owned a bookstore/inner-city youth group store with a coffee bar and her story dealt with the kids from there a lot, but we do get to meet her family, including her sister Hellen who will be featured in Smoke & Steel.
Jagger’s story was the best part of this book. Him coming to terms with not knowing his father was such an emotional journey.
“He died before he taught me,” Jagger repeated….I don’t remember his love at all…
“Everyone loves him so much,” he pushed out. “And I have no fucking clue who he is.”
“Oh, baby,” she whispered, kissing his hair, rocking his body, holding on tight. “He’s you.”
Wild Wind almost felt like Kristen Ashley gave someone the amazing guts of the story and some wonderful quotes and told them to write the full story like she would. And they totally overdid it.
The Narration: The story seemed to be much more from the male POV and I am not really a huge fan of John Hartley, especially when he does the female voices, plus it was 3rd person. When Stella Bloom did her parts I enjoyed it way more.
The Down & Dirty:
What could have been an amazing book was held back by ridiculous slang and a push to show how diverse her characters can be. I loved the story at the center so much, but I cringed more than a few times.Wild Wind isn’t really a true representation of a Kristen Ashley book if a new reader started with this.