I have a thing about sequels. Usually. Out of the Wild by Sarah Beth Durst is even better than Into the Wild. I got a little bored in the middle of the first, but each chapter of Out of the Wild either had me laughing or clutching the pages in anxiety for Julie (and a certain other nameless person!).

Julie and the Wild are back in the action packed sequel to Into the Wild. Gillian, my favorite character, dances with the bear. She seems to have forgotten all of her experiences in the Wild just as all the other residents of Northboro, and struts in a t-shirt that says “Northboro: Fairy-Tale Capital of the World.” Everything is getting out of control, with more vactioners in Northboro than Cap Cod. It could not possibly get crazier.

Then Julie’s Dad pops out of the Wild unexpectedly in “exchange” for one of the three blind mice. He doesn’t know one thing about the real world. After over five hundred years in the Wild, Rapunzel’s Prince hardly knows what to do with a car. He insists on going to rescue Sleeping Beauty from an evil fairy godmother because he doesn’t understand his actions feed the Wild. Julie must follow her father, protect the secret of the Wild, and stop the Wild from growing any further.

Julie has some truly amazing experiences, and I’d love to talk about them all. Unfortunately, the book starts to leak spoilers in the second chapter. I want to say so much, but I don’t know anyone who has read it yet…

I found everything about Out of the Wild better than Into the Wild. The romance, the adventure, and the writing outpaced Into the Wild incomparably.  I felt like we got to know Julie so much better, and her character was really fleshed out. Rapunzel and even her Prince (who at first seems a little too disney for me…) became real people to me. I felt like their actions represented what people would really do. Also, Julie’s decisions made more sense to me in this novel. I didn’t relate to her as much in Into the Wild. I love her voice so much, and Out of the Wild just made me appreciate it more.

I’m happy to say that both of my favorite characters are back. I don’t want to ruin the ending for you, so I won’t say who they are. The revelation with one of them- so satisfying. I guessed it once she reappeared in the book. I had one of those “Ah ha!” moments, which barely ever happen to me. I get too caught up in the book to try to think what would happen next.

I did constantly feel in Out of the Wild that this would make a wonderful movie. I kept playing it in my head with dramatic music. Don’t look at the last page of the book first, like I did. I spilled orange juice ALL over my ARC of Out of the Wild, and I had to dry off the last page. Please don’t read the last page if you are one of those kind of people.

Comes out June 2008.

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