I wanted to like Wildlife more than I did.
It was well written with familiar teen characters doing many unfamiliar things (i.e. godmothers who organise a photo shoot & billboard campaign for their 15 year old goddaughters, spending a whole term of Year 10 at a sport & rec camp).
Before starting this review I spent some time reading all the love for this book out there in blogger land by bloggers much younger than me.
I am not one of those adults who look back on my teens years as being some sort of golden age or the best years of my life.
In fact I would never ever want to repeat those years of insecurity & angst!
But I accept that we all have to go through this period of blundering blindly towards adulthood trying to make as few long term ghastly mistakes as possible.
And that's what Wood has recreated so perfectly with Wildlife (& why I probably struggled to like the book).
The manipulative best friend, the romantic & sexual experimentation, the fear of missing out, who am I, what's right & what's wrong and getting caught up in other peoples dramas & gossip.
It all came rushing back - the reasons why being a teenager once in a lifetime is more than enough!
This is a YA novel. It contains lots of chat about sex & foreplay as well as actual sex. It is realistic, awkward, embarrassing and confusing.
Wildlife has been shortlisted for this years CBCA and the NSW Premier's Literary Award.