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review 2016-12-17 00:00
Into the Wild
Into the Wild - Jon Krakauer ~*Full review on The Bent Bookworm!*~
“He read a lot. Used a lot of big words. I think maybe part of what got him into trouble was that he did too much thinking. Sometimes he tried too hard to make sense of the world, to figure out why people were bad to each other so often…he always had to know the absolute right answer before he could go on to the next thing.” – Wayne Westerberg, referring to Chris (Alex) McCandless

First of all, this is not just a biography of Chris McCandless. Yes, it tells his story, but then it goes off on several trails of OTHER wilderness-loving solitaries (some of which survived, and some didn’t).
More people have seen the movie than read the book, and from what I can tell the movie is more streamlined. My DH really enjoyed it and has been asking me to watch it with him for at least a couple of years, but I’m very resistant to watching a movie before the book that inspired it. (Don’t even get me started on how I felt about going to see Fantastic Beasts in theatre.) When a friend mentioned he had a copy just lying around, I jumped on the chance. Surprised by how it small it was, I sat down and devoured it…in about 4 hours. Quite a long time for my usual reading speed.

The first couple of chapters are a brief narrative of the events leading up to Chris’ journey “into the wild,” and then the events surrounding the discovery of his body. I was really shocked that part was over so quickly! I was expecting more of a lead-up. But as soon as all the bare facts are out (maybe the result of the Outside article that originally ran on McCandless?), Krakauer goes back in time to dig through McCandless’ early life, then his hobo life after college. I was eerily struck by how similar some of the descriptions of his known thoughts and behaviors were to my own. An introvert, a reader, a thinker – someone who lived inside his own head for long stretches of time – these were all things with which I can easily identify. It was creepy.

McCandless was either a visionary or a reckless idiot. It’s obvious that Krakauer feels he was the former, but I think the judgment could go either way. For someone SO intelligent, McCandless’ intentional self-sabatoge (throwing away the maps, refusing to take advice from seasoned hunters and hikers) is just ABSURD. No matter how pretty his prose, there is no way to explain that part of his adventure away. On the other hand, he made it 113 days, and from the photos and journal he left behind, he was actually doing pretty well until some infected berries made his body turn on itself.

Maybe he was both. The most intelligent people are often noted for their decided lack of common sense. He formed his views on wilderness at least partially from fiction – an extremely dangerous concept.
McCandless read and reread [b:The Call of the Wild|1852|The Call of the Wild|Jack London|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1452291694s/1852.jpg|3252320] and [b:White Fang|43035|White Fang|Jack London|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1475878443s/43035.jpg|2949952]. He was so enthralled by these tales that he seemed to forget they were works of fiction, constructions of the imagination that had more to do with London’s romantic sensibilities than with the actualities of life in the subartic wilderness.

The middle portion of the book delves a lot into other wilderness personalities. I found them interesting, but while in some ways similar to McCandless they are all different enough to warrant their own tales. They feel a bit like filler. Interesting filler, but filler nonetheless.

McCandless’ backstory is filled with drama between himself and his family. He seemed to be more than capable of making friends, yet has a nonexistent relationship with his parents. While purportedly close to one sister…he leaves her without any sort of goodbye. Loner, indeed. Again, I can relate…but cutting off one’s family entirely is almost never a good thing (cases of abuse and intolerance exempted of course). Like Ken Sleight, the biographer of another wilderness disappearing act, Everett Ruess, says:
“Everett was a loner; but he liked people too damn much to stay down there and live in secret the rest of his life. A lot of us are like that…we like companionship, see, but we can’t stand to be around people for very long. So we get ourselves lost, come back for a while, then get the hell out again.”

Again, that quandary is one I feel and have felt very often. Unlike McCandless, I’ve never felt strongly enough about any of it to just chuck my entire life and go off into the woods. Perhaps that’s a lack of backbone on my part. Or perhaps it just shows that I have one.

One of McCandless’ last journal entries:
I have lived through much, and now I think I have found what is needed for happiness. A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people to whom it is easy to do good, and who are not accustomed to have it done to them; then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books , music, love for one’s neighbor – such is my idea of happiness. And then, on top of all that, you for a mate, and children, perhaps – what more can the heart of a man desire?

Still a bit on the melodramatic side. What, exactly, had he lived through? A spoiled white child from doting parents that GAVE AWAY his livelihood to wander like an outcast? At the same time…it rings a note of truth there that makes my heart ache. He seems to echo Oscar Wilde:
With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy?

I’m giving 5/5 stars, based solely on how I felt immediately after finishing the book. Looking at it now I would probably say 4 because of all the extraneous information and meandering.

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review 2016-11-05 02:12
INTO THE WILD by Doreen Cronin
Into the Wild: Yet Another Misadventure (The Chicken Squad) - Doreen Cronin,Stephen Gilpin
  The next adventure of the chicks. This time we see them on a stake out. They are funny as they prepare for the stake out then do it. Their observations are wild. Sugar doesn't let the facts stand in the way of her theory. Dirt is more realistic and they all need to pay more attention to Sweetie. Again another fun romp with the chicks and Momma to straighten them out.
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review 2016-09-04 23:00
Warriors #1: Into the Wild (Warriors: The Prophecies Begin) - Dave Stevenson,Erin Hunter

Rusty leaves his human family to become a wild cat with the ThunderClan.  They need warriors as theirs are dying off and few kits are being born.  Insulted by the older cats, Rusty becomes Firepaw and begins his training to become a warrior.  Rusty learns to watch and observe.  He also uses his instincts which are often correct for as young a cat as he.


I enjoyed this story.  There are a lot of names and cats to remember.  The world building is excellent.  The rules are explained to us readers as they are explained to Firepaw.  There are the wise old cats, the ambitious warriors, the traitors, and the innocent.  I like how Firepaw has to make his choices and explain them later.  I also liked how Bluestar, his leader and mentor, is patient and listens.  It is good training for what I believe Firepaw will face in his life as a Warrior.


I look forward to the next book in the series.

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review 2016-07-04 21:33
Review: Into the Blue by Chanel Cleeton
Into the Blue: A Wild Aces Romance - Chanel Cleeton



Becca Madison and Eric Jansen fell in love as teenagers, and broke up in their early twenties when he chose the Air Force over her. It’s been ten years, and Eric has finally returned home, on leave after a tragedy shakes him so badly he doesn’t feel right up in the air. The only thing that makes sense, feels right, is the love he has for Becca, which ten years apart has done nothing do dim. He wants to prove to her that he can be the man she needs, but Becca was burned badly and knows that she can’t trust her heart to Eric when the problems between them are still there. Their attraction is undeniable, however, and it’s not long before they’re falling into old patterns. But what do you do when love isn’t enough to make things last?

Into the Blue rocked my world! I absolutely loved Fly with Me, Chanel Cleeton’s first Wild Aces book, and there is definitely no sophomore slump for this series. If possible, I loved Into the Blue even more.

Second chance romances are a favorite of mine, and Becca and Eric’s is wonderful. The two of them have been in love since they were teenagers, and time and heartbreak has done nothing to dampen their mutual attraction or love. Each of them has tried to move on, but it’s clear from the start that they’re meant to be. They were both achingly young when they first fell in love, and even though it was painful, the time apart really helped both Becca and Eric grow into the people they were meant to be. When they see each other again, old pain mixes with familiar desire, and both Becca and Eric are so genuinely likeable that you want to see them make things work. Falling into bed and into old patterns is easy, but what I absolutely loved about this story is that they both are fully aware that love isn’t always enough to make a relationship. Ms. Cleeton kept me guessing as to how they’d make things work. And you really want to see Becca and Eric get their happily ever after. As a couple they are hot, sweet, and their chemistry is off-the-charts fantastic. I hated it whenever I had to put Into the Blue down because they both grabbed my heart and I wanted to see them beat the odds.

As with Fly with Me, there is no fake drama in Into the Blue, but rather realistic challenges a couple will face. Becca wants stability, roots, and a family; her past has made that a soul-deep need. As an F-16 pilot with a specific set of skills, Eric really can’t see himself doing anything else, and his life doesn’t offer what Becca wants. Neither is being selfish in their choices or desires, and it’s heartbreaking to watch their internal struggles because there is no easy answer for them. Ms. Cleeton’s knowledge of the military, of the risks, rewards, and hardship of day-to-day life sets the Wild Aces series apart from other romances. Falling for a fighter pilot isn’t all admiring a hot man in a flight suit, but Ms. Cleeton had me avidly turning the pages of Into the Blue because the hard work is worth it when it’s a love like Eric and Becca’s.

Into the Blue is the second book in the phenomenal Wild Aces series, and it can be read as a standalone if you don’t mind reading significant spoilers from Fly with Me. I loved seeing Eric’s fellow F-16 pilots again and the only downside to this story is that I finished it dying to get my hands on the Easy’s book, On Broken Wings. The fighter pilots of Ms. Cleeton’s Wild Aces are strong, sexy-as-sin heroes and the women who love them are equally strong, dynamite heroines. It’s impossible not to fall in love with Becca and Eric and I cannot wait to re-read their romance!

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: witandsin.blogspot.com/2016/07/review-into-blue-by-chanel-cleeton.html
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review 2016-06-29 18:36
Into the Blue (Wild Aces #2) by Chanel Cleeton
Into the Blue: A Wild Aces Romance - Chanel Cleeton

From the author of Fly with Me and the Capital Confessions Novels comes the newest in the sexy Wild Aces Romance series.

Eric Jansen—call sign Thor—loves nothing more than pushing his F-16 to the limit. Returning home to South Carolina after a tragic loss, he hopes to fix the mistake he made long ago, when he chose the Air Force over his fiancée.

Becca Madison isn’t quick to welcome Thor back. She can’t forget how he shattered her heart. But Thor won’t give up once he’s set his sights on what he wants—and he wants Becca.

Thor shows Becca that he’s no longer the impulsive boy he used to be, and Becca finds herself irresistibly drawn to him. But will Thor be able to walk away from his dream of flying the F-16 for their love or does his heart belong to the sky?





My Review:

Although I've gotten a little tired of military romances recently Into the Blue didn't have that main focus. We got more of the relationship home environment which I liked and in addition to that I'm a sucker for those reunion stories. There were a couple things I didn't quite agree with however I actually support the fact that their relationship ended when and how it did and why it did because it felt like both our h/h needed time to mature. Both Thor and Becca needed time to pursue their lives and their desires/dreams and the selfishness of expecting the other to sacrifice that is something that stands in the childish realm to me. It takes a real adult to handle and understand the needs of both wanting a family and the needs of someone who wants to be in the military. Despite the fact that I felt the ending solution and the past could have been handled a little differently I was happy with how Thor and Becca were brought to and meshed together.





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Krissys Bookshelf Reviews received a print copy in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts, comments and ratings are my own.

Received a print copy in exchange for an honest review from Berkley Publishing.

If any of Krissys Bookshelf Reviews has been helpful please stop by to like or let me know what you think! Thank you!


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