Book Review: “Into The Wild”

“Into The Wild” by Sarah Beth Durst

Genre: Middle Grade Fiction, Fantasy, Fairy Tale Re-imagining/Re-telling

GoodreadsSource: Library

Summary from Goodreads:

Twelve-year-old Julie has grown up hearing about the dangerous world of fairy tales, The Wild, from which her mother, Rapunzel, escaped.

Now The Wild wants its characters back. Julie comes home from school to find her mother gone and a deep, dark forest swallowing her hometown. Julie must fight wicked witches, avoid glass slippers and fairy godmothers, fly griffins, and outwit ogres in order to rescue her mom and save her Massachusetts town from becoming a fairy-tale kingdom.


I don’t know what I was expecting when I picked this up but this wasn’t it. Don’t worry… it’s a good thing! I was very pleasantly surprised by all the fairy tale elements in the story. The Wild is the place where fairy tales all exist. Think of it like a fairy tale land. Years ago the characters became self-aware and decided they wanted out of The Wild because  they were tired of living the same story over and over again. They formed a revolt (with Rapunzel leading) and managed to break out of The Wild.

The story had a Percy Jackson-ish feel as far as the stories are real and you need to remember what happens in order to get out. You definitely get a crash course in fairy tales with this book! I’m not too familiar with all the fairy tales but it seems Durst keeps them pretty straight and doesn’t twist them to be what she needs. At least the Rapunzel elements are pretty true to the original fairy tale.

Despite the fairy tale aspects of the story, it really remained a coming of age story for Julie. She’s the typical middle school-er. She’s not quite popular, she’s trying to figure out how she fits in with her peers, she doesn’t quite get along with her mom, she is embarrassed of her mom and her friends. All of that? Completely relatable minus the fairy tale touches. Through her journey to save her friends from The Wild she manages to grow up quite a bit. She finds the strength to do what needs to be done. She finally starts to understand what her mom and mom’s friends went through to get to the real world. She matures to the point where she let go of her heart’s deepest desire (finding her dad) because it’s the best thing for everyone.

The bottom line? It was a lot of fun!

You can check out more fairy tale reviews by clicking the button below:


4 thoughts on “Book Review: “Into The Wild”

  1. I just read a book by Sarah Beth Durst called Ice for Project Fairy Tale. I’m not going to lie – I did not like it! The story was kind of crazy. I will post my review probably next week.

    But I am glad you enjoyed this. The idea seems pretty interesting, I will admit. But I doubt I will rush out and read it just because I didn’t care for Ice.

    • Oh no! That’s a bummer about your book. I know I was a bit interested in picking it up since I had fun with this book. Hope you do decide to read Into The Wild at some point. I’m sure you’d enjoy it!

What are your thoughts? (Comments are moderated. Yours will be up as soon as I read it!)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s