If you're new to #COLLABOREADS, welcome! 

Every month, Kristin from Taz + Belly and I host this fun little book-loving link-up, and we're so happy you've stopped by!

Here's how this works: We pick a theme every month, you pick a book that fits (we all read different books! it's fun that way!) and then all link up and share our thoughts (with a handy-dandy R.E.A.D.S. acronym usually--see below!) and link up and become BFFs. You can read more about this whole thing here.

If you're looking for an easy way to be reminded of when #COLLABOREADS is coming up, just sign up for our mailing list and we'll shoot you a reminder when it's time to get those posts ready!

This month's theme was: A One Word Title

I chose: Wildwood by Colin Meloy (Head over to Kristin's site to see what she chose, too!)

You can grab this book HERE (affiliate links are here and throughout this post!).


What part of the book could you NOT get enough of?  First of all-- the illustrations. I could not stop staring and swooning! The cover is BEAUTIFUL and the full-page color illustrations throughout are just as much so, and there are dozens of other little pieces of art scattered throughout this one... I loved every one. (And honestly kept thinking how I could totally see that style making amazing tattoos...) 

This story is really so similar to the Narnia stories (Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe, especially) which at times felt a little too familiar and not original enough, but overall, made it a fun and enjoyable read. I kept thinking how fun this one would be to read with a kiddo (it's definitely geared toward the middle-grade crowd!) but I still enjoyed it as an adult. 

Here's a plot description:

In Wildwood, Prue and her friend Curtis uncover a secret world in the midst of violent upheaval—a world full of warring creatures, peaceable mystics, and powerful figures with the darkest intentions. And what begins as a rescue mission becomes something much greater as the two friends find themselves entwined in a struggle for the very freedom of this wilderness. A wilderness the locals call Wildwood.

Wildwood captivates readers with the wonder and thrill of a secret world within the landscape of a modern city. It feels at once firmly steeped in the classics of children’s literature and completely fresh at the same time. The story is told from multiple points of view, and the book features more than eighty illustrations, including six full-color plates, making this an absolutely gorgeous object.
— from Amazon

See? Similar to Narnia. But fun in that it's set in modern day Portland area, and that there are two parallel storylines going on (Prue and Curtis) and a lot more tension/battles with a lot fewer spiritual undertones and imagery. It's a little darker than Narnia, with more war/violence, but it's not gory or scary or too intense for kids in the 8+ age range.


How did you relate to/care for the characters? What's your thought on the plot line and twists and turns? I enjoyed how this one played out -- there's a lot of back and forth between Prue and Curtis and their paralleling storylines, and there's quite a lot of action and a lot of emotion, too. I loved Prue as a main character, and found her to be believable and charming. Curtis, not so much, but he grew on me. He's truly such an Edmund, with choosing sides with the evil witch character and getting sidetracked by promises of power and treats and the like. The other characters in Wildwood (although mostly animals) are still likable and believable, too, and I loved the crossovers between humans and animals in their characteristics and attire and even their loyalty or lack thereof. 

I felt the ending was a little anticlimactic, but also stayed true to other similar stories (like The Wizard of Oz or Narnia) and made sense.


What other books are like this one? If none, did it remind you of a particular TV or movie with it's themes and characters? Does it serendipitous-ly line-up with things going on in your life or the news right now? It's Narnia-ish, all the way. I still would choose Narnia every time, though. What can I say, C.S. Lewis is just my man. And I love Aslan dearly. There are also some strong Wizard of Oz kinds of vibes/storylines going on here.


You know you judged this book by the cover. What did you think of it? How did it relate to the contents of the novel? And the font and layout of the pages? This gets every single star in the whole galaxy from me. I wish I could live in this illustrated world-- it's beautiful and so captivating and charming.


How many out of five do you give this book? Would you recommend this book to a friend? This one got a strong 4/5 stars from me! Highly recommend it, especially for parents with kiddos who are looking for a good adventure story with strong female AND male characters.

I'm so excited there are two more books in this series-- I can't wait to get my hands on them ASAP! (ps-- the box set of the trilogy is only $22! that's awesome.)




November's theme is "A Vintage Book (25+ years old)". Find any book that feels like summer to you, read it this month, blog your thoughts (you can use our R.E.A.D.S acronym or whatever style you want!) and link up at the end of the month!

Kristin from Taz + Belly and I are so excited to have you joining us, and we can't wait to see this fun little link-up grow this year!

We'll link up next on NOVEMBER 28!

In the meantime...

We would love to know what would encourage you (or others!) to participate in this little linkup! We want to see it grow but aren't sure how to get more readers involved! Leave us your feedback in the comments-- we're all ears! :)