Book review · contemporary · Young adult

Review: The Wicker King by K. Ancrum

33158541The Wicker King is a YA psychological thriller.

Why didn’t anyone tell me this book ended with a m/m/f polyamorous relationship?
I would have read it sooner. I mean, it’s polyamory representation in YA without any gross cheating/misunderstanding plotlines…
I don’t consider it a spoiler any more than it would be a spoiler to say that this book is m/m – because it does focus more on that part of the relationship – or about mental illness, and I don’t understand why no one said it explicitly.
Did everyone miss it?
Also! Kink rep (D/s) in YA!

The Wicker King is a story about teenagers who have been let down by the adults in their lives, who don’t know where to look for help, who only have each other.
It’s a story about an unhealthy friendship that turns into a codependent romance, and it’s a story about mental illness – hallucination and pyromania – written in a way that makes the book feel as if there was a genre-bending aspect. Jack’s illness was handled in a way I had never seen before, but it wasn’t romanticized at all, and Jack and August’s codependency wasn’t either. It just was, and you understand why the characters felt that way, but the book didn’t shy away from showing the impact something like that has on people.

The result is… weird.
It’s a weird story that gives you a very weird feeling while you read it. The short chapters, the atmosphere, the darkening pages – this is a contemporary story, but none of it feels grounded. It doesn’t feel real, even though some of the things the characters go through, like the neglect and codependency, are very real things.
I didn’t know how I felt about this while I was reading it, and in a way I still don’t. The short chapters and the mixed media format made the story go by quickly – it’s also a very short book – but they kind of prevented me from ever truly getting into it.
It was like watching a story unfold through opaque glass.

But I was emotionally invested, so I think I liked this? I don’t know. Rating may change because really, I have no idea how to rate this.

Anyway this is a Rina appreciation corner because she’s awesome but no one ever talks about her.

My rating: ★★★★

2 thoughts on “Review: The Wicker King by K. Ancrum

  1. Haha glad to hear you maybe-liked it! And ahem, I admit I didn’t mention the M/M/F because the whole thing with Rina at the end may have slipped my mind while I was writing the review. *Facepalm*

    And “opaque glass” is the perfect way to describe it. It almost felt…fable-y? Like I was reading a story about a story. Or something. But apparently the F/F sequel will be less dark and weird, so I’m interested to see how that works out!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The more time passes since I read it, the more I think I liked it – I’m more sure that I liked it than I was while I was writing this review. The m/m/f thing really stood out to me because that’s like. the way I want every situation that resembles a love triangle to end, but it was subtler and not as developed as the m/m aspect was.
      It did feel like a story about a story. And I’m really interested in this companion/sequel too! It’s f/f and it’s about space and we will see the three again, I can’t wait.

      Liked by 1 person

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