Jamey Bradbury’s debut novel, The Wild Inside, is a coming-of-age story that highlights the many issues young adults have as they try to find their way in the world.
Bradbury showcases many things that I know little or nothing about – teenage girls, Alaskan outback, dog racing and the Iditarod. But, despite my ignorance on these subjects, Bradbury makes the story engaging and thrilling. She sucks the reader in with the heroine’s (Tracy) actions. She captures the confusion that I am sure many teenagers feel about their lives and those around them.
Bradbury skillfully weaves Tracy’s teenage angst amidst a psychological thriller – who attacked Tracy and what he wants. The psychological thriller element adds a dark and brooding undertone throughout the book – even in the more lighthearted moments.
Bradbury does well developing the characters. Tracy and Jesse are two complex characters that have many sides to their personalities. The pain and loss that Tracy and her dad and brother suffer when their mom and wife dies unexpectedly is real and feels true. They do not know how to deal with her loss and what their new roles are in the family.
The novel includes several turns in the plot, especially one big one at the end.