The Wicker King
The Wicker King is a psychological young adult thriller that follows two friends struggling as one spirals into madness.When August learns that his best friend, Jack, shows signs of degenerative hallucinatory disorder, he is determined to help Jack cope. Jack’s vivid and long-term visions take the form of an elaborate fantasy world layered over our own—a world ruled by the Wicker King. As Jack leads them on a quest to fulfill a dark prophecy in this alternate world, even August begins to question what is real or not. August and Jack struggle to keep afloat as they teeter between fantasy and their own emotions. In the end, each must choose his own truth.

The Wicker King Details

TitleThe Wicker King
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseOct 31st, 2017
PublisherImprint
ISBN-139781250101549
Rating
GenreContemporary, Young Adult, Mystery

The Wicker King Review

  • destiny ☠ howling libraries
    January 1, 1970
    "All virtues not granted at birth are taught to you by life, one way or another."✘ PLOTWhen Jack begins to show signs of a hallucinatory disorder, his best friend, August, is determined to carry him through the illness. Even when Jack comes to August, telling him they must go on a quest in this hallucinated world. The quest is a dangerous one, but August can't leave his best friend - after all, Jack is his Wicker King.✘ WRITINGHoly hell, was this book confusing at times. The wording is fine, but "All virtues not granted at birth are taught to you by life, one way or another."✘ PLOTWhen Jack begins to show signs of a hallucinatory disorder, his best friend, August, is determined to carry him through the illness. Even when Jack comes to August, telling him they must go on a quest in this hallucinated world. The quest is a dangerous one, but August can't leave his best friend - after all, Jack is his Wicker King.✘ WRITINGHoly hell, was this book confusing at times. The wording is fine, but I found the chapters very difficult to keep track of. Each "chapter" is just 1-2 pages, and the passage of time is bizarre. Some pages spanned a few minutes, while others spanned days.✘ AUGUSTAugust is our primary MC, and he's a likable enough kid, but I never felt like I really learned that much about him. There's just no emotional connection to him at all.I did appreciate his undying love for Jack, but it was also hard to watch how he handled those feelings. He let Jack get away with murder, and then when things got too tough, he just coped with his feelings through denial and sex with various girls that he admitted he cared nothing about.✘ JACKI found Jack to be a tremendously more fleshed-out character than August, and I wish that we could have seen things from just his perspective sometimes.I appreciated the fact that he knew the things he was seeing weren't there. I think a lot of fictional portrayals of schizoaffective disorder (which is what Jack is assumed to have in the book) showcase a Hollywood ideal of being hopelessly out of touch with the real world and having no idea that these things are hallucinations, but that's not the case for many people with hallucinatory disorders. It brought a realistic touch to the story for me, every time he mentioned trying to separate what he knew was real from what his mind was showing him.✘ THE BIG ENDING (no spoilers)In the beginning of the book, we learn that the boys have committed arson and have been arrested; the rest of the story is just the events that lead up to the moment of arrest, and then what happened after their sentencing was carried out. I won't give away the ending, but I will say that it pissed me off, and I found myself skimming through the pages past that point because I just wanted the book to end at that point.✘ QUEER REP?This book was originally advertised to me as an LGBTQ+ story, and you guys know me - I'm a sucker for a good queer story, especially when the characters are bisexual! Unfortunately, that "rep" was all but invisible. There are implications here and there, but 90% of the story is just hardcore queer-baiting, and I've no longer got any patience for that.✘ FINAL VERDICTGiven that this was literally one of my most anticipated releases for the second half of 2017, I am so sad to say that I just wish I could get back the 2 hours I spent reading this book. I spent most of that time disappointed, confused, or downright irritated, and I can't say I would hurry to recommend this book. If the author decides to write more books in the future, I don't think I'll be picking them up.Thank you to K. Ancrum, personally, for this ARC. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.You can also find this review (and more) on my blog!
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  • Joshua Gabriel (Ever Bookish Josh)
    January 1, 1970
    My written interview with the author can be found here.Thank you, Macmillan, for sending me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.codependencynoun co·de·pen·den·cy \ˌkō-di-ˈpen-dən(t)-sē\: a psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition (such as an addiction to alcohol or heroin); broadly : dependence on the needs of or control by anotherAugust and Jack were such messed up character My written interview with the author can be found here.Thank you, Macmillan, for sending me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.codependencynoun co·de·pen·den·cy \ˌkō-di-ˈpen-dən(t)-sē\: a psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition (such as an addiction to alcohol or heroin); broadly : dependence on the needs of or control by anotherAugust and Jack were such messed up characters. I didn't expect this novel to be so weird. Still, I must say that it was very intriguing. It's been a long time since I finished a book in three sittings. Overall, three words can be used to perfectly describe The Wicker King: queer, dark, and spellbinding.QueerWhen I picked up this novel, I immediately noticed its strange features. The titles of each chapter were seemingly random, the pages gradually became darker as the story progressed, and morose character portraits appeared every now and then. Thankfully, my fondness for literary theory/criticism enabled me to understand and appreciate the beauty of such organized chaos. For example, I realized that the gradual darkening of the pages was a clever metaphor for the characters' journey into insanity. I don't want to spoil anyone further, so I highly suggest that you Google "Modernism" or "stream of consciousness" before you start reading.As an afterthought, The Wicker King is also queer in that one could question the sexuality of the protagonists. August and Jack's relationship was predominantly platonic, but I could tell that there was something more between them. Whatever they had definitely blurred the distinction between bromance and actual romance.DarkGleaning upon the definition of codependency supplied above, The Wicker King was a shocking exploration of one of the most controversial topics in YA/NA literature: abusive relationships. I was initially very supportive of August and Jack's bromance, so I was utterly surprised when things took a dark turn. Because of a nearly tragic event in their childhood, August firmly believed that he belonged to Jack. August was a "soldier," and Jack was his "king". In other words, August was willing to do everything that Jack commanded. Jack, who suffered from vivid hallucinations, obviously had to be hospitalized. However, little did I know that August also had mental issues to deal with. I was rendered speechless by the crazy, unhealthy, and illegal things they did just to fulfill a what-the-heck prophecy. SpellbindingEven though this book clearly wasn't written to evoke positive emotions, it was hard to put down. If I didn't have to go to work, I could've finished it in a few hours. I loved how most of the chapters consisted of only one page because it made the plot incredibly fast-paced. Plus, I was constantly intrigued by the mental health aspect of the book. Until now, the nerdy side of me wants to learn more about codependency. I would like to thank the author for giving me an enlightening reading experience.The VerdictI enjoyed The Wicker King because it's the most unique book I've read this year. Still, I can't confidently say that I loved everything about it. I cared for August and Jack, but their story probably deserves a different ending. (That is always up for debate.) ;)
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  • Jessi ♡
    January 1, 1970
    When Jack starts having hallucinations, his best and closest friend August vows to help him navigate through them and keep it between them. But the lines between whats a game or not real and what is, begin to get blurry even for August. how can i tell u that i could not stop reading from the very first sentence? that it's been a while since i've read a book that captured my attention like this? i needed to know, i had to know, so i had to keep reading, the story takes a hold of u, it really do When Jack starts having hallucinations, his best and closest friend August vows to help him navigate through them and keep it between them. But the lines between whats a game or not real and what is, begin to get blurry even for August. how can i tell u that i could not stop reading from the very first sentence? that it's been a while since i've read a book that captured my attention like this? i needed to know, i had to know, so i had to keep reading, the story takes a hold of u, it really does. the writing is superb, funny, realistic and enticing. the characters are easy to connect to, i liked them from the very first swear word, and god... they're so well developed. i don't wanna say much, i'll probably update this with more as the release date comes closer, just....add this to ur TBR... really... u don't wanna miss out.
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  • ⚔ Silvia ⚓ (semi-hiatus)
    January 1, 1970
    "psychological young adult thriller that follows two friends struggling as one spirals into madness" sounds pretty awesome if you ask me. Bonus points for bi rep!
  • Chelsea
    January 1, 1970
    you guys.....this book.......reminded me so much of my merlin/arthur feelings ;;a king and his lionheart....boys who would throw themselves into the pits of hell for each other......I gotta go cry goodbyeActual review to (maybe) come closer to release dateARC was provided by the author
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  • Adri
    January 1, 1970
    The Wicker king centers around August and his best friend, Jack. This book reeled me in quick; I couldn’t put it down and I blew through it in a few sittings. It’s written in such a poetic and unique way. Even the formatting is incredibly unique. The chapters are very short and there are few pictures and illustrations in between. The two boys you see on the cover? Yeah, you’ll see more of them. I felt like these little snippets made the characters all the more real, almost too real…I immediately The Wicker king centers around August and his best friend, Jack. This book reeled me in quick; I couldn’t put it down and I blew through it in a few sittings. It’s written in such a poetic and unique way. Even the formatting is incredibly unique. The chapters are very short and there are few pictures and illustrations in between. The two boys you see on the cover? Yeah, you’ll see more of them. I felt like these little snippets made the characters all the more real, almost too real…I immediately fell for these characters. August…even thinking about him makes me want to wrap him up in a warm blanket.He has to fend for himself, taking care of his mom and selling drugs for money. He is loyal to the people he loves to a fault. Jack is infinitely less responsible. He comes from a well-off family but his parents are almost never home so August is the one who takes care of him, cooking for him, keeping him company on Christmas and basically being there for him in every way.These two have known each other from a very young age and they have a sweet-but-kinda-weird-and-toxic relationship. It’s hard to even describe, you’d have to read it to understand. It’s almost obsessive and too-dependent but then they’d do or say something to each other and it’s the cutest thing ever. Although, it’s not mentioned on page, I believe both main characters are bisexual.When August finds out that Jack has degenerative hallucinatory disorder his immediate reaction is to try and get help, but Jack insists that they must go on a quest in this alternate world and August, being the loyal friend he is, agrees. Jack leads them deeper and deeper into the elaborate fantasy world only he can see and soon, they’re both unsure as to what’s real and what’s fantasy. Things spiral down fast and their relationship strains as they both try to figure out the connection between them. August already has too much to carry and Jack’s worsening condition leaves him unraveled. The growing tension and confusion is even alluded to by the color of the pages; they get darker and darker as you go till they become all-black near the conclusion.Although I enjoyed this book, I found myself confused a few times and the ending kind of disappointed me a bit. I really wanted more from the ending. I want more of August and Jack in general. I can’t vouch for the quality of representation of bisexuality and degenerative hallucinatory disorder so I’m interested in hearing from others. This is a very unique book and quite an odd one as well, but I couldn’t stop thinking about it after I put it down. I look forward to seeing more from this author.
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  • Callie (lovelybookishbelle)
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you, Macmillan, for sending me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.This was my most anticipated release for fall and I was beyond excited to receive an ARC. I immediately started it and once I started I couldn't stop. The only thing that prevented me from actually finishing it in one siting was having to go to work, and as soon as I was home again I devoured the second half. First off, this book was unlike anything I have ever read. It was magical and intriguing and dark a Thank you, Macmillan, for sending me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.This was my most anticipated release for fall and I was beyond excited to receive an ARC. I immediately started it and once I started I couldn't stop. The only thing that prevented me from actually finishing it in one siting was having to go to work, and as soon as I was home again I devoured the second half. First off, this book was unlike anything I have ever read. It was magical and intriguing and dark and strange. The main characters had some serious issues, and their relationship was often unhealthy, but in spite of all that I couldn't help but root for them.I loved August. I loved his devotion and loyalty to Jack even if at times it was misguided. He did the things he did out of a fierce love for his friend, and even when there was no one to protect him, and their world was spiraling out of control, he never stopped trying to protect Jack.And then there was Jack. For anyone that has read Nora Sakavic's All for the Game series, there were moments when Jack's controlling demeanor reminded me of Andrew Minyard (whom I love). And his rapidly unraveling mental health and grasp on reality was both interesting and terrifying. I was constantly worried about what would happen and sometimes it felt like you were falling into his mad world of kings and magic and monstrous creatures. Also, the writing in this was beautiful. It was simple, and elegant and straightforward, all of which I love. I'm going to share my favorite quote, and it may be mildly spoilery, so feel free to skip it if you want, but it's beautiful so you should probably read it. "Jack curled around him, pressing their foreheads together in sorrow. They breathed the same air. So close but not touching. Never touching. Through the haze, August wondered if Jack could taste the remnants of stardust he'd brought back with him from the edge of death." I don't know if that is just my slightly obsessive love of stars, but I reread that part at least ten times because it's beautiful and I love it so much.Lastly, I LOVED the format of this book! I don't know about you, but short chapters give me life, and this book was the epitome of short chapters. I don't think any chapter was over three pages long, and most of them consisted of only a page. So basically, it was heaven. And interspersed throughout the whole book were pictures and sketches which I adored. I can't wait until my pre-order arrives so I can actually see all the ones I missed in the ARC!
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  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    You have to be prepared, this is not an easy or happy book. It's unsettling, uneasy, and beautifully written. You want Jack and August to be together and you simultaneously want them as far apart from each other as they can possibly be.
  • Brittany (The Book Addict's Guide/Novelly Yours)
    January 1, 1970
    Initial Impressions 6/30/17: This is another book that's so unique that it's hard to rate! I didn't fall tooootally head over heels with it but at the same time, I absolutely could not tear myself away for so many reasons. Let's discuss: 1. The book gets DARKER as it goes on. No, literally. The pages start out normal and then doodles get added along the edges, gathering until the middle is a shade of gray when the book is closed, and as things get darker in the book, the actual pages turn to bla Initial Impressions 6/30/17: This is another book that's so unique that it's hard to rate! I didn't fall tooootally head over heels with it but at the same time, I absolutely could not tear myself away for so many reasons. Let's discuss: 1. The book gets DARKER as it goes on. No, literally. The pages start out normal and then doodles get added along the edges, gathering until the middle is a shade of gray when the book is closed, and as things get darker in the book, the actual pages turn to black. It's a VERY cool effect that's immediately eye-catching and makes you want to tear through to the end and see why it's so dark. Gimmick to get you to pick it up? Maybe. Did it work? Abso-freakin-lutely. This book doesn't come out until October (it's June, almost July right now) and I threw my TBR aside to read it. 2. The pacing is intense! Each page is only a page or two long, maybe three at the most, so you finish one and say "just one more" and before you know it, you've inhaled the whole book. If I hadn't been reading this on my lunch hour at work, I probably would have read it in a single day. 3. The obsessive nature of the characters. August and Jack are very obsessive and co-dependent (not like, judging them here, that's truly a point that's made in the book). Naturally, this nature only intensifies throughout the book resulting in destructive actions on many levels. The obsessiveness throughout the book really pushes that constant urgency and makes it so you can't put the book down. I loved the writing of this story in so many ways and K. Ancrum brilliantly structured this book to keep the reader hooked. I ended up not quite loving the end of the book but I'm not totally sure why. I think it was just all of these things leading up to something B I G and there was a big thing that happened in the end but I guess I also wanted something a little bit ... more. Couldn't tell you what it is but something felt like it was missing! This book will definitely be one that readers just tear through and I'm interested to hear everyone's else's reviews! I think it's going to be a big buzz book this fall.
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  • Melanie Thompson
    January 1, 1970
    August and Jack have a complex relationship. Unhealthy, really. Jack hallucinates, August is co-dependent, and neither one is ready to face reality. As Jack' hallucinations grow worse, August assists him in exploring his visions and together they embark on a quest which results in a terrible fire. The story is beautifully written and is hard to put down. The madness and the relationships of the boys are compelling and psychologically rich.
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  • rin (lorenzo)
    January 1, 1970
    so, from the author's site: Whats it about?Its contemporary magical-realism, deals with mental health issues, codependency/parental abandonment. The two main characters are Bi, and it covers questioning orientation, etc. idk watch two boys fall in love slowly and neither of them die ok. idk but sign me tf up
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  • alissa™
    January 1, 1970
    I found out about this exactly one minute ago and I'M SO READY TO READ THIS OH MY GOD!!!the cover!!! the blurb!!! bi rep!!!SIGN ME TF UP!!!!
  • Lane Brown
    January 1, 1970
    Plot SummaryThe story of two damaged teen boys who love and support each other. If by love and support you mean become entangled in a quest to save an fantasy land which might only be a sign of their impending madness. It's sweet, in an "oh god no what are you doing stop it with the fire" kind of way. CharactersAugust and Jack are so lovable. On the surface, they're both a couple of foul-mouthed, troublemaking assholes, but the deeper you get the more you see the kind, caring natures beneath. An Plot SummaryThe story of two damaged teen boys who love and support each other. If by love and support you mean become entangled in a quest to save an fantasy land which might only be a sign of their impending madness. It's sweet, in an "oh god no what are you doing stop it with the fire" kind of way. CharactersAugust and Jack are so lovable. On the surface, they're both a couple of foul-mouthed, troublemaking assholes, but the deeper you get the more you see the kind, caring natures beneath. And not the fake kind of jerks with a heart of gold either. All too often I'm informed that I'm going to get jerks with a heart of gold, but I actually get jerks who are mildly less mean to the narrator, and then act like they deserve a cookie for it. Jack and August aren't like that. They are both, at times, intentionally off-putting in ways that make sense for the defense mechanisms they've developed, and the wounds they have received. They also make terrible decisions that make sense for the level of mental and emotional maturity they have reached. They also try very, very hard to help those around them, as well as each other, albeit sometimes in the most misguided of ways. It's impossible not to care intensely for them. Tone: What’s it Like to Read This Book?I wanna say punked up Hitchcock.Not the spiky haired kind of punk, but the attitude that lies underneath. The adolescent cynicism that half wants to rock the world and smash the system and half wants to be proven wrong about how broken they think everything already is.And Hitchcock in the sense of deep, raw dread that has nothing to do with bombs or bullets, and everything to do with being being made aware of the fragility of the human mind, and then given just enough information on how this could all go terribly wrong.Not to mention the incredibly wry sense of humor that both styles have in common. It's a great read. Other Shiny StuffBisexual representation!The format is cool as hell. Each chapter is short but unnumbered. They have short titles, and sometimes the connection between the title and the chapter text can be a bit of a puzzle (but when you get it, a whole new level of cool is added). Mixed in are police reports, news stories, notes from the characters, and even mix CDs, all adding levels of insight into what's going on. Then there's the evolving art on the pages themselves... they start out as plain paper, but gradually acquire smudges, margin doodles and burn marks. Sometimes the entire page is black with white text. It's intriguing and atmospheric and looks absolutely stunning.I was impressed by the level of research into mental health and relationships. It's a big topic, and the author went into some areas that I'm unfamiliar with, but in every place where this book and my experience overlapped, she was dead on.I also felt, as a person with mental health issues, that the issues that were used for suspense weren't glamorized. I love psychological horror, but I have read all too many where the authors made the pain of mental illness or abuse something romantic to endure. Here, I actually felt the most romantic bits were the fragments of normal teen life, which was a welcome change. Content WarningsParental neglect, scenes of drowning and burning, hallucinations. Altogether, nothing too graphic, so unless you have specific traumas associated with those things, you'll probably be fine. If you love suspense but not gore, this is the book for you.
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  • Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    The writing is certainly compelling. Each section has a heading and each chapter lasted anywhere between one and three pages, making it a quick and easily digestible read. The images also added to the story and I look forward to seeing the additions and edits that were not in my ARC copy. I was driven to finish the book in order to find out what happens to the characters, but I suppose I expected more from the ending than I got. It left me wanting resolution for the relationship between August a The writing is certainly compelling. Each section has a heading and each chapter lasted anywhere between one and three pages, making it a quick and easily digestible read. The images also added to the story and I look forward to seeing the additions and edits that were not in my ARC copy. I was driven to finish the book in order to find out what happens to the characters, but I suppose I expected more from the ending than I got. It left me wanting resolution for the relationship between August and Jack and the state of their mental health. Their relationship is complex and twisted. Their reliance on one another for survival in the void of parental care started as endearing and quickly and in a state of August's self-awareness became unhealthy for both of them. Aesthetically, the book itself is gorgeous, unlike any other I've seen as it darkens from white to black in an ombré, mirroring the growing darkness in the mental states of the main characters. The side characters like Rina, Alex, and the twins were compelling. I even liked Dr. Cho and wanted to know more about her. But this was August's story and the end of the book left it incomplete. As for representation, mental illness was certainly on display, but I'm not sure how accurately it was portrayed. As for bi-representation, there was more implication than action. As a whole, I liked the book, but the unresolved ending and the discomfort I felt in reading about the twisted relationship and how they were left alone to their own devices didn't sit well with me. Mental health is such an important issue, but neither of the main characters cared to seek help until it was too late, even when it was accessible. This book left me with a lot to think about but I look forward to its release and discussing it with other readers.
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  • Morrisa
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you so much to those at Imprint for approving me for a copy of The Wicker King. I was really looking forwards to this one and I absolutely loved it! This story is about two best friends: August and Jack, where Jack starts seeing an alternate reality, and August has to help him through it. It’s a really interesting story about friendship and love and I truly had a fun time reading – it only took me one day to get through it all. What I thought was really cool about this book was all the il Thank you so much to those at Imprint for approving me for a copy of The Wicker King. I was really looking forwards to this one and I absolutely loved it! This story is about two best friends: August and Jack, where Jack starts seeing an alternate reality, and August has to help him through it. It’s a really interesting story about friendship and love and I truly had a fun time reading – it only took me one day to get through it all. What I thought was really cool about this book was all the illustrations, and the fact that the pages got darker and darker as Jack’s mental state continued to go deeper and deeper into this alternate reality he was seeing. This book was devastatingly good. Like, this book hurt to read but it was so so interesting. I was completely attached to August and Jack’s characters, as well as their complicated relationship. Both boys are also bisexual (the author stated Jack is bisexual & August figures it out through the course of the novel). I adored their relationship, especially August’s dedication to Jack and trying to help him, thinking by going along with this alternate world, Jack would be his self again. The end was bittersweet as well when everything came to a resolution and the boys got to be together. This book had many many friendships, and it was refreshing to see all of them relatively positive, with people helping each other out and showing support for each other. Having more healthy friendships in YA books is a trend I’m starting to see and I am totally here for it. Bring each other up instead of tear them down.The Wicker King wasn’t what I was expecting it was – in a good way. I thought it was going to be similar to an Alice and Wonderland type story (and in a way it was), where there’s this world alongside our own. I won’t necessarily spoil, but there is a reason at the end that explains why Jack sees what he sees. The whole tone of this book felt very dark and sad, and the changing coloring pages added to the whole vibe. It was a story, a mystery I wanted to get to the bottom of, since I was emotionally invested from the start. It also has a lot of images of the boys – Polaroids, hand written notes, case files, etc that make the story feel more real.K. Ancrum’s debut novel is no doubt one of my favorite novels of 2017. I am getting so so bad at reviews and explaining why I loved the book. But the writing, the voices of the characters, the tone, everything summed up made this an intriguing tale of two boys love and friendship that I won’t forget.It comes out on Oct 31, 2017 – halloween, which is a perfect time to read this dark story. Pick it up when it comes out and thank you again to Imprint publishing for the chance to read and review early!
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  • Shelumiel Delos Santos
    January 1, 1970
    The book does an incredible and incredibly moving job of examining the friendship/bond between two teenage boys in this dark, muted, and at times weird narrative. And it totally works. It more than works; it's heartachingly good. Plus, there's this cast of friends around them that don't get enough screentime (pagetime?) but almost always end up doing something that makes me want to bawl every single effing time. Full review to follow!
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  • anna
    January 1, 1970
    2.5 tbh. it's 2017. i don't have a lot of patience for queerbaity erotic male friendships and outdated dramatization of mental illness, and when i do, it's gotta be........ a lot better written than this.
  • Kristi
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this book. I can't wait for it come out in print so I can make other people read it. It was heartbreaking and fantastical. The story, chunked up into small pieces the way that it was took me a moment to get used to, but once I did, it worked beautifully for the story. I loved the relationships and the eccentricities of all the characters. I loved the acceptance of Jack and August's friends and how they functioned around this dysfunctional relationship. I will definitely look into more of I loved this book. I can't wait for it come out in print so I can make other people read it. It was heartbreaking and fantastical. The story, chunked up into small pieces the way that it was took me a moment to get used to, but once I did, it worked beautifully for the story. I loved the relationships and the eccentricities of all the characters. I loved the acceptance of Jack and August's friends and how they functioned around this dysfunctional relationship. I will definitely look into more of this author's things and I'm excited to see what happens with the blog (thewickerking.tumblr.com) on 10/31. I will absolutely be following along.
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  • Genevieve Taylor
    January 1, 1970
    I read the entire book in an afternoon because I couldn't put it down. Within fifty pages I was obsessed. A beautiful, heartrending story about love, loyalty, codependency, and madness. It's a story about two teenage boys on the border of another world, a world which may not even exist, and the lengths to which they will go for each other and for the world. Intense and compulsively readable. Highest recommendations.
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  • TJ Burns
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy of this book from McMillan Children's Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
  • Ariel
    January 1, 1970
    I just finished this (maybe 10 minutes ago) and I'm still just blown away. This book was amazing; the media aspects only enhanced the story and I can't wait to get the finished copy so I can view the missing art pieces that didn't make it in the arc. The slow decline in Jack's mental state (and August's as well which wasn't what I was expecting but made this story even better) was done so well I couldn't even believe how we got from brief hallucinations to full scale trauma.This quickly became o I just finished this (maybe 10 minutes ago) and I'm still just blown away. This book was amazing; the media aspects only enhanced the story and I can't wait to get the finished copy so I can view the missing art pieces that didn't make it in the arc. The slow decline in Jack's mental state (and August's as well which wasn't what I was expecting but made this story even better) was done so well I couldn't even believe how we got from brief hallucinations to full scale trauma.This quickly became one of my all time favorite books, and I can't wait for the official release!
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  • Faith
    January 1, 1970
    I'm so confused. Maybe I'm not getting the book like I was supposed to...? Review to come closer to release date.
  • Christina (christinareads_)
    January 1, 1970
    Review also on Christina Reads and BlogsRating: 3.5The Wicker King takes a unique look into degenerative hallucinatory disorder by placing us in the mind of the individual's best friend. We aren't able to see what Jack sees, but we can see how it affects August. This is an incredibly dark book with flawed characters.August is best friends with Jack, who experiences hallucinations. Due to a near death experience August had where he was saved by Jack, he believes that he belongs to his friend and Review also on Christina Reads and BlogsRating: 3.5The Wicker King takes a unique look into degenerative hallucinatory disorder by placing us in the mind of the individual's best friend. We aren't able to see what Jack sees, but we can see how it affects August. This is an incredibly dark book with flawed characters.August is best friends with Jack, who experiences hallucinations. Due to a near death experience August had where he was saved by Jack, he believes that he belongs to his friend and should do anything for him. He has his own mental issues that make it impossible for him to distance himself from Jack's hallucinations. The relationship between the two is tough. It is definitely abusive and sometimes you just want to go in and shake the characters. But as the "Wicker King" in his fantasy world, Jack needs August as his knight to fight his battles.I wish the author elaborated more on the sexuality of the characters, and their relationship with each other. You definitely need to read between the lines to understand August and Jack.It didn't take me long to finish the book. The chapters were short, maybe a page or two for the most part. I enjoyed the writing; not everything is written, like the character's feelings or the physical progression of the story, so you have to interpret a bit. I did like the side characters; they were developed and contributed to the plot. I do wish they appeared more in the story, though.I liked the images included between some chapters. They offered an outsider's view on what was taking place in the book, like a newspaper article or some photographs of August. There was a recurring image that I didn't understand. This may have been because I was reading an e-arc and the images aren't finalized in those. There was an image of a note that said "Do you like like me? Yes or No." And it would appear kind of randomly in the book. After finishing the book, I understand the meaning of the note and how it appeared in the story. I just didn't understand why the exact same image would show up so often. Again, this may be something that isn't finalized and could appear differently in the published book.The ending was confusing. I didn't think anything was really resolved and August's codependency on Jack didn't lessen. It was kind of sad to be on this journey with the two of them and not feel like they grew in a positive way, after everything. I guess I felt like August did at the end. I connected with August in the beginning, because I had a friend like Jack. I think that's why I felt disappointed with the ending. I wanted more for him.I did like this book and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a dark YA book concerning hallucinatory disorders. However, I had some questions that I couldn't really put away or I didn't find an answer for. Also, the ending really made me feel unsettled. Be on the lookout when The Wicker King is released!************************ARC provided via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Renee
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed this one! Not my favorite, but a very quick read and easy enough to get through. Honestly I only read it a couple days ago and I'm already forgetting stuff about it. I do really like the cover, and it was interesting enough to keep me reading. I didn't actually care for any of the characters, but they are very flawed and realistic. I personally like short chapters, and I had no trouble with the writing whatsoever. I can't remember whether I picked up this book with the expectation of s I enjoyed this one! Not my favorite, but a very quick read and easy enough to get through. Honestly I only read it a couple days ago and I'm already forgetting stuff about it. I do really like the cover, and it was interesting enough to keep me reading. I didn't actually care for any of the characters, but they are very flawed and realistic. I personally like short chapters, and I had no trouble with the writing whatsoever. I can't remember whether I picked up this book with the expectation of some LGBT+ rep, but either way it was advertised that way I believe and it was barely there. Would have been better without it I hate to say. Overall, though, it was quick, easy, and overall pretty fun. I will pick up any other books this author publishes.
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  • Kate
    January 1, 1970
    This was a really interesting look at codependency and when it crosses the line from friendship to obsession. The design concept is awesome—I kind of want to get an "official" hardcover copy to see what some of the missing pictures turn out to be. The Wicker King is a solid book, but definitely for a very specific audience. More TK.
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  • Sara
    January 1, 1970
    It gets 3 stars for its uniqueness, but this book was SUPER weird and a little confusing at times. The ending felt a little lacking. I wanted a little more resolution. Jack and August's relationship is so bizarre and insane that I didn't know how to feel. Sad for them? Annoyed? Creeped out? It made me want to keep reading, but I wanted a little more character development.
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