What Should Be Wild by Julia Fine

What Should Be Wild

In this darkly funny, striking debut, a highly unusual young woman must venture into the woods at the edge of her home to remove a curse that has plagued the women in her family for millennia—an utterly original novel with all the mesmerizing power of The Tiger’s Wife, The Snow Child, and Swamplandia!Cursed. Maisie Cothay has never known the feel of human flesh: born with the power to kill or resurrect at her slightest touch, she has spent he...

Details What Should Be Wild

TitleWhat Should Be Wild
Release DateMay 8th, 2018
GenreFantasy, Fiction, Magical Realism, Adult, Adult Fiction

Reviews What Should Be Wild

  • Hannah Greendale
    They grew me inside of my mother, which was unusual, because she was dead. There's a lot to love about Fine's debut novel, a book that blends magical realism with lore. The opening chapters are among its most dazzling: a child with a peculiar, dare I say it magical talent; a foreboding, two-hundred year old house; and a tangled wood with a secret that spans generations. Unfortunately, the narrative is weakened by the introduction of a secondary c...
  • Julia
    Maybe I'm slightly biased, but I'm a fan.
  • S
    "darkly funny"? I must have missed that.This story had some interesting ideas, but in the end it just did not hold together enough for me.I found it hard to follow the jumping around of character's lives, and the overall setting as far as time, was confusing...She lived in a castle near a village, basically, but in current day...England? It wasn't clear. There were a few parts that shined! But not enough logic for the story to flow smoothly, and ...
  • Melania 🍒
    3,55/5It took me longer than it should to realize why I don’t like this more. I mean ,we have some interesting magical elements going on, the characters were well built, quirky (so many times I felt that I was reading a Wes Anderson script) but still pretty good , we have some dark, messed up stuff happening, there weren’t problematic aspects . And 80% in (after reading this for a whole month) I realized why: the author never gets directly to...
  • MaryBeth's Bookshelf
    I think Julia Fine's debut novel What Should Be Wild is a fresh new voice for the literary community. The story was a bit confusing in the beginning but everything became clear at the end. Such an inventive, distinct, unique new story. i received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review and I am very excited to tell you that I loved this book.This is a "coming of age" story about Maisie Cothay, who comes from a long line of ...
  • Nicole Beaudry
    What Should Be Wild is the book I've been waiting for, maybe since I was a little girl. What Should Be Wild is a promise, a warning, a breath of fresh air, frankly. Julia Fine, in her debut (!!!), deftly draws on fairy tales, seeks out their darkest roots, to craft a feminist story that carefully, almost cautiously, explores the ways in which women have been subjugated time and time again, but she seeks out the chinks of light, the ways in which ...
  • Jess
    Ohhhhhh dear. This is such a shame.I was so enthralled by the first fifty pages of this book, and really thought I'd be in for a deliciously dark treat. Julia Fine's prose is stunning, and she's not afraid to get WEIRD with her writing, which I really appreciate. She immediately strikes the perfect mood, delivers such a wonderful setup, introduces such interesting concepts, aaaaaand then...it just completely nosedives in its execution. This burst...
  • Amy
    What Should Be Wild had me hooked from the start, carefully layering in the mysterious elements of a fantastical world and its fascinating characters. Julie Fine's narrative pacing is brilliant, painting a vivid, satisfying picture that draws you into her world while leaving enough questions to keep the momentum of the story. The twisty, darkly beautiful atmosphere of the book reflects the inner lives of it's characters as the plot unfolds carefu...
  • Jennie Melamed
    A dark, imaginative fairy tale that kept me enthralled! Very highly recommended.
  • Jerrie (redwritinghood)
    The concept for this book was really interesting, but I felt the author didn’t do enough with it. Maisie can kill or reanimate with a touch due to a very old family curse. The story builds on dark fairy tales and feminist themes, but it is hard to connect with the characters.
  • Marialyce
    3.5 dark fantasy starsYou can follow my reviews here on my blog https://yayareadslotsofbooks.wordpres... Maisie has the power of life or death. She is a young girl grown to adulthood without being able to be touched or to touch others for her touch brings both death and life. She is hidden away with her father, Peter, an anthropologist, who tries to investigate the woods that surround their home and bring with it a hidden curse.The women in Mais...
  • Laurie
    Little Maisie Cothay was born from her mother’s dead body. Right away (thankfully) her father discovered that the touch of her bare skin would kill- or resurrect. It could even happen repeatedly- she killed her father several times before reaching toddlerhood. She could even resurrect the long dead, which necessitated coating all the bare wood floors and trims in the house she grew up in with several coats of varnish, and making sure she only w...
  • Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)
    3.5 Stars.What a delicious and dark fairy tale/magical realism/fantasy - I'm unsure how to actually categorize this one! Very unique and probably won't be for every reader because of how different it is. The main storyline is Maisie, her unique ability to bring things to life or to kill them with her very touch, and her quest to find her father, Peter, when he disappears - seemingly to go looking for her.And then we get my favorite parts - the da...
  • Elie
    Since the Time Traveler's Wife is one of my favorite books I was excited to read anything Audrey Niffenegger strongly endorsed. Overall, really a wonderful read.The basic premise is that a girl, Maisie, is born with the ability/curse to kill or being back to life anything she touches. The book made me reconsider my perspective on physicality in a new way. After her dad disappears, Maisie is forced to leave her safe hideaway. During her exploratio...
  • Janelle • She Reads with Cats
    Thank you so much Harper Books for my free copy of WHAT SHOULD BE WILD by Julia Fine - all opinions are my own.This is a dark, unique, and creative debut that combines the style of an age old fairy tale with modern nuances. Maisie Cothay is sixteen years old and leads a cursed life. She has the rare ability to resurrect the dead and kill any living thing. She’s had to live her entire life without touching a single soul. Growing up, her only com...
  • Abigail
    What Should Be Wild is a darkly enchanting story about a young woman who kills or resurrects everything she touches. It takes the essence of so much contemporary anxiety around childhood, gender, sexuality, and the natural world and pours it into timeless, haunting characters, distilling and exposing the conversations I have with my closest friends about what it means to be repressed, free, obedient, alienated, loved, or truly *wild.* The novel l...
  • Jennifer
    What Should Be Wild is an incredibly unique and intriguing story filled with the perfect mix of magic and adventure. This story has a wonderfully dark edge that makes the mythical elements more real. Maisie is written so that you somehow relate to her lonely and isolating upbringing and root for her along the way. The characters she meets in her search for her father increases the mystery of her existence and add to her background. Highly recomme...
  • KC
    Maisie Cothay is a 16 years old who has the power to kill or resurrect another living creature, who has never felt another persons touch or picked a flower. She and her father, an anthropologist widower, live on the edge of a mysterious forest. After her dad vanishes, she sets off to uncover the truth regarding the woods, her father's studies, with the hopes in lifting her curse. What Should Be Wild is a fairy-tale crossed with magical realism fo...
  • tyto
    I received this from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.I was almost hesitant to read this one - a girl who can kill or resurrect with just her touch. I felt like it could go either way - it could be a fantastic or a very trite fairy tale. I'm glad I took a change with this one because it was fantastic. It honestly blew me away and there was so much depths and layers to the story. The writing was great, and the world development was great...
  • Angela Marie
    Cursed. Maisie Cothay has never known the feel of human flesh: born with the power to kill or resurrect at her slightest touch, she has spent her childhood sequestered in her family’s manor at the edge of a mysterious forest. Maisie’s father, an anthropologist who sees her as more experiment than daughter, has warned Maisie not to venture into the wood. Locals talk of men disappearing within, emerging with addled minds and strange stories. Wh...
  • Kim McGee
    All the fairy tales warn children of going into the woods alone. Nothing good ever comes out of it. "What Should Be Wild" has the eerie quality of all those lovely Grimm fairy tales and an off kilter feel to it. A child is born, the mother dies leaving the father to raise her alone in the old secluded family home. He keeps her and her secret hidden so her only companions are her dad and the housekeeper.Her touch can kill and a retouch can bring b...
  • Monika
    This book completely swept me away! It's gently unpredictable, yet all my questions were answered, no stone left unturned. Great tension-building and impeccable pacing from the first to very last page, and an actual, solid ending. This dark, magical fairy tale-like novel is right up there with Aimee Bender-level perfection, but Julia Fine's style is all her own. Love, love, love!
  • Shelley
    What Should Be Wild was a captivating read from beginning to end. As soon as I read the synopsis for this book, my interest was piqued. If I may be perfectly honest, the stunning cover was what first caught my eye. Gorgeous, and so fitting for this dark tale.It’s difficult to imagine a life in which you can’t truly experience touch – such a basic human interaction that we crave from the moment we take our first breath. Maisie Cothay was not...
  • Susan
    Beautifully written and haunting. This story has the feel of one of those old, original fairy tales in that it's dark, twisted and more than a little gruesome. It's incredibly imaginative and I don't think I've ever read anything quite like it. There is quite a bit of animal death and some resurrection and it's fairly graphic so you may want to give this one a pass if you're sensitive to animal suffering. There were more than a few moments that m...
  • Erin Wicks
    this is a rare and enchanting read. the author has a distinct and powerful writing style that immediately pulled me in. the ain character who is cursed is smart and funny and makes such an unusual premise feel not only plausible but real and relatable. i loved the sections that traveled bacl into the lives of maisies female ancestors too. they are imaginative and atmospheric and really chilling. its a book thats chock full of feminist characters ...
  • Serena
    Dark, and imaginative. A story of one girl, the latest in a long line of powerful and cursed women, looking to find her own place in a world that she cannot touch. A beautiful fairy tale, the magic in this story doesn't distract from the very real, very relatable coming of age story at its heart.
  • Dana
    Wow. Dark and secretive and twisty and surprising. This book wouldn’t let go of me once I started it. A force of a book.
  • Wendi Gu
    This book will haunt your dreams and fill you up. Incredible pacing, beautiful prose, and uniquely cinematic. I really can't stop thinking about it! I couldn't put it down!
  • Tina Panik
    Imaginative and haunting. Fans of of Haig's How to Stop Time and Albert's Hazelwood will thoroughly enjoy this title. This was an ARC
  • Sami
    Delightfully creepy and beautifully written. A cursed girl discovers the forest that has stolen female members of her family for generations.