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You are valedictorian.

You are the first-chair trumpet player.

You have a full-ride scholarship.

Miriam Seavers is in love with you.

Lance Hendricks knows who he is. He repeats these mantras to himself over and over. They have always helped, but never as much as they do when he becomes stranded in a small and quirky town on his way back from a college audition.

Soon he is ordering drinks at the local bar, jumping trains, and becoming close with an older girl who seems to understand him better than any of his lifelong friends. But as the days pass with no good news about his '93 Buick on the horizon, Lance begins to realize that becoming lost in this town has helped him to find out who he really is. But when his past and present intertwine in an explosive manner, Lance must make a decision: Go back to the life he always knew, or take a chance on a new beginning.

Told with remarkable prose and spectacular insight, WILDMAN explores what it means to find your own way, find your own tribe, and find out who you are.

"There are not many negative things I can say about WILDMAN, other than that I wanted it to be longer. It was well-written, often times hilarious, and just plain fun to read."

From the very beginning of WILDMAN by first-time author and full-time actual wildman J.C. Geiger, I knew this novel was going to be, well, one for the books. The writing style was hilarious and a bit off-kilter, which I enjoyed. Quickly, I found myself slipping into this story like a I would a comfortable old sweatshirt. The writing and characters were warm, enjoyable, hilarious, quirky, and so so relatable. Surprisingly, I found myself relating the most to Lance. His feelings of false certainty of the future and then doubt of his decisions perfectly mirror how I am feeling going into my senior year. Hopefully, I will handle these problems without having to jump onto a moving train.

In addition to Lance, I very much enjoyed Stone's character. In the book, he was the big ol' oaf who was constantly made fun of by his friends, but he was also the kindest and most complex character. He had dreams for how he wanted the rest of his life to play out, but when the time came to put himself or another character on the line, he sacrificed his dreams and stepped up. This was so admirable and made Stone one of my favorite characters.

Tthere are not many negative things I can say about WILDMAN, other than that I wanted it to be longer. It was well-written, often times hilarious, and just plain fun to read. Reading the book, I felt taken on the same journey as Lance and understood him more and more as the story progressed. I became very attached to him and the other characters, so by the end, I cried just because I knew there was no more story left. I know, I'm a big softie.

After reading WILDMAN, I am now more ready for the world and less scared that I don't know what I want to do. This book has taught me that even the people who seem like they know what they want still might not really know. This book has also taught me to take some risks and have maybe just a bit more fun. So if you need one reason to read WILDMAN that I haven't already given, here it is: it might just teach you how to live.

Perfect for fans of BIG FISH or anyone looking for the perfect summer adventure book.

Reviewed by Bryn D., Teen Board Member on July 12, 2017

by J.C. Geiger