"Sweet, innocent Coco has always been the good one. But when she catches her boyfriend cheating on her, she decides it's time to break bad.
Coco swiftly goes from spending all her time baking and reading to working nights in (and dancing on) a bar, falling in and out of love (and lust), stealing education - and along the way discovers that she is stronger than she ever knew… In a time when her best friends are suddenly plunged into break ups, break-downs, big breaks, and on the verging of quitting New York City altogether, it's up to Coco to keep them together and find herself along the way.
Gemma Burgess' The Wild One: A Brooklyn Girls Novel is the inspiring story about the turmoil, uncertainty, and heartache that every twenty something faces and survives - with the help of her friends."
Reading this is like a religious experience. Of course, my own church probably won't approve of this because of the almost explicit (but still in YA-territory) displays/descriptions of sex, the large amount of profanity, and the presence of lots of alcohol. But oh, my gosh. This book came at the right moment and right time in my life, and it... Well, I need to break it down to explain it.
Let's start with the world building. It's set in New York City, which is a place I have never visited before. It's set in our times, and it's easy enough to pick up. You don't need to know the ways of NYC to understand this book, although in some parts, the roads of NYC is mentioned and explained.
Coco is a very sweet character who will resonate with any person who is questioning themselves and wondering about their own future. (And yes, I'm most certainly lost and confused like Coco, and I have no idea what I want to do in the future. Probably finance, but who knows? But I'll probably end up as a human disaster.) It's so easy to empathize with her, and she, like everyone else, makes mistakes and chooses the wrong choice. But she always swings back, and even though she doesn't know exactly what she'll do in the future, her very character just sits very well with me and absolutely soothes me.
The romance is a big part of the story, and it's a wonderful one that captivates me completely (when Coco's own character and internal monologue isn't holding my attention). I do indeed want Joe and Coco to be together, and they are adorable! It's basically watching two love-sick people who say one thing but mean something completely different. And the message remains this: Lack of communication kills. (Not literally, of course.)
Coco's character arc drives the plot, and she remains as the center of the spotlight throughout the entire book. With progressive progress, she learns and learns and learns, and that is important. The plot goes along smoothly, and it doesn't stop until the sudden ending.
Speaking of the ending, it absolutely ends on a flat note. I totally want more from the story yet it just... Pft. Fizzles out. I wouldn't mind the ending to be drawn out a little more and explored; what's there so far leaves a lot of room for editing.
In conclusion, The Wild One is a story that begs to be read. It's one where any teenager searching for a purpose can understand, and it's definitely for those who are still looking and trying to understand what they want to have and, more importantly, who they want to be.
Rating: Four out of Five