Wrecker is not the kind of story I expected. Although the premise is certainly intriguing, I was still shocked by how immediately and powerfully I was taken into Wood's novel. To be honest the only complaints I have about this book are extremely minor. I wish that Melody's brother, Jack, had been introduced a little more thoroughly earlier Wrecker as he becomes a lot more involved in the last third and when his name was first mentioned it took me a little while to figure out who he was as he had been introduced so briefly. I also wanted to know a little bit more about Ruth's background, as the reader learns how Ruth came to the farm after an attempted suicide, but not very much about the time between meeting her lover, and Ruth's suicide attempt. Those two aspects aside, Wrecker was an incredible, powerful, and nearly flawless novel that I am certain will remain one of my favourites of 2011.
There are so many things I loved about Wrecker, but Wood's incredible writing and unique cast of characters are definitely the standout features. Throughout the novel, Wood often shifts the focus to different characters and for several chapters even returns to Wrecker's mother, Lisa Fay, to let the reader in on what is happening with her. The risk of such a technique is that the reader may never truly get a chance to connect with any of the characters. However, Wood's strong writing, in particular her ability to capture the tiny details meant that in this case, instead of one strong main character and weaker background cast, there is a full set of well-developed, interesting and unique individuals to fill out the story. That said, her strength was certainly with the females in this story as those were the ones I felt the most connection to, especially Melody and Willow.
In addition to the characters, Wrecker takes place in an incredible setting and Wood makes the forest and surrounding area where Wrecker is raised completely come to life. I just loved the story in general, it is so clear to the reader how much these people love Wrecker and as life can be so difficult for foster children it was nice to read a book that showed that even if something is not what you've planned for, good things can still happen. Although there were sad moments, overall Wrecker is a story of joy and it certainly makes the reader think about family and reminds you how important it is. The family Wood introduces the reader to in Wrecker may not be traditional, but that doesn't it any less wonderful. With enchanting writing, an incredible cast of characters and an even more amazing setting, Wrecker is certain to capture your heart.
Release Date: February 15th, 2011
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This review was a part of TLC Book Tours. Click here to read what other tour hosts thought. For the purpose of this review I was provided with a copy of the book which did not require a positive review. The opinions expressed in this post are completely my own.