HomeAll postsWildalone by Krassi Zourkova

Wildalone by Krassi Zourkova

A review by Nalini Haynes

ISBN: 9780062328045
ISBN 10: 0062328042
Format: ebook, 384 pages
Imprint: William Morrow (HarperCollins)

TRIGGER WARNING: Date rape, sexual assault

Thea is a Bulgarian woman of 20 who goes to college at Princeton via a scholarship. Just prior to leaving Bulgaria, she investigates a family mystery to learn that her older sister, Elena, died when Thea was 5 years old.

Thea is a music prodigy whose first performance at Princeton attracts a gorgeous young man — whose face she doesn’t see. He leaves her a flower.

At first it appears Thea doesn’t know what happened to her sister. There’s an extended stretch where Thea knows what supposedly happened but withholds this from the reader. This wasn’t the kind of stretch where a scene with high tension is stretched time-wise; this was a stretch as in ‘let’s go cross-country to get to this goal so it takes longer than walking straight down the road’.

The name ‘Wildalone’ comes from samo (alone) diva (wild) according to Thea’s Greek art history professor who pushes her into investigating her sister’s interests and disappearance.

Thea meets her love interest again (seriously? She barely saw him and she’s obsessing about him as a love interest?) but he’s different in a troubling way. He wants all the benefits of being her boyfriend without any commitment, no public displays of affection and no ‘boyfriend’ title.

He has a brother who looks just like him. Oh… she’s with the wrong brother but stays with the wrong one anyway.

Yadda yadda.

Spoilers, Sweetie

Boyfriend who doesn’t want to be a boyfriend expects one-way fidelity.

Thea says she’ll leave him for the other brother but every time she’s with either man she’s in his power and will stay with that man — until the next time he’s absent and she sees the other one. [headdesk]

Thea is a virgin. On two occasions I thought she’d gone sufficiently far that the epithet no longer applied (once with each brother) but apparently not. Not until the wrong brother rapes her. While the right brother watches, turns and walks away.

So now she’s more attracted to the rapist/wrong brother than ever because rape has bound them together. She’s all into the being raped and the sexytimes with her rapist. But the one who allowed her to be raped is still the ‘right’ brother.

Evan, a guy she met once and who behaved badly then, corners Thea outside the toilets and sexually assaults her, threatening to rape her and asking her to be his sexual partner once the brothers are tired of her. The brothers get angry. THEA DEFENDS THE DIPSHIT.

Spoilers end

It took me a couple of weeks of postponing this review and getting behind in all reviews before I forced myself to review Wildalone. Even now, my teeth are on edge, they’re almost itchy, while I type.

In the beginning, Wildalone looked interesting: a cross-cultural story with mythological nexus written by someone who has lived exactly this cross-cultural experience (Bulgaria to the US). Then the first stretch occurred: dangling the promise of more information about the sister. (Did you know donkeys are too smart to fall for the carrot-on-a-stick trick for more than a few minutes? Apparently I’m not as smart as a donkey.) Then the relationship stuff developed; by about 2/3 of the way through, I was really annoyed with the relationships but, by then, I was determined to finish the novel. I did. IT’S PART ONE. I read the first 3 Twilight books then refused to read any more. I am NOT reading any more of this story.

Wildalone. A fantasy romance for people who want a cross between Twilight and 50 Shades of Grey. Admittedly, Wildalone is better written and more intelligent than Twilight; I can’t comment on 50 Shades because I’m not so masochistic as to read it.

One star.

Oh. You expect me to go to the effort of actually putting the stars in? FINE.
Rating: full starEmpty starEmpty starEmpty starEmpty star 1 out of 5 stars

Nalini is an award-winning writer and artist as well as managing editor of Dark Matter Zine.


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