The Beloved Wild by Melissa Ostrom: Review & Giveaway

The Beloved Wild by Melissa Ostrom: Review & Giveaway The Beloved Wild by Melissa Ostrom
Published by Feiwel & Friends on March 27th 2018
Pages: 320
Format:ARC
Source:Copy provided by publisher for review
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Pride and Prejudice meets Cold Mountain in this debut YA American epic/adventure.

Harriet Winter is the eldest daughter in a farming family in New Hampshire, 1807. Her neighbor is Daniel Long, who runs his family's farm on his own after the death of his parents. Harriet's mother sees Daniel as a good match, but Harriet isn't so sure she wants someone else to choose her path—in love and in life.

When her brother decides to strike out for the Genesee Valley in Western New York, Harriet decides to go with him—disguised as a boy. Their journey includes sickness, uninvited guests, and difficult emotional terrain as Harriet comes of age, realizes what she wants, and accepts who she's loved all along.

First, I have no idea why I thought that this was a fantasy, but spoiler alert, it isn’t. Oops? This is what happens when I don’t read blurbs, but that is okay! I actually liked it better this way, so it’s a win. Anyway. I found this to be an enjoyable and quick book! Most of my thoughts are positive, and as always, we’ll start with those.

The Good:

  • There’s an enormous focus on family in this book. I love that the family relationships are complicated. Some of the relationships are super close and loving, and some frankly aren’t, which seems incredibly realistic.
  • I really enjoyed Harriet as a main character. She has tons of strengths, but also tons of flaws. I especially loved that she was willing to accept her flaws, acknowledged when she was wrong, and tried to do better. She was also not okay with the time period’s nonsense way of treating women, which… I feel you, girl. It’s still nonsense, but in Harriet’s day… well, obviously it was an even hotter mess. And she wasn’t here for it.
  • There was adventure and pioneer trips! I love a trek through the wilderness, especially in pre-automotive eras. It’s all so… daunting and perilous! And in Harriet’s case, clearly this is all new to her.
  • Even though I did have a minor qualm with the relationship (see below) it really was super cute. I liked that the love interest liked Harriet for who she was, and not some ideal of who he wanted her to be. 

    “Oh, no. That’s just it. He loves you because of your nature.” She sighed. “Rare thing, that.”

  • Speaking of relationships, there were some fabulous friendships that formed along the way. I became really invested in all the characters, even the more minor ones. And they added a lot of humor and fun to the story.
  • Loved the historical and rural setting! If you’ve ever been in the Batavia, New York area… well, I was having fun imagining it as more rural back in the day.

The Not As Good:

  • The plot did feel a bit predictable at times. Which wasn’t terrible even, in this case, since I was mostly here for the history and relationships anyway!
  • I don’t really understand what made Harriet start liking Daniel after wanting to be rid of him. I didn’t really buy it, she was just apathetic until she wasn’t, but… Idk, didn’t feel super authentic. However, I did like it a lot after I got over that bit!

Bottom Line: I definitely enjoyed this historical fiction novel with an incredibly heartwarming cast of characters, and a lot of love shared among them!


I um, have no idea what format this is going to be? No one told me and I forgot to ask, and since this goes up on a Sunday.. well, I’ll get back to you. But US Only, I assume. Sorry, international friends! Ends April 9, 2018. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Do you enjoy historical fiction? Have any to recommend? 

Posted March 25, 2018 by Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight in Blog Tour, Giveaway, Review / 13 Comments


13 responses to “The Beloved Wild by Melissa Ostrom: Review & Giveaway

  1. Ooh, I’ve had my eye on this for a while! Happy to see a positive review for it. 🙂 I love historical settings and great friendships, so I’m really looking forward to reading this! Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

  2. Beautiful cover! Love that huge moon in the background. In fact I would probably think it’s a fantasy from that cover. 🙂 Glad it was good though regardless! The family relationships sound great, and I love reading about colonial times or whatever when everything was less developed, and so much of the land was wilderness. It IS fascinating!

  3. This is the first time I’ve heard of this book, but I LOVE the sound of the non-romantic relationships. <3 I do like cute romances, but weird enemies-to-lovers transitions always make me feel super iffy. Lovely review, Shannon!

  4. I am so far behind in life that I had never heard of this book. Wow. I am going to hide underground in shame. Funnily enough, I like the idea of wanting to get rid of a persistent character in a book. It feels like something I would experience. Not so fun for this Daniel character. I don’t know if perhaps there was a series of moments that changed Harriet’s mind hidden in there. I tend to be really irritated by sudden shifts in feelings even though I am sure this happens to people in real life. I do like the cover, I admit.

  5. I had never heard of this book before so thank you for introducing it to me! I’m a little wary because of the synopsis. It mentioned Pride and Prejudice and well, I couldn’t stand that classic xD But then again, I do love my historical fiction and it sounds alright from the points you mentioned in your review… Maybe one I need to look into a little bit more.

    My recent post: http://oliviascatastrophe.com/2018/03/top-10-best-book-to-film-adaptions/

  6. I had my eye on this one. I have a soft spot for pioneer women (it’s all that Little House I read and watched in my youth). Your pros outweigh your cons by a wide margin as far as I’m concerned, and a cute romance is something I will always want to read. Great review.

  7. Pioneer trips are so much fun! I love stories set in the wilderness, where you have to scavenge for food, keep fires going, etc. Some days I wish that I could live a simpler, self-sufficient life.

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