Book Review: Wild by Cheryl Strayed

January 10, 2023

"It had begun to occur to me that perhaps it was okay that I hadn't spent my days on the trail pondering the sorrows of my life, but perhaps by being forced to focus on my physical suffering some of my emotional suffering would fade away."

Wild by Lisa Strayed

I keep a few things in mind when I read and review a book. Firstly, does the author thoroughly explain the setting and characters? Are the characters thought-out and understood? Can I visualize the character? Do I understand their background, likes/dislikes, and what pain point they face?


Next, what type of language and dialogue does the author use? Are the words placed into simple sentences that anyone could write, or are they well-thought-out and poetic? Does the author have the timeline flow seamlessly, are we thrown around like a tree in a tornado, or are we dragged through the monotony of the story?


And lastly, I have the utmost respect for writers of every kind because I know how much time, tears, and money go into writing and publishing books; so for this reason, I take my reviews very seriously and try to give the author the benefit of the doubt.


With this said, let’s talk about Wild by Cheryl Strayed.

Title: Wild

Author: Cheryl Strayed

Publisher: Vintage Books
Intended Audience: Adult

Genre: Fiction, Thriller, Suspense

Mood: Nonfiction, Autobiography, Travel

Pages: 315

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. 

Wild Story Summary

When Cheryl Strayed was twenty-two, her world was turned upside down after her mother passed away. With her marriage failing and her family spread throughout the United States, Cheryl was lost and found comfort in all the wrong places.


Four years after her mother’s death, she made a rash decision to hike the Pacific Crest Trail with nothing else to lose. With no training or experience, she walked more than a thousand miles from the Mojave Desert in California to the Columbia River between Oregon and Washington.

Wild Review

I’m being as kind as possible when I say I do not recommend this book. I’m genuinely thankful I only paid $3 for it at a thrift store and not full price.


The author, Cheryl, is a victim of her own wrong-doings due to the emotional trauma she endured after her mother’s death. Maybe it is the type of relationship I have with my own mother, or the fact that I can’t wrap my mind around a grown woman becoming so emotionally distraught over a family member’s death that she becomes adulterous against her husband and a heroine junkie, but it happened to Cheryl and she lives to tell about it!


After destroying her marriage and alienating herself from those around her, she decided to go untrained and inexperienced on a 1,100-mile hike, alone. Let me say that again. UNTRAINED and INEXPERIENCED! Friends, let me please give you a piece of advice — no matter how difficult things in your life get, please don’t plan to hike the Pacific Crest Trail without thorough education. She is very lucky she ran into the people she did along the way, or her story could have ended very differently.


Not only is the storyline absurd, but her writing is painful. Cheryl had an incredible opportunity to bring the setting to life by explaining her stunning surroundings, but instead, she simply seemed to walk us through the daily activities of a hiker, while reminiscing on her past here and there.


On a positive note, witnessing the shift in her mindset was refreshing as she pushed both her mind and body to their limits.


I’m truly glad I am finished with this book. Back to Goodwill it goes.


Wild Final Thoughts

Don’t. Just don’t.


I’m a margarita-mixing, kitten-rescuing, plant-hoarding, pumpkin-spice-everything-obsessed, homeschooling book lover. You can pretty much always find me in my favorite chair, under my cozy knit blanket, with a good book.


2023 Reading Challenge

2023 Reading Challenge
Amity has read 46 books toward their goal of 100 books.



⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – Great! Will Review.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – Very Good. Will Review.

⭐️⭐️⭐️ – Good. May not review.

⭐️⭐️ – Okay. May not review.

⭐️ – Did not finish (DNF). Will not review.

LATEST ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️'S


Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow
The Last Thing He Told Me
The Plight Before Christmas
Same Time Next Summer
The Good Daughter
A Place Called Home
The Sinner
The Friendly Persuasion
Picture Perfect Autumn
The Spectacular
Pretty Girls
Look Closer
Reminders of Him
The Maid
Omen of Ice
M Is for Mama: A Rebellion Against Mediocre Motherhood
Lady Tan's Circle of Women
A Pessimist's Guide to Love
Carrie Soto Is Back
Twisted Love