My bar was set high for The Wildlands because it's by Abby Geni. I absolutely loved The Lightkeepers; it was one of the first I read this year. I gave it 5/5 stars. Although I enjoyed The Wildlands—and give it a 4/5 stars—it didn't do it for me in the same way.
First of all, this book is easy to digest. It's completely opposite of The Female Persuasion—a book I recently read—as far as format. Abby's short chapters made the story fly by for me.
The beginning felt very much like Educated to me—maybe because I just read it, or because of the setting. But that definitely clouded my perception for a bit—they both have the small-town vibe with characters that pull at your heartstrings.
Like The Lightkeepers, the thriller-ness is subtle—the violence isn't in your face. And sometimes I found myself asking, Wait, did that just happen?
It was certainly entertaining, but I think it went deep in the wrong places. The details of the actual crimes went on and on at times, but I didn't get to truly know Cora and Tucker—and Darlene's love for Roy.
It all did seem like something that could truly happen—perhaps because of the way Abby chose to write in first person for Cora and in third for chapters focusing on other characters. Overall, it was an easy, entertaining read, but I know Abby is capable of more :)