I know I’m about 3 years late to this party, but wow, The Wicker King was such a great story and told in unique way, I read/listened to this all in one day! The (recent) audiobook release is what finally pushed me to read this book and I’m so very glad I did. It was worth the wait.
Title: The Wicker King
Author: K. Ancrum
Genres: Contemporary, LGBTQ+, Mental Health
I listened to this as an audiobook while also reading along with the physical book – and I feel this one is very important to also see the pages of the book.
This is the story of two friends, August and Jack. They do everything together, and essentially care for each other, as neither of their parents are around to take care of them. They don’t fit into the same social circles at school, but growing up together, they’re bonded in a way that makes them inseparable. They’re always willing to do risky things, as long as the other one is there with them.
Jack shows signs of degenerative hallucinatory disorder and while August knows something is wrong with his friend, he also plays along with what Jack sees in his fantasy world. Jack is the King and August is one of his subjects, and he’s happy to play along and do daring things, like setting things on fire or almost drowning August.
This story slowly gets darker as it progresses and the pages literally show that, becoming darker and more blotchy around the edges before they are completely black by the end. It’s a trippy and weird story, but also so unique. Each “chapter” is only a page or two long, showing brief snippets into their daily lives and I love how its told! I think that’s what helped me fly through this book, “just one more chapter” is only 2 pages – so I kept moving forward.
While I listened to the audiobook, I also flipped through the physical book – there are various mix tape CDs, notes, reports, and more throughout this book that are not read in the audiobook and worth seeing for yourself. I love when books have that added element in them.
This story was both exciting as fiction and terribly sad, as Jack and August really are just kids who are neglected by their parents. Kids shouldn’t have to take the world on their shoulders, a parent, teacher, or other adult should be there and that wasn’t the case for either of them. The author does mention this in the note at the end and I really appreciate that.
I’m glad I finally read this story and it isn’t one I’ll soon forget!
I loved the audiobook narrator for this and would recommend it – but as mentioend, I would higly recommend this as a phsyical (or ebook) as well – there are some things you should see and these items are not read in the audiobook.
I ended up listening on 3x speed on Hoopla – there isn’t any options besides defaults 2x, 2.5x, and 3x, so I couldn’t listen on my usual 2.7x speed – but I was okay with 3x!
I would very much recommend this if you’re looking for unique and fast paced read. This was a thrill and I’m still shocked I finished this all in one day! I’m glad this book was finally released as an audiobook, years after original publication – audiobooks make books accessible to so many more people and is what finally pushed me to pick this book up. Yay for audiobooks!