4 out of 4 stars
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In Wild World, written by Peter S. Rush, Steve Logan and his friends watch the news coverage of the killing of students at Kent State University. Protests are breaking out on college campuses around the country as military units stand poised to stop the violence. The older generation does not understand them, but they are determined to express their ideas about the war in Vietnam. Steve attends a meeting about reforming law enforcement and makes a decision to join the Providence Police Department. This decision surprises his friends, especially his girlfriend, Roxy, who is outspoken about her feelings on police brutality. What Steve finds as an insider in the police department rocks his relationships and tests his courage. He is left with decisive choices that could cost him everything.
The book has several underlying and poignant themes, and this is what drives the plot. I appreciate that the book is not dominated by a political agenda; people of all beliefs will enjoy the story. I did not feel compelled to adopt or reject the beliefs of any character. Most people have heard or read about the ideas of those who opposed the war in Vietnam. Many may or may not agree with them. These ideas were presented well in the story, with each character’s perspective described through dialogue and the setting. I can say that through some of these characters, I learned a thing or two about people living during this time that I had never before considered.
Without question, the best part of this book is the dynamic plot. The pacing and energy of the story were consistent throughout, and there were many plot twists and events that surprised me. I also found it to be refreshingly realistic and this was shown through the reflections and insights of the protagonist. Youthful mistakes are made. Reactions have consequences. Experiences shape perceptions. The flaws in the young characters brought a sense of realism that added depth and relevance to the plot. The book’s editing is commendable, as there were very few errors. For its engaging plot, its characterization, and its superb editing, I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars.
There was nothing I disliked about the book. There is a considerable amount of profanity and some descriptive sexual scenes, but this seems to reflect the youthful characters, the era, and the tone of the book.
I recommend this book to readers who enjoy thought-provoking novels with a compelling plot. Those who enjoy reliving historical events will also enjoy the book. I would not recommend this book for children, as the profanity, violence, and sexual descriptions described above are not appropriate for this audience. Overall, I enjoyed the historical backdrop and reading about the social effects of decisions made by those in authority.
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