**PLEASE NOTE: THIS REVIEW WILL MOST LIKELY CONTAIN SOME SPOILERS. I’VE BEEN TRYING MY HARDEST TO KEEP IT SPOILER FREE, BUT WITH IT BEING A REVIEW OF A TRILOGY IT’S QUITE DIFFICULT TO REVIEW IT WITHOUT GIVING SOME THINGS AWAY!**
Not too long ago, I wrote a review of Louise Pentland’s non-fiction book MumLife. I actually read the first book of her fiction trilogy ‘Wilde Like Me’ a year ago.. It has taken me a year to read 3 books. I never know with book series whether to read them one after the other, or to space it out. On this occasion I spread them out, but I think in the future I’m going to read them consecutively! (I am saying this now, but I have just started the A Song of Ice and Fire series, and the books are FAT.. so I will probably spread them out a little bit for my own sanity.) I’ve never written a review of a trilogy, mainly because this is the first trilogy I’ve ever read, so I apologise now if this ends up being a hefty blog post.
Book #1 – Wilde Like Me:
I read Wilde Like Me so long ago that I can’t really remember much from it, so I’m writing this review based solely on my Instagram book review of it (which was one of the first reviews I ever wrote).
Wilde Like Me is about a single mum called Robin Wilde and her six year old daughter Lyla. Lyla is such a great little character and is one of my favourite people in the whole series – she gets so much better (and funnier) as she grows up. The book explores a year in Robin’s life as a single parent with all the highs and lows she encounters on the way. One thing I can remember from the first book is that I felt like it resonated a lot with Louise’s life; having a child, getting divorced, being a single mum, not having her own mum there for support (in the book Robin’s mum is alive, but just doesn’t want much to do with her daughter) etc etc. I did actually really struggle with this as I was reading the book in Louise’s voice. In the first book, I also found Robin to be quite whiny and annoying (constantly wallowing in self-pity) and I wasn’t overly keen on her as a character. I found the other characters in the book (Lyla, her Auntie Kath, her best friend Lacey), were much better and more developed characters.
At the time I gave this book a 4 star, but having read the other two books and considering them to be a lot better, I think it’s fair that this book deserves a 3 star rating. This book was one of the first I’d read when I started reading again, so I didn’t have much to compare it to! It was a nice, lighthearted and easy read, but thinking back to it now, there wasn’t much substance to the storyline.
Wilde Like Me: ☆☆☆/5
Book #2 – Wilde About The Girl:
With book 1, I found that it resonated too much with Louise’s life. If you’ve never watched Louise’s Youtube videos, then this wouldn’t be an issue, as you wouldn’t know anything about Louise, but as someone who’s watched her videos for years, I could tell straight away that it was quite vaguely based on her own life and experiences. I enjoyed the book nonetheless, but it certainly wasn’t my favourite. In book 2, Robin really starts to become a character of her own. I wouldn’t be lying when I say I ADORED this book. It was genuinely one of my favourite books of the year so far and I actually cried when I finished it because I wanted it to carry on (I mean, it did… into book 3… but I didn’t want it to all come to an end so soon, so I left it a few months!). I can’t remember whether it was at the end of book one or the start of book two, but Robin starts to dip her toes into the world of dating and it’s all quite unsuccessful. She works as a makeup artist with her boss Natalie. In the first book I think they are quite freelance and don’t have anywhere to base themselves, but in this book Natalie has created her own company, MADE IT, and they have an office to work in and lots of extra employees. One of the brand deals Natalie secures involves her and Robin going to New York for a few days. It is whilst in New York that she meets a man called Edward on a night out. He is English but living over in the States for work. The pair of them have an instant connection. It’s all quite a fairytale honeymoon period for a little while until a fairly unexpected and horrible situation occurs (I’m not saying what but I’m sure you could guess) and this completely tears Robin apart. The situation also really affects Edward too, but he doesn’t show his emotions as much. This book did actually make me sob with happiness, and with sadness. Compared with the first book, there was so much going on, and I just found it a much better book from start to finish. Robin was less whiny and annoying, she became more of her own person rather than a fictional version of Louise, and I appreciated that a lot.
This book I absolutely loved from start to finish. I found it to be such a step-up from book 1 and it gave me all kinds of emotions.
Wilde About The Girl: ☆☆☆☆☆/5
Book #3: Wilde Women:
Like I said above, I didn’t want book 2 to end. I didn’t want to read the third and final book straight away, because I wanted the story to go on for as long as possible. At the start of this book, Robin seems to be really acing life. She’s juggling her job, looking after Lyla, running a new Women’s meeting ‘WWW’ and squeezing in time for Edward. Personally (but maybe because my organisation isn’t the best at times), I thought this was a tad unrealistic, but hey.
The second half of Wilde Women is based in New York. Robin and Natalie have another job out in New York so decide to make a big holiday out of it. Natalie and her husband, Robin, Lyla, Auntie Kath, Lacey and her newborn daughter Willow all head out to the states for a few weeks and rent out a big house. Edward is still living in the states so they meet as much as they can, though their busy schedules make this quite difficult. I enjoyed that a lot of this book was set elsewhere, as it made for more of a storyline. Also.. AUNTIE KATH. I just adore that woman. I want her as my own auntie. I definitely think she’s been one of the best characters throughout the series, along with Lyla. The pair of them definitely made the story a lot more enjoyable. Auntie Kath has her own little secret that is revealed at the end of the third book and it completely melted my heart. I love her. I didn’t like the way her secret was revealed. Lacey told the story, but in first-person from Kath’s perspective? It was a little bit confusing to read and it was quite a long reveal of the secret, as Lacey was telling it to Robin word for word with what Kath told her. I don’t think that bit of story flowed very well, or was particularly easy to read. With Lacey telling it as though she was Kath, it was hard to understand who was actually talking and when.
I did think the story was going to be a proper fairytale ending, which it wasn’t. I’ll be honest, I was really hoping for the fairytale ending and a nice end to the story, which it was (sort of), but it was also left on a cliffhanger. Knowing that that’s the end of the trilogy and how it ended provoked every kind of emotion for me. I was angry that it ended with an unanswered question, but at the same time I sort of sighed to myself and went ‘aww’.
I enjoyed this book a lot more than the first one, but not as much as the second one. I felt that some of it was a bit rushed and underdeveloped and the ending was so far from what I was expecting when I first started the final book.
Wilde Women: ☆☆☆☆/5
One thing I did appreciate about this series is that quite a few ‘taboo’ topics were brought up. Things like struggling to conceive, miscarriages, loneliness, being a single parent and post-natal depression. There are probably a lot more, but these are the ones I could think of off the top of my head. Not all of them were delved into with great detail, but I appreciated how they were brought up. A lot of books tend to portray a character’s life as being perfect, but bringing these topics into it will, I’m sure, make a lot more people to relate to the different characters.
Robin definitely developed into a much better character as the books went on, though I think she went from being a ‘relatable’ mum at the start, to being quite unrealistic towards the end. Auntie Kath and Lyla both got better and better as the stories progressed.
Overall Series Rating: