Praise for What Should Be Wild


“Delightful and darkly magical. Julia Fine has written a beautiful modern myth, a coming-of-age story for a girl with a worrisome power over life and death. I loved it.”  —Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler’s Wife and Her Fearful Symmetry

What Should Be Wild is a Gothic stunner for the 21st century—provocative, luxuriant, unsettling. Prepare to be mesmerized.” —Leni Zumas, author of Red Clocks

"Fine's stellar debut is a mystical combination of curiosity, curses and inventive and fascinating modern coming-of-age fairy tale." — Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

“The Brothers Grimm gave us the fairy tales; many years later Tanith Lee gave us “Tales From the Sisters Grimmer.” In this astonishing debut, Ms. Fine bids fair to be the Sister Grimmest.” — Tom Shippey, The Wall Street Journal

"What Should Be Wild...marks the arrival of a formidable new talent." — The San Francisco Chronicle

"Imaginative and haunting." —Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

"A debut novel spins a fairy tale about the power and terror of female desire... everything from the setting to the elegantly formal prose seems lifted from a 19th-century fairy tale…The poise and skill with which the story unfolds is an undeniable pleasure." —Kirkus

"What Should Be Wild pulsates with originality, curiosity, terror, and pleasure." —Bustle

"A modern fairy tale from the perspective of a damsel in distress who doesn’t always realize she’s in distress...a barely restrained, careful musing on female desire, loneliness and hereditary inheritances." —The Washington Post

What Should Be Wild is a grim, beautiful book that you won’t be able to put down. It’s a thrilling fairytale that will give you the chills, will make you wonder what’s really hidden in the forest. Julia Fine writes with enormous imagination, and her first novel is a feast.” —Annie Hartnett, author of Rabbit Cake

"Gorgeous and exhilarating."  Chicago Review of Books, The Best Books of 2018 So Far

“Without hyperbole, it’s one of the best debut novels I’ve ever read.” —Adam Morgan, Chicago Magazine

“A captivating tale that explores the fears, desires and mysteries of growing up through the clouded lens of a dark fantasy. Fine begins with elements we all recognize—a girl with strange powers, a dark old house, a mysterious forest that could be waiting just beyond our doorstep—and delightfully warps them until a new tale emerges.” —BookPage

“Julia Fine’s bewitching debut is a crackling contemporary fairytale that explores the cost of being extraordinary in a world that asks women to suppress their strength. Fine possesses an astonishing talent as a storyteller. I couldn’t stop reading until every last secret of the forest had been revealed.” —Sara Flannery Murphy, author of The Possessions

“Fine uses a familiar fairy tale framework to illuminate the fear and oppression of female power…. This framework, the open-hearted, first-person narration from Maisie, and just plain good storytelling make the layered exploration accessible and engaging…. [A] lovely debut.” — Romantic Times

"Julia Fine's elegant prose and quick-paced storytelling cause the pages to fly by, and you'll still be reliving each moment to trace what was real for quite some time to come." —PopSugar

"A towering, powerful tale of womanhood, frustration, coming of age and deep love...a near-perfect experience, genuinely spellbinding, and well worth seeking out." —All About Romance, Desert Isle Keeper

"Libraries will find this realistic fantasy novel hard to keep on their shelves."—School Library Journal

“Julia Fine is an exciting, excellent writer. And her voice, in What Should Be Wild, says, unspoken, what we all want so badly to hear when we pick up a new book: Let me tell you a story... one you won’t want to end.” —Josh Malerman, author of Bird Box and Black Mad Wheel

"A smart, dark fiction read with a magical twist." —HelloGiggles

"The novel reads like a fairy tale or epic myth, full of darkness, sensuality, unexpected moments of humor, and a heroine unlike any other you’ve ever read. Debut author Julia Fine has created something of a masterpiece." —BookTrib

“A first-time novelist of exceptional imagination… Fine offers a provocative fairy tale about womanhood under siege and one young woman’s fierce resistance… with convincing intensity and a charming mix of wit, gruesomeness, magic, and romance in the spellbinding mode of Alice Hoffman.”  —Booklist

"Enchanting, menacing and darkly humorous." —Family Circle

 "A wonderful addition to that genre of lyrical, poetic fantasies, akin to fairy tales in their delicacy and adjacency to the real world." —Refinery29

"This book is a little creepy, a little sprawling, but it’s also impossible to put down until you’ve seen it through. It’s not up to us. The wood just claims us for its own and the story must, must, must be read. Luckily, that reading is a distinct pleasure." —BookRiot

"What Should Be Wild is a dark, glorious fairy tale and a grand adventure. Blending magical realism and riveting storytelling, Ms. Fine knows how to cast a spell over her readers. I was captivated by this book from the first page, and its characters are firmly imprinted on my heart." —Jennie Melamed, author of Gather the Daughters