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The Wicker King
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The Wicker King
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The Wicker King is a psychological young adult thriller that follows two friends struggling as one spirals into madness.Jack once saved August's life...now can August save him?August is a misfit with a...
The Wicker King is a psychological young adult thriller that follows two friends struggling as one spirals into madness.Jack once saved August's life...now can August save him?August is a misfit with a...
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  • The Wicker King is a psychological young adult thriller that follows two friends struggling as one spirals into madness.

    Jack once saved August's life...now can August save him?

    August is a misfit with a pyro streak and Jack is a golden boy on the varsity rugby team—but their intense friendship goes way back. Jack begins to see increasingly vivid hallucinations that take the form of an elaborate fantasy kingdom creeping into the edges of the real world. With their parents' unreliable behavior, August decides to help Jack the way he always has—on his own. He accepts the visions as reality, even when Jack leads them on a quest to fulfill a dark prophecy.

    August and Jack alienate everyone around them as they struggle with their sanity, free falling into the surreal fantasy world that feels made for them. In the end, each one must choose his own truth.

    Written in vivid micro-fiction with a stream-of-consciousness feel and multimedia elements, K. Ancrum's The Wicker King touches on themes of mental health and explores a codependent relationship fraught with tension, madness and love.

    An Imprint Book

    Praise for The Wicker King:

    "An eerie piece of realistic fiction whose characters revel in intense emotions." —Kirkus Reviews

    "An eerie and mesmerizing thriller that questions the space where reality and perception overlap, THE WICKER KING is a spine-tingling read that will have you riveted." —Caleb Roerhrig, author of Last Seen Leaving and White Rabbit

About the Author-

  • K. Ancrum grew up in Chicago Illinois, under the illusory rigor of the Chicago Public School system. She attended Dominican University to study Fashion Merchandizing, but was lured into getting an English degree after spending too many nights experimenting with hard literary criticism and hanging out with unsavory types, like poetry students. Currently, she lives in Andersonville and writes books at work when no one is looking.

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    August 15, 2017
    Love and friendship are severely tested by mental illness tinged with fantasy.August and Jack are the very definition of opposites attracting. Jack, a popular, golden-haired white varsity rugby player, seems to have a perfect life, while August is a poor kid of mixed race who runs drugs in their high school to make extra money. The boys are from opposite ends of the social spectrum, but their connection is deeper than friendship and more intense than the relationships either one has with members of the opposite sex. Their bromance, which enables both teens to survive parental neglect and absence, has a decidedly destructive bent that leads to their breaking into a toy factory together and also tattooing their names on each other. When Jack begins hallucinating, convinced that he sees into a parallel world in need of saving, August decides to believe him, charting a course that tests their friendship and their sanity. Ancrum's first novel, set in 2003, is an eerie piece of realistic fiction whose characters revel in intense emotions that will feel very authentic to high school teenagers. Their story is presented in extremely short chapters punctuated by pictorial elements such as arrest reports, snapshots, and maps. As the story proceeds, the pages darken until the final acts play out in white type on black. The fragmented style of the narrative keeps the action moving but undercuts character development, causing details about the main characters to be told to readers rather than shown. A haunting story that bravely explores friendship and mental illness. (Historical fiction. 14-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    October 1, 2017

    Gr 10 Up-An intense and disturbing book that is reluctant reader-friendly flash fiction and packs a punch despite its brevity. August and Jack have been like brothers from the beginning: their mothers are best friends, and the boys were practically raised together. Jack, always the leader with a vivid imagination, brought the willing August into his world of make-believe where Jack was king and August his faithful knight. That relationship has endured into high school, where they rely on each other for the support their dysfunctional families can't provide. When Jack begins seeing images from an alternate reality intruding on his everyday life, August knows that his friend needs help. But August believes he owes Jack, who once saved him from drowning, and thinks this could be the opportunity to repay that life debt. Jack is adamant that, to escape his visions, he must complete a quest, but his last task depends on August's help. August is once again drawn into Jack's fantasy world, risking his life to do his friend's bidding. At first, their final blazing act of glory appears a success-but Jack's visions fail to vanish, and both of them are separated and imprisoned in a psychiatric hospital where August's mental stability may be more in question than Jack's. Like Libba Bray's Going Bovine, Ancrum delves into the blurry space between reality and madness. Short chapters are interspersed with artwork, photos, and scanned images. VERDICT A haunting and provocative read that will keep teens riveted. A strong choice for most YA shelves.-Cary Frostick, formerly at Mary Riley Styles Public Library, Falls Church, VA

    Copyright 2017 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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