Outstanding, Young Adult, mental illness, friendship, family, abandonment, fantasy, hallucinations, reality, teenagers
Jack and August are unconventional friends and have been since they were little. In high school, it seems like nothing much will change: they'll each hang out with different friend groups at school, but in the evenings they'll do homework together, eat dinner together, or explore the woods together. Despite the fact that Jack's parents are never home and August's mom is severely depressed, they are happy with their lives. But soon, Jack starts seeing things that August doesn't, things that scare him. August doesn't know what to do, so he figures the best way to deal with Jack's visions are to ask him questions, and seek to understand. As the story gets darker and more twisted, August and Jack find themselves entrenched in a cycle of codependency that doesn't seem to be helping Jack or August. Without the help of trusted adults, they find themselves both in a mental institution, separated from each other. But Jack and August cannot exist as separate people—even if being separated is the healthiest and most logical course of action.
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
"The Wicker King,"
Children's Book and Media Review: Vol. 39
, Article 87.
Available at: https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/cbmr/vol39/iss3/87