REVIEW: Braving It by James Campbell
An excellent adventure memoir, BRAVING IT by James Campbell describes three thrilling expeditions into the Alaskan arctic wild with his daughter. It’s not just the individual journeys that are thrilling but the fact that a father and his fifteen-year-old daughter willingly went three times to brave the elements, when each experience threatens to break their adventurous spirit.
Author James Campbell writes a memoir like a suspense novelist. There really aren’t any boring chunks of time spent with the real people involved while reading this book. Every task is fascinating and necessary for their survival, but there’s still enough humor in the book to be entertaining. I have to express how impressed I am with Aidan. Not many teenage girls would want to battle the elements once, let alone do it three times. I love the wilderness but I don’t think I could survive one trip out of the three they accomplished.
The only time I paused in the book was during a descriptive section on gutting game, which was just too much for me. I’m not against eating meat, I just can’t stomach the process of preparing it myself. No matter how much I romanticize about living off the land, a dream I’ve had my entire life, I can’t imagine butchering meat. It surely influenced the choice of never hunting with my dad. And it’s also probably why my meat consumption becomes less every year. I just skipped a couple paragraphs when the descriptions became too in-depth for me and I didn’t feel as if I missed anything.
If you love the idea of building a cabin in the wilderness by hand, or living off the land in an inhospitable place, or hiking to a river to battle rapids for miles by canoe, with no way to turn around and go home, then this adventure memoir will fascinate you as much as it did me. James Campbell is a compelling storyteller, adding just the right amount of ratcheting suspense to keep the reader glued to the pages. I loved this so much that I’m ready to add THE FINAL FRONTIERSMAN by the same author to my library. If you love outdoor adventures and dream about them for yourself, then BRAVING IT will enthrall you from beginning to end. A beautiful message in the final pages make this book more than a memoir by melding a journey of life’s lessons in a sigh-worthy package. I’m a fan and I will look forward to gifting a copy of this book to my dad, who taught me about nature, and still influences my preferences.
Review by Dorine, courtesy of The Zest Quest. Digital ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.
Braving It by James Campbell
Category: Arctic Adventure Memoir
Publisher: Crown Publishing (May 10, 2016)
Rated 4.5 out of 5
If you had a choice for a travel adventure experience, where would you go and what would you do?