Beautiful and Deeply Relatable
I was first drawn to this story when I saw the picture of McCandless because. like Callie, it was my summer reading homework a few years ago and it is the kind of story that you either love or hate. I really enjoyed how you used his story, and the telling of Into the Wild, to create Callie's narrative. Not only did your style instantly create an atmosphere interestingly reminiscent of Krakauer's while remaining your own--with luscious imagery and a balance between past and present (in terms of the story)--but the telling of the story also resonates with me because I am Callie. And many of my friends are Callies. We grow up in this system of accelerated classes and talent programs, we are groomed and standardized and pushed over the constantly elevating bar of successfulness and it is bound to break us in one way or another. For Callie, it was anxiety, and for many other people it becomes apathy. "The Stampede" captures this idea, captures what is really inspiring about McCandless, and in beautiful, honest prose, raw, relatable characters, and engaging pacing that kept me until the end.
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