Wilder Girls

Wilder Girls

by Rory Power

Audio CD(Unabridged)

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A feminist Lord of the Flies about three best friends living in quarantine at their island boarding school and the lengths they go to uncover the truth of their confinement when one disappears, this fresh new debut is a mind-bending novel unlike anything you've read before.

It's been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine, since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty's life out from under her.

It started slow. First the teachers died, one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don't dare wander outside the school's fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything.

But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie beyond the fence. And when she does, Hetty learns that there's more to their story, to their life at Raxter, than she could have ever thought true.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781982601973
Publisher: Blackstone Publishing
Publication date: 07/09/2019
Edition description: Unabridged
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 5.70(h) x (d)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Rory Power grew up in Boston, received her undergraduate degree at Middlebury College, and went on to earn an MA in prose fiction from the University of East Anglia. She lives in Massachusetts. Wilder Girls is her first novel. To learn more about Rory, go to itsrorypower.com and follow @itsrorypower on Twitter and Instagram.

Read an Excerpt

Something. Way out in the white-dark. Between the trees, moving where the thickets swarm. You can see it from the roof, the way the brush bends around it as it rustles to the ocean.
That size, it must be a coyote, one of the big ones hitting shoulder high. Teeth that fit like knives in the palm of my hand. I know because I found one once, the end of it just poking through the fence. Took it back and hid it under my bed.
One more crash through the brush and then the stillness again. Across the roof deck Byatt lowers her gun, rests it on the railing. Road clear.
I keep mine up, just in case, keep the sight raised to my left eye. My other eye’s dead, gone dark in a flare-up. Lid fused shut, something growing underneath.
It’s like that, with all of us here. Sick, strange, and we don’t know why. Things bursting out of us, bits missing and pieces sloughing off, and then we harden and smooth over.
Through the sight, noon sun bleaching the world,     I can see the woods stretching out to the island’s edge, the ocean beyond. Pines bristling thick like always, rising high above the house. Here and there, gaps where the oak and birch have shed their leaves, but most of the canopy is woven tight, needles stiff with frost. Only the radio antenna breaking through, useless now the signal’s out.
Up the road someone yells, and out of the trees, there’s Boat Shift coming home. It’s only a few who can make the trip, all the way across the island to where the Navy delivers rations and clothes at the pier the ferries used to come and go from. The rest of us stay behind the fence, pray they make it home safe.
The tallest, Ms. Welch, stops at the gate and fumbles with the lock until at last, the gate swings open, and Boat Shift come stumbling in, cheeks red from the cold. All three of them back and all three of them bent under the weight of the cans and the meats and the sugar cubes. Welch turns to shut the gate behind her. Barely five years past the oldest of us, she’s the youngest of the teachers. Before this she lived on our hall and looked the other way when somebody missed curfew. Now she counts us every morning to make sure nobody’s died in the night.
She waves to give the all clear, and Byatt waves back. I’m gate. Byatt’s road. Sometimes we switch, but my eye doesn’t do well looking far, so it never lasts. Either way I’m still a better shot than half the girls who could take my place.
The last Boat girl steps under the porch and out of sight, and that’s the end of our shift. Unload the rifles. Stick the casings in the box for the next girl. Slip one in your pocket, just in case.
The roof slopes gently away from the flattop deck, third floor to second. From there we swing over the edge and through the open window into the house. It was harder in the skirts and socks we used to wear, something in us still telling us to keep our knees closed. That was a long time ago. Now, in our ragged jeans, there’s nothing to mind.
Byatt climbs in behind me, leaving another set of scuff marks on the window ledge. She pushes her hair over one shoulder. Straight, like mine, and a bright living brown. And clean. Even when there’s no bread, there’s always shampoo.
“What’d you see?” she asks me. I shrug. “Nothing.”
Breakfast wasn’t much, and I’m feeling the shake of hunger in my limbs. I know Byatt is too, so we’re quick as we head downstairs for lunch, to the main floor, to the hall, with its big high ceilings. Scarred, tilting tables; a fireplace; and tall-backed couches, stuffing ripped out to burn for warmth. And us, full of us, humming and alive.
There were about a hundred girls when it started, and twenty teachers. All together we filled both wings off the old house. These days we only need one.
The Boat girls come banging through the front doors, letting their bags drop, and there’s a scramble for the food. They send us cans, mostly, and sometimes packs of dried jerky. Barely ever anything fresh, never enough for everyone, and on an average day, meals are just Welch in the kitchen, unlocking the storage closet and parceling out the smallest rations you ever saw. But today’s a delivery day, new supplies come home on the backs of the Boat Shift girls, and that means Welch and Headmistress keep their hands clean and let us fight for one thing each.
Byatt and me, though, we don’t have to fight. Reese is right by the door, and she drags a bag off to the side for us. If it were somebody else, people would mind, but it’s Reese—left hand with its sharp, scaled fingers—so everyone keeps quiet.
She was one of the last to get sick. I thought maybe  it had missed her, maybe she was safe, and then they started. The scales, each a shifting sort of silver, unfolding out of her skin like they were coming from inside. The same thing happened to one of the other girls in our year. They spread across her whole body and turned her blood cold until she wouldn’t wake up, so we thought it was the end for Reese, and they took her upstairs, waited for it to kill her. But it didn’t. One day she’s holed up in the infirmary, and the next she’s back again, her left hand a wild thing but still hers.
Reese rips open the bag, and she lets me and Byatt root through it. My stomach clenching, spit thick around my tongue. Anything, I’d take anything. But we’ve got a bad one. Soap. Matches. A box of pens. A carton of bullets. And then, at the bottom, an orange—a real live orange, rot only starting to nip at the peel.
We snatch. Reese’s silver hand on my collar, heat roiling under the scales, but I throw her to the floor, shove my knee against the side of her face. Bear down, trap Byatt’s neck between my shoulder and my forearm. One of them kicks; I don’t know who. Clocks me in the back of the head and I’m careening onto the stairs, nose against the edge with a crack. Pain fizzing white. Around us, the other girls yelling, hemming in.
Someone has my hair in her fist, tugging up, out. I twist, I bite where the tendons push against her skin, and she whines. My grip loosens. So does hers, and we scrabble away from each other.
I shake the blood out of my eye. Reese is sprawled halfway up the staircase, the orange in her hand. She wins.

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Wilder Girls 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 69 reviews.
Lisa_Loves_Literature 6 months ago
I was really excited about this one. I mean, the cover, the synopsis, it just all sounded really good. But it took so long for anything really to happen. And then, when it did, it wasn't really anything that exciting. It was about a third of the way through, and I got excited, but then, really nothing happened. We never really find out for sure what caused what they had. Or what the people in the world outside were doing. Had this actually affected the outside world? I'm guessing not. And what kind of experiment were they even doing? There were so many different offshoots of the story, and at the end when we start finding things out, they don't all fit in, and something about climate change was inserted as if they were trying to make the story about that or something, but it all just really didn't add up to anything. The ending was very inconclusive, not sure exactly what happened. It was also kind of hard to feel much for the characters, honestly, they weren't really relatable, and nothing about them made me even that sympathetic to them. I'm sorry to say this one is the first book in a long time I've rated below a 3. As I saw another person say, if I hadn't really kind of had to review this, I probably wouldn't have actually finished it. But I just kept hoping the final answers would make all of the story worth it. Unfortunately they did not.
Anonymous 6 months ago
Anonymous 4 months ago
I understand why this book is getting a lot of buzz but I felt as though it was a ripoff of The Maze Runner. It is a book that left a lot of unanswered questions which may be because the author would like to write a second one but the parallels between both stories are uncanny. While I wanted to like this book due to the authors writing flow, and the beautiful cover I just didn't. This again is mainly due to the fact I believe the author ripped off another popular book.
AlexFoux 5 months ago
I was sucked into the "Wilder Girls" world from page number one. The writing style, the graphic slightly gory details and the way I am left hanging off the edge of my seat at the end of every single chapter. There are several reason why I was so entranced with this book but just to name a few: - The flow of the plot. I was already half way through the book and I still wasn't entirely sure what was happening! There are so many mysteries hidden in the information that it leaves you guessing (usually wrong) as you read each chapter. - Girl power to the MAX. I am digging the No Boys Allowed vibe but also the ruthlessness of the girls just because they CAN be. It speaks to the wildfire in my own heart, the one that wants to be unrestrained and free but also to sometimes watch the world around me burn to ashes. These girls are on fire! - The budding romance. I adore the way the girls are so careful and intentional as they test the waters. Despite this book being wholly fiction, it FEELS utterly real I had to ration myself out chapters because I just wasn't ready for it to end! There is a reason this made the Barnes & Noble YA Book Club - just do yourself a favor and go get this book!
Elena_L 6 months ago
"It's been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty's life out from under her." The premise for Wilder Girls reminded me of "The girl with all the gifts". The idea behind the story was mysterious and exciting. Nevertheless, as I was reading, the plot sounded confusing. I was expecting more action and clear storyline, however the story was quite dragged and I kept waiting for something more significant to happen and further explanation about Tox. There are lots of teenager talking - which wasn't my cup of tea. The characters were just fine. The good things: the cover is creepily pretty and the writing style is easy and fast. [I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review]
Kaleena 6 months ago
I really wanted to enjoy this book more than I did and no one is more disappointed than I am. While I absolutely loved the world-building that Power crafts in her debut novel, unfortunately, I struggled to connect with any of the characters and found it difficult for me to suspend disbelief - but not for the reasons you'd think. "Wonder what she'll get, if it's anything at all. Gills like Mona, blisters like Cat's, maybe bones like Byatt's or a hand like Reese's, but sometimes the Tox doesn't give you anything - just takes and takes. Leaves you drained and withering." Her prose is captivating and gruesome, as harsh as life has become on Raxter Island. The writing and story seem well suited for the screen, and I think I would enjoy this as a movie a lot more. Power has a vivid imagination that she is able to translate well onto the page, but there is something about the narrative flow that doesn't work for me as a novel. It is almost as if the narrative relies heavily on foreshadowing, only it is so overt that you notice something isn't right long before the characters uncover anything. This may be fun for some readers, but it annoyed me to no end. I found myself having an intensely difficult time believing the circumstances of life for the Raxter girls following the Tox, to the point that it prohibited me from ever fully being swept away by the narrative. I hesitate to point out specifics because I do not want to spoil the reading experience, but I couldn't stop myself from asking logical questions like How are they fighting over blankets and jackets when earlier in the text it is stated that the US Navy continues to send food & clothes for the full number of girls originally on the island (even though their numbers have dwindled)? and Why are there not enough rooms when a lot of girls have died? I am not sure if some of these things are continuity errors or not, but much of what made me frustrated and roll my eyes wound up being part of the plot... which honestly wasn't a satisfying revelation for me because it was so overtly off earlier. I never felt connected to any of the three main characters. They felt one-dimensional and paper-thin to me. The one I felt most believable was Reese with her hardened emotions and propensity for protecting herself from emotional pain. But when you don't really connect with or care for any of the characters, it is difficult for you to root for their struggle in an action-packed and dangerous plot. I was more interested in the Tox itself than what was going on with the characters in the book. The most compelling part of the story for me is omitted from the narrative. I understand that this is in large part because we learn about the disease through Hetty, and there is a lot that she doesn't understand or uncover. But for me as a reader, the ending felt anticlimactic and reasonably there could have been another 100 pages added to the end to expand her understanding a little bit and provide some closure for the reader. Wilder Girls is definitely a plot-driven novel, and I kept reading because Power crafted a horrifically compelling micro-dystopian world and I wanted to see how it ended. How it began. Any sort of explanation, really. But the ending felt abrupt and unsatisfying to me. Then again, I am one of the few people that didn't enjoy this book so please do take my experience with a grain of salt! Unfortunately, Wilder Girls was not the book for me, but it might be for you!
Felicia_Medina 6 months ago
Well here's something I never thought I'd never say, this book should have been at least another 100 pages longer. The premise for this book is really exciting and the cover is fabulous but the execution is sorely lacking. The story picks up some year+ after a remote school for girls is ravaged with a devastating virus and subsequently quarantined. Notice how I said "picks up". Very little backstory is ever given about the onset of the virus. How it all started and progressed leading up to the quarantine and beyond. For me, the most compelling part of the story was omitted. This book features three best friends that have seemingly settled into this horrific existence as much as could be expected, even going so far as finding some appreciation for their newly found strengths and Independence. Again, some history of the events that lead the girls to this point, including a more in-depth storyline as to what brought them to the island in the first place would have been nice. When one of the girls goes missing after a flare-up in her illness, the other two set on a course to find out what happened to her only to discover that all is not as it seems. Shocker. The reader is never enlightened as to what the cause of or how this illness started. Why did it only occur on this island? Why does it manifest in such different ways from person to person? Basically nothing is ever revealed, from the history to the present, making it hard to connect with this story and it's characters. The abrupt ending is perplexing. Will there be a sequel? More importantly, can we get a prequel? It seems the author forgot to include the entire backstory from this book. I would be interested in reading a second book because the ending leads you to believe that the next chapter could be a thrilling one. Additionally, the author has a real flair for atmospheric world building and what I did learn of the characters was fascinating. And who knows, maybe I'll get that history after all. 2.5 Stars rounded up ⭐⭐⭐ *** I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. ***
ScarlettG12 6 months ago
Honestly I don't even know where to start with this book. I was really excited about it when I first started reading it, especially because I had won it. But I quickly realized this was not the book for me. It was very vague and confusing, with major plot developments contradicting things that happened earlier. I felt confused the whole time I was reading it, and while there are some answers towards the end, a lot of things are left vague and unanswered. I also mostly felt like the book had no point. Like I know I read a whole book but thinking back on it I can't come up with a whole lot of things that happened. It was just a bunch of nothing. This was supposed to be like a creepy "horror" book, but besides one or two skin-crawling scenes, it was a lot of teenage bickering and the main character worrying and being horrible. I did not care at all about the characters. The main character Hetty was selfish and everything she did was unreasonable and irritating. There was also no characterization between characters. Hetty talks about how close she is with Byatt and would do anything to rescue her, but we have to reason to believe her or feel that relationship because there's no backstory. And as I said, there's not much plot here. You'd think Byatt going missing would be enough but it doesn't happen until almost halfway in, and then Hetty and Reese do next to nothing to find her except worry and say "I'd do anything to get Byatt back." I really liked the concept of this book and reading the description I still feel like it should have been a really cool and creepy book, but it fell seriously short to me, so much so that I was just ready for it to be over.
mistymtns1812 2 days ago
I’m going to start off by saying that I have not read Lord of the Flies. I’ve heard from a few people that Wilder Girls is a gender swapped retelling of Lord of the Flies, so I’m not sure how it compares, but this was a powerful book. There are hundreds of books in the young adult genre that show how mean girls can be. Rather than portraying Hetty and her friends as typical “mean girls”, Wilder Girls shows just how hideous teenage girls can really be, both mentally and physically. The story follows an all-girls boarding school on a remote island off the coast of Maine. For some time, the school and its inhabitants have been plagued by a disease known as the Tox. The Tox has significantly reduced the school’s student, faculty, and staff population and turned those who remain into survivalists. The naval base on the mainland sends weekly supply drops, but eventually those stop and the girls who remain are on their own. The book alternates between Hetty and her best friend Byatt’s point of view. While more time is spent inside Hetty’s head, the time we spend with Byatt is more unsettling and frightening due to the circumstances she finds herself in. In addition to the different points of view, Power’s writing style is unique. Hetty’s thoughts are concise, and clear while Byatt’s are broken up and foggy, then curt. Perhaps it’s from her own experiences as a teenager, but I feel like my inner monologue must have been a lot like Hetty’s when I was in high school. She’s optimistic on the outside and realistic on the inside. She does this for the benefit of her friends and the other people around her so that they don’t break under the weight of the realization that no one is really trying to help them. If that doesn’t scream relatable teen angst, then I don’t know what does. Wilder Girls is a beautiful and unique take on the boarding school setting. It’s a story about the power of friendship and about the lengths we would go to to survive. This is probably one of the best debut novels I’ve read in a while, and if you want an original take on a familiar story this is the book for you. I look forward to reading more from Rory Power in the future.
BeachesnBooks 6 days ago
A lot of people have been calling Wilder Girls a female version of Lord of the Flies; I'd say it's much more of a YA take on Jeff Vandermeer's Annihilation, since both involve an all-female cast, weird fiction focused on a very specific environment, and an overlying sense of unease and strangeness. Unlike Vandermeer's creation of humid Florida otherness, Wilder Girls is set on an isolated island off the coast of Maine, home to an all-girls boarding school that has been completely cut off from the mainland for a year and a half after the outbreak of a mysterious disease referred to as the Tox. The Tox, along with causing intermittent episodes of crippling pain and affliction, warps the bodies of the girls to suit its opaque purposes: one character's hair glows, and the cover illustration shows a metaphorical look at the potential for beauty in these mutations, but the reality for the rest of the girls is much more sinister: our main character Hetty's eye has been sealed shut, her best friend Byatt has grown a second, alien spine, and our hair-glowing friend Rae can't use one of her hands. The disease and quarantine, however, are affecting more than just the girls' bodies. The majority of their teachers are dead, and no other adults are left alive on the island; the Navy sends food intermittently, but it's never enough; and the girls are forced to be constantly vigilant against the threat of attack from Tox-warped wild animals from the surrounding forest. Contact with the outside world is almost non-existent, but the girls still left alive have become survivors, adapting to an unthinkable new reality with pragmatism and strict adherence to the new rules of their lives. Until a few crucial things change: Hetty acquires new information that makes her question what's really happening on the island, and her best friend, seemingly irrepressible, blue-blooded, capricious Byatt, goes missing. I love weird fiction (think Vandermeer or Samanta Schweblin) and am delighted to find the genre finding a foothold in YA. Powers creates an intensely atmospheric setting in Raxter Island that feels like a character itself, and the mysterious illness plaguing the island's inhabitants is a constantly creeping antagonist, at times forced to the background and at other times reasserting its presence forcefully, throughout the other horrors that the characters encounter. Hetty is a tough, survival-focused main character, and I loved her loyalty to her friends, her determination, and her slowly developing romance with Rae. I also loved complex, morally grey Byatt, who I could easily read another entire book about. Wilder Girls is fascinating and immersive, and I didn't see a lot of the plot twists coming, but the pacing is a bit irregular and unconventional, which may bother some readers, although it wasn't an issue for me personally. And I'm not going to give away any spoilers, but I do need to address the ending. I really don't mind an open-ended or thought-provoking ending as long as it's done well--Kelly Link is one of my favorite authors, for example, and all of her stories both end and begin ambiguously. But I didn't feel that this was the case in Wilder Girls, and rather than feeling ambiguous, the ending struck me as unfinished, and unfortunately didn't work for me, which is why I'm giving this 4 stars rather than 5. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read an eARC of Wilder Girls in exchange for an honest review.
faye d 8 days ago
From the very beginning, Wilder Girls captured me, with its horrific and yet very familiar (especially to me, someone who went to a women's university in a rural area) and more importantly -- vividly depicted setting and characters. Throughout the novel, I found myself drawn to the premise, and to the relationships between teen girls in a mysterious setting. I tore through the depictions of their changing relationships with their infected bodies, the mysteries being kept from them and by them and from us, their seeming abandonment and the lack of care by the agencies meant to protect them (something that, without spoiling too much, turns out to be even more pernicious than it seems). The friendships and relationships and co-dependencies and freedoms that exist in every collective of teenagers and survive here tugged at my heart in a way that knows them too well. There's very little that fascinates me more than something that really explores the monstrosity of the teenage girl to the rest of society, and the idea of women as terrifying when they're other than passive: this comes very near to it. However -- and again with as few spoilers as I can manage -- I felt like the rollercoaster of emotions and (really very well done) action, as it reached a fever pace of ever more horrifying events with even more unlikely rescues for ever-fewer characters, suddenly dropped off at the end. The last few chapters felt ...strange and sudden, leaving more questions than answers, and a lingering sense of letdown. Grief, too, for what had just happened, but also because I felt like it had been rushed through. I get it. Sometimes the world sucks, the odds are stacked against us, and no matter how hard we try to fight it or to protect ourselves in it, that's never going to change. But it seemed like this one had more to say even if ultimately that was its message. 100 more pages of showing and not telling would have gone a long way. And I would have happily read this book if it were twice as long or longer. Still, I would recommend it heartily to lovers of the monstrous, people who enjoyed having their hearts ripped out by The Last of Us, and fans of Never Let Me Go or Annihilation. A few footnotes: - ALL readers should take a look at the trigger warnings on the author's website. I was fully ready for the body horror and still not expecting a few things that left me really shaken afterwards, especially with the lack of denouement. - If you're someone who needs your science to work, you may get distracted by some of the implied causes of what's going on. I'm going back and forth on whether I actually wanted to know because for me it didn't get implausible until there were reasons given.
Ashes2ashes1189 14 days ago
The cover is what originally caught my eye and The synopsis had me counting down the days till this book released. All that excitement carried through from the beginning of page one till the end of the story. This book is nothing like anything I have ever read before. The characters were well developed ad the story well written with a great flow. This is book while a debut doesn’t feel like it’s a first book in the manner of it felt so polished. The author didn’t spare any detail when it came to describing how the characters looked to what they had experienced and what could be lurking out there. Responsibilities and survival is key and this book has you hoping for me and waiting not so patiently for it to happen.
bookishIN 15 days ago
First impressions: This will be a wild ride! I read a preview of the first few chapters via Bookishfirst.com and am intrigued by the premise of students of an all-girls school unable to leave the school because "the Tox" outbreak has them quarantined there. It's a grim premise: the "Tox" has affected humans and animals alike with disfiguring effects of the toxins they are exposed to and this appears to be a "survival of the fittest" scenario with terrifying consequences. The preview definitely peaks your interest and I will be adding "Wilder Girls" to my TBR ASAP. Trigger warning for body horror.
Anonymous 15 days ago
This novel was everything I wanted Lord of the Flies to be when I was forced to read it as a teenager girl in high school. The characters were interesting and I really enjoyed the authors style. It was a real page turner and I finished it in one sitting. My only complaint is one of personal preference, as someone who loves a slow burn, it felt a little fast paced for me. I would've loved to have had more time spent with the characters, however despite being relatively short I had enough time to build an emotional connection with the girls and really loved the overall feel of the book.
Bookyogi 20 days ago
I heard mixed reviews of this book. They story is an interesting idea, creepy in a good way. But then, at times it just seems creepy to be creepy. Hetta and Byatt have the promise of individual, interesting storylines that will weave in and out, but there seem to be holes throughout. I liked it, but didn’t love it. I thought it was creepy, but more like seeing a car crash I can’t look away from. The plot twists are well done with some you can see coming. So, in the end, I liked it, but didn’t love it.
Anonymous 24 days ago
This was a DNF for me. I tried hard to get into it, but it just wasn't for me. From what I did read, I found that I enjoyed the author's writing style, I just couldn't attach myself to the plot Thank you for the opportunity to try!
Kasey_Baril 28 days ago
I definitely chose to read this book first because of THAT COVER, and after reading the story, I have such an appreciation for what the cover means/stands for. Rory Power created a believable scenario similar to "Lord of the Flies" where a group of girls in a boarding school are placed under quarantine due to a disease or influenza that's affecting the population. Eventually, it turns out to be much more than than, but the real horror is how much I feel that something like this could totally happen and no one would bat an eye. Because this is a school for girls, it's expected to see LGBT representation (which we do). Be wary of graphic descriptions of violence and the effects of the "Tox" on the human body, as well. *I read "Wilder Girls" as part of Barnes & Nobles's Summer Reading program.
MIthahReads 28 days ago
Unpopular opinion: I really enjoyed this book. ….until the last two – three chapters. What I liked: So I had heard pretty meh reviews about this book. It was good until about halfway in, or the ending was bad, or whatever. I still went in with a pretty open mind, and I thoroughly enjoyed the book until the end. It’s a medical mystery, which I love. There’s something making the Raxter island sick, and no one can figure out what it is. There’s a doomed boarding school on the island. They’ve been cut off for a year and a half. The Navy sends supplies periodically. The girls learn to survive. I absolutely loved that aspect. The first chapter grabbed my attention and I did not want to put this book down. I was mad when I had to work and couldn’t read. I was right there along side the girls trying to figure out what was making the whole island sick. It was a fast paced story and I read it in about 4.5 hours total. On another note, I think this would make a super cool movie if they revised the ending! What I didn't like: The chapters were long. I like to stop reading at the end of the chapter, so sometimes I was struggling to stay awake and find an ending point. That’s just a personal preference. They described wounds the girls got.. and it was gross. Even for me as a nurse. There was, what felt like to me, a weird random romance that didn’t really make sense. Some of the characters seemed super petty, but they are also teenage girls so i guess that’s to be expected? It was just a turn off for me. And then the ending. It just seemed like there was no resolution. You figure out what was making everyone sick, but you never saw the aftermath. I want to know what happened after they found out! And I want to know other things which I won’t say here because ~spoilers~. It just left me wanting. Would I recommend? Ugh, what a tough question. I guess I would, but I would tell them that the ending was not what you want. Like, it was a super good book up until the last few chapters. The last few chapters is why I gave a 3.5 star rating instead of four. Just sooo disappointing.
criticalthinkinglibrarian 3 months ago
This book was devastating, emotionally wrenching and beautifully fierce all at the same time. The story involves a group of girls who are attending a private school that is located on an island. The school is put on quarantine because of an outbreak of a disease or phenomenon called the "Tox". The "Tox" affects each girl differently, but the affect is always physically altering. There are characters who develop 2 heartbeats, some develop almost magical like "scaled appendages", while others have double vertebrae. They girls are advised to honor the quarantine and wait it out for a "cure". Throughout the the book, time passes, the girls have to deal with food shortages, lack of medical supplies and no contact with the outside world. The most devastating issue is the eventual death of so many girls who are not strong enough to survive the sickness. So many lives are lost and this brings an emotional turmoil to the group that is so palpitating that you can feel their loss and hopelessness. Reading this book was like re-reading "Lord of the Flies" all over again. The alliances that are formed during a tragic event, the survival and fight to endure an impossible situation, the tantalizing element of brutality are all encompassed in this unforgettably raw plot line. If you like reading YA fiction with a bit of grit this book is for you. It will make you feel like you are drowning slowly, as your lungs fill with an arctic cold that paralyzes your ability to come up for air.
meredithjj 3 months ago
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book, especially given that I did have a few too many questions left at the end of it. That being said, I did like that it picked up right in the middle of the action and after the Tox had already set in. While I did like the characters, however, I did not find myself buying into the main relationships as much as I probably should have. I think if we'd gotten a bit more about Hetty and Reese before things got complicated. And I would've preferred to get Byatt's POV much earlier in the book, especially given how things changed for the girls as it progressed. I would probably read a sequel if we got one, especially to see more from Hetty and Reese's relationship and to see what happens next and what it's like elsewhere.
Anonymous 3 months ago
I do think it started out slow, so hang in there it gets better.
Deniareads 3 months ago
We read this book because it was Barnes and Noble YA Book Club for this month and this was a certainly interesting book and totally not what I was expecting. First of all, the cover was very deceiving, I’m just going to say that. And what I mean by that is just that you would never guess the topic of the book by looking at the cover. In this story, we follow the life of Hetty, Byatt, and Resse while they are at boarding school in a secluded island off the coast of Maine. This island has been infected with a disease that’s been killing the girls for the past year and a half. No one is allowed to leave the island and well, it’s a mess. It is a girls-only boarding school and they developed this sort of routine. For every girl with the Tox, it affects them differently. It’s a very gory book. Like the descriptions of how the Tox affects them each is very disgusting and at times outright gross. I’m not going to go into details about how blood and pus were pouring out of one girl’s eye. Or how another one had a second spine jutting out of her back. Nope, I’m not going to get into any detail of that sort. The story itself left you with more questions than answers and the end felt abrupt. The book itself was short but the story itself felt too long and I still felt like nothing happened. I kept waiting for the “big” thing to happen, and personally, I didn’t think there was that BOOM moment that we all wait for in a book. When you finish the book, you are going to be a little confused tbh. Now, with that being said, I don’t think it was a bad story. Did it had so much more potential? Yes. But overall, not a bad story and the concept itself is pretty neat if you can get over the gruesomeness of it. If you like Lord Of Flies, Post-apocalyptic worlds, Zombiepocalypse, Maze Runner, Gone, etc., then this is the book for you. Anyone 13 years old and older can read this book. And as always, I want to thank you for taking the time to read my post, I really appreciate it.
HollyLovesBooks4 4 months ago
I found this book a little difficult to get into, at first. Then its off to the races and you can't put it down. Wow. Really impressive retelling of a female version of The Lord of the Flies with a twist is probably the best way to spin it without giving anything away. Just read it! Highly recommend! #WilderGirls #NetGalley #RandomHouseChildrens #DelacortePress
Anonymous 4 months ago
Disclaimer: I received this book as an advanced copy by the publisher via NetGalley for reviewing purposes, but all opinions are my own. This book absolutely broke my brain. Left me wide open and incapable of forming complete sentences. I want it to break everyone; I need the world to read this book and be broken completely into tiny little pieces by this book so it can build us back up again the right way. Because this book knows things. It very appropriately seems to have a mind of its own, and it will get under your skin, you can count on that. It’s a slow kind of creep, as it snakes its way through you, but this book will devour you just as you devour it. It is worth noting that I have never in my life read a Stephen King book. This is basically sacrilege as a born and raised Mainer, but that kind of horror has never really interested me. I was absolutely willing to try a feminist YA horror though, but I was not prepared for the feeling I have now. Wilder Girls takes place on a fictional Maine island, but one so similar to many of the literal thousands of coastal islands we have that Raxter Island is basically real. I have not read any horror set in my own state before. Now, if I had read some King books previously, I’m sure I would be used to this dread that has settled in me as I look around outside. It’s one thing to read a scary story, another thing entirely to read a scary story that references places you actually know and visit. It’s definitely left an even bigger impact on me than this book was destined to make, and while it is a little freaky, I am thankful for it. The book follows a group of boarding school girls, quarantined on Raxter Island, which is home to wilderness, the school, and now, the Tox. We jump in just over a year after the quarantine started, so the girls are pretty adjusted to this life. Their bodies are being manipulated and mutated by something, which they’ve named the Tox. It gives some of them things like a hand covered in scales, a second spine, a blind eye. And from some it only takes. And when it takes too much… let’s just say they are at about half the population they were when it all started. We read from the perspective of Hetty, who’s 16 and forgetting what it was ever like to live before the Tox. We also get a good section of chapters from the perspective of her best friend, sister of her heart, Byatt, who worms her way into our hearts without even trying. But mostly we’re with Hetty, and she is exactly as flawed and human as we need a protagonist to be. She never should have had to shoulder the things she has or make the decisions she has to make. Her life shouldn’t have been this hard. But the Tox changed everything, for all of them, forever. But they’ve found a new normal, while waiting on the CDC and Navy to find them a cure. Until Byatt goes missing after a flare-up, and Hetty knows she has to do everything she can to find her. Including breaking quarantine. And what she finds when she does flips her life upside down again, and may just destroy the little life they’ve managed to build on Raxter living with the Tox. The plot Power has come up with here would be enough to carry this book into being one of more memorable books of the year. But her writing style is what seals the deal, what will make this one I will always remember and throw at everyone I can until the whole world has read this book. It draws you in from page one and doesn’t let go. Even after you reach the end, you’ll stil
Sydney Luttschwager 4 months ago
I finished this book a few days ago, and I wasn’t sure what to write for my review so I thought I’d take my time. Welp, I’ve come to a conclusion and it’s intense. At first I was skeptical. The concept seemed interesting enough and that’s what kept me reading this book. But when I first started Wilder Girls, I thought the writing was rough. It was almost like Power’s editor sucked at their job. The sentences are all over the place and it was very confusing at the beginning. However, it got better. But let’s talk about the rest of the book. It’s really good- and I mean REALLY good. The concept is awesome and unique and those are key to a good dystopian story. This book is about a school for girls that gets quarantined on an island because of the Tox. All I’m going to say is that it goes south and sh*t hits the fan. This book has all the action, drama, and LGBTQ+ love that my YA-loving heart could desire. It’s been almost a week since I finished this book and I can’t stop thinking about it. I really hope Power writes a sequel because I would love to know what happens to Hetty and her friends. Love love love this book! https://sydneykarole.wixsite.com/reviews