Title: Wilder Girls
Author: Rory Power
Genre: YA Horror
One Sentence Synopsis
A strange disease has hit the Raxter School for Girls but, when Hettie’s best friend goes missing, the main thing she cares about is finding out where she’s gone.
“Some days it’s fine. Others it nearly breaks me. The emptiness of the horizon, and the hunger in my body, and how will we ever survive this if we can’t survive each other?”
Hoo boy, this was a weird book! In Wilder Girls, we’re following Hettie, Byatt, and Reese, three girls who, along with their classmates, are stuck at the Raxter School for Girls off the coast of Maine. Why are they stuck there? Because the island and the school have been struck by a strange disease they have dubbed The Tox. It has turned the previously tranquil woods into a wild and dangerous place and it has done worse to the girls. Their bodies have become twisted and many girls have burned from the inside out. Hettie keeps her head down, leaning on her best friend, Byatt, for support and her not-so-best friend, Reese, for protection. But one day, Byatt goes missing and Hettie will stop at nothing to find out where she has gone.
This book was definitely a ride, y’all. I started this book and, within the first few chapters, decided I was not going to like it. I spent most of those chapters wanting to punch Byatt, wondering why Reese was being so terrible, and wanting to shake Hettie until she manged to stand up for herself. The writing style itself was throwing me off, as well. I just couldn’t get into it and I was gearing myself up to be disappointed.
But then we get to leave the boundaries of the school and shit got REAL! Hettie came into her own. Reese being the way Reese is started making sense. Byatt is still terrible, but damn if I wasn’t intrigued by her and her thought processes! And I hit a groove with the writing and found it added a nice, creepy element to an already thoroughly creepy book. I was enthralled and disgusted and angry and I freakin’ loved it! I realized about halfway through this book that I was completely invested in what was going to happen to our three main girls. I loved their development and I loved watching how they each dealt with their situations.
I was less enthralled with the romance… it felt almost tacked on? I don’t know if it was entirely necessary, but it was fine. At least it didn’t feel forced, so there’s that. The ending also had me screaming internally. I’m only a fan of vague endings in certain situations and this wasn’t one of those situations. Guh.
Final thoughts: This was weird and twisted and disgusting and… I loved it! Beautiful character development. But that ending!!!!
Have any of you read this book? What were your thoughts on it?
Let me know in the comments!
And, as always, happy reading!