Title: Wilder Girls
Author: Rory Power
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: July 9, 2019
Page Count: 348
My rating: 3 stars
About the book:
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.
Wilder Girls by Rory Power seems to be as standalone young adult horror tale, which is one reason my rating isn’t higher. When finished with this one I felt it was still missing something along the way which might slide if it was only the opener of a series.
The story is set on an island off the U.S. coast that is home to the Raxter School for Girls. This isolated boarding school had become overran with a virus a few years before the beginning of the book leading them to be quarantined by the CDC and the Navy with only just enough supplies dropped to maintain those left on the island.
Three of the students left at the school have become extremely close friends with two of the girls, Hetty and Byatt, swapping the point of view a few times during the story. After two years of isolation the girls have come to be familiar with the Tox and horrors of the island so when one of their own is taken they go to any length for answers.
I have to say there are a lot of others out there rating this one rather high so I may just be a case of it’s more me than the book that was at a three. Starting out I thought the beginning could have done a better job with the backstory. Instead of just telling the now I would have preferred being shown and pepper in some more details to the past. The horror side is one of shock and awe at the events instead of a scarier vibe which is fine but again I wanted a tad more. And then, I also felt that overall if you change the details I could have read this a few times before in other books and wanted the characters and story to stand out on their own a bit more.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
Find this book online:
About the author:
Rory Power grew up in the Boston area, where she lives and works as a crime fiction editor and story consultant for television adaptation. She received a master’s degree in prose fiction from the University of East Anglia, and thinks fondly of her time there, partly because she learned a lot, but mostly because there were a ton of bunnies on campus.