Title: Wilder Girls
Author: Rory Power
Published by: Delacorte Press
Released: July 9, 2019
Source: ARC from Publisher through Netgalley // Gifted Review Copy
Synopsis: 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. (Synopsis from Goodreads)
My Thoughts: I received a free e-arc for honest review from the publisher. Thanks so much to Delacorte Press for giving me the chance to read and review this really exciting title. When I got the email that I was approved, I really couldn't believe it, and I was really grateful.
Wowza! I was not expecting this book to be as brutal as it was. I'd heard how this was a feminist version of Lord of the Flies, and I guess I was expecting the usual YA fare. Wilder Girls was so much more than that. It was crazy, brutal, and really addictive. I couldn't believe the things that were happening as I was flipping through the pages. I'm glad that this book, with such a gorgeous cover, delivered on the story inside.
I love shocking and brutal stories and Wilder Girls really delivered that. It was crazy from page one. The reader is dropped into the situation at Raxter School For Girls about a year and change after the Tox hit. We're kind of dropped into the middle of an ongoing thing. I won't lie, most times I want to see the whole journey. I want to see when everything starts going downhill. I would have loved to see Raxter School in the very beginning stages of the Tox. When the girls started to realize what was happening and the chaos that ensued. I'm okay that Wilder Girls started in the middle of the Tox, but I would have loved to witness the whole thing.
This book was so fast-paced. I loved that about it. I just couldn't seem to stop reading it. The writing style was really good too. It reminded me in aspects of Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer and the Video Game The Last of Us. It had that weird, depressing kind of vibe to it, which I'm a fan of.
The Tox was so brutal. The images it conjured were so vivid, so disturbing, and so right. The Island was such a great, strange setting. These girls were cut off from everyone, going through unspeakable things. The whole thing was just crazy.
I wasn't blown away really by the reveal of what caused the Tox in the first place. It was covered so briefly and quickly, that it almost felt like an afterthought. I'm not going to say what it was, I just think it could have been done better.
This next thing might make me unpopular, but so what. I don't think the little romantic relationship that was included needed to be there. It was also one of those things that just felt like it was added as an afterthought. Like that little box that needed to be ticked off so the diversity quota would be met. It did nothing for me. I think the friendship bond was stronger than any romantic thing that tried to take off.
My last little thing was that I wanted more closure from the ending. I mean, I didn't hate it, but I don't feel like it concluded anything. Their final situation was just as hopeless as everything else. I would have been okay with a brutal ending, because at least that would have felt believable.
Wilder Girls was an awesome read overall. It had so many shocks, so much gore, and so much crazy, I was hooked. I'm really interested to see what Rory Power comes out with next. Wilder Girls wasn't a perfect read for me, but it was such a crazy ride. I'd definitely recommend giving it a read.
BOOKCITEMENT LEVEL 4.2/5