Wilder Girls (Barnes & Noble YA Book Club Edition)

Wilder Girls (Barnes & Noble YA Book Club Edition)

by Rory Power

Hardcover(Barnes & Noble YA Book Club Edition)

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Come discuss Wilder Girls at our Barnes & Noble YA Book Club Night on Thursday, August 8th at 7:00 PM! Learn more and sign up now.


A Barnes & Noble YA Book Club Edition! This YA Book Club Edition features a deleted scene & an author/editor conversation.

"Celebrates the resilience of girls and the earthshaking power of their friendships. An eerie, unforgettable triumph." —Claire Legrand, New York Times bestselling author of Furyborn

"Wilder Girls is so sharp and packs so much emotion in such wise ways. I'm convinced we're about to witness the emergence of a major new literary star." —Jeff VanderMeer, New York Times bestselling author of Annihilation

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.

"The perfect kind of story for our current era." —Hypable

"A groundbreaking speculative story—brutal and beautiful, raw and unflinching." —Emily Suvada, author of This Mortal Coil

"The perfect kind of story for our current era." —Hypable

"Real, flawed, brave girls against a world gone mad. A shudderingly good read!" —Dawn Kurtagich, author of Teeth in the Mist

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780593126349
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 07/09/2019
Edition description: Barnes & Noble YA Book Club Edition
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 232
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.30(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.

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Wilder Girls 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 42 reviews.
Anonymous 7 days ago
Lisa_Loves_Literature 11 days 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.
Elena_L 11 days 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 11 days 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 11 days 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 11 days 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.
Pseudandry 2 days ago
Book review: Wilder Girls by Rory Power read courtesy of Netgalley.com Publication date: July 9, 2019 I didn't want to put this book down, until I did... at the end... disappointed & frustrated. Back to the beginning. I was hesitant at first to even begin the story when I read its comparisons to Lord of the Flies, which I didn't like. (Sure, I understand LOTF's significance and symbolism and all of that, but I just wasn't into reading about an island full of 12 year old boys.) So I wasn't too excited to read about an island full of teenage girls. The author of Wilder Girls, however, caught my attention with a very telling sentence of how the girls were about to become, um, wilder, "Even when there's no bread, there's always shampoo." Though I didn't know at the time that was prescient, or actually backstory, but either way, it provided me a way to see the "feminist" point of view without having the perspective shoved down my throat -- for which I was honestly also fearful, given the fem-LOTF references. Some notes I took along the way... --I was surprised that the islands on which the story took place were in Maine; I think 'islands,' and I think tropical. I liked the Maine setting, because it made sense that a girls' school would be in Maine. --I was confused that all of the girls had different symptoms. If they were all suffering from the same 'disease,' then why were they all showing different manifestations? This was even more confusing when, later on, the girls figured out that one thing was causing everyone's illnesses. --The different manifestations of the disease felt derivative to me of the Star Trek: Next Generations' episode called Genesis. --It wasn't cleared up until the end why males and animals and plants also got the disease, which of course is the point of a mystery It never made sense to me why the Navy would keep arming the girls' school and replenishing their ammunition. --The adults were also keeping knives away from the girls but not bullets - although, some of that is explained later in the story. And... the Navy sends bullets but not space heaters? --Another good, succinct explanation of the girls situation, "At some point the order was alphabetical but we've all lost things, eyes and hands and last names." --Feminism isn't the same as female... what purpose did it have to not have the disease kick in until puberty, especially since the disease struck males and animals, too? --It's not clear why the girls had to surreptitiously and clandestinely be moved to be examined, especially because the attending physician seems like a mensch. --When the girls were running, --and had to shoot a gun, how come no one back at the school heard the shot? --I loved the reason the parents were given to cut off communication with the students, especially because the reason the girls were initially told communication was cut off made no sense. --Towards the end, just at the point where I was having difficulty remembering which 'side' everyone was on, the author provided a brief memory through a character that helped place each character in perspective again. And that's when it all fell apart. The end of the story made no sense. It felt rushed and didn't follow any trajectory that was started anywhere prior to the end. So, so disappointed! I really, really wanted to like the story, but it ended so abruptly and awkwardly that I felt cheated out of a real ending.
KarlieSch 2 days ago
Quarantined on an island, the girls from the Raxter school are told to sit tight and wait for a cure but things aren't going so well anymore... I always enjoy a boarding school setting for a story but Rory Power really takes it to another level. Fun and horrifying all at once, I could easily see Wilder Girls being a Netflix movie that I would devour like I did this book. The friendships are developed well so that you truly feel for these girls and can relare to them. This book kept me on my toes the whole time, constantly trying to figure out what is going on behind the scenes that the main characters and readers don't know about yet. A pretty quick but intense read. I definitely recommend it.
bayy245 3 days ago
I really wanted to love this one and I'm disappointed that I hated this one. I wish I got the feminist message that a lot of people have received from this book. I couldn't connect to the characters or anything else about this novel. We're placed right into the action for this novel, it didn't work at all. I feel like I was dropped into this very confusing world without being able to form a connection with anyone or anything. I couldn't connect to any of the girls in this story. It was super narrative-heavy which I think is another obstacle in the way of getting to know the characters. It needs a whole host of trigger warnings and I don't even know where to begin to list them. Opening this book, I feel like I ran head first into a brick wall and I couldn't ever get my bearings straight. It wasn't a great start to the novel and nothing got better. *I received a complimentary copy of this book from Delacorte Press through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.*
book_junkee 4 days ago
Read to 45% before skipping to 80% and reading the rest. This was a book I was very excited for. I loved that synopsis and the cover and I’ve heard nothing but good things from people I trusted. Sadly, it was bit disappointing for me. I liked Hetty and Byatt and Reese well enough. I liked their almost camaraderie and how all of the girls bonded together like packs. There’s a good amount of violence and confusion and Hetty’s inner monologue reflects that. It was a bit of a struggle to settle into her side of the story. Byatt’s chapters were much better. Plot wise, it was boring and intriguing at the same time. The writing was choppy and disjointed. My main complaint is that I wanted to be shown things, not told. The entire narrative was tell tell tell. I will say, I loved the imagery of the things happening, especially the density of forest and the effects of the Tox. Overall, I wanted to like this so so so much. I did enjoy the very abrupt ending and how things played out; however, it wasn’t enough to get me to go back and read the section of story I skipped. **Huge thanks to Delacorte Press for providing the arc free of charge**
Kristy_K 4 days ago
3.5 Stars Completely disturbing, bordering (for me) on horror. A group of adolescent girls and two teachers are stuck on an island where they are infected with the Tox, something that causes deformities in the form of abnormal things. The writing is great but the subject matter was not for me as I have a queasy stomach when it comes to gross things. Still a higher rating b/c if this had been my type of novel, I would have loved it. I received an advanced copy through Netgalley in return for an honest review.
Anonymous 5 days ago
Wilder Girls by Rory Power Publication Date: July 9th, 2019 When I initially requested this book, I was interested and mildly intrigue by the unique strangeness of it all. I was not expecting to love Wilder Girls, but I totally did. This book is super intense, and I did not see that coming at all. Wilder Girls is a feminist horror that keeps you on the edge of your seat until the very end. The main mystery of the book (what is the Tox and how it appeared) is revealed in bits and pieces without you really knowing it until all the pieces snap into place at the very end. It was the most satisfying snap of the year (Avengers joke, I’m sorry). I’m going to try to keep this review on the short side, because I don’t want to give away any spoilers on accident. What I Liked: - THE MYSTERY. UGH. I don’t know what it is about Rory Power’s writing, but the way things are revealed is perfect. You don’t even know that you know until the very end. It was such a satisfying reveal. - I really enjoyed the setting. The entire story takes place on an isolated island under quarantine. Since the island and its inhabitants are invested with the Tox, the same locations are used more than once, but Rory Power keeps the setting from feeling repetitive, almost like the its being altered by the Tox as well. - This book surprised me at every turn. I had no idea how any of the pieces connected and I had so many theories. I was constantly trying to beat the book to the punch, and this time I totally failed (and I loved it). There’s nothing quite like being blind-sided by a good twist. - I really liked all the characters. They were each complex and multi-faceted, and I really enjoyed their interactions. -Also, all the characters in the book have super original and unique names (i.e. Hetty, Reese, Byatt) and I appreciated that. - Rory Power’s writing is enchanting. She paints an extravagantly graphic picture on every page (more on this later), and absolutely pulls you in to the story. What I Didn’t Like: - The graphic writing combined with the gory subject matter didn’t always sit well with me. I do think I gagged a few times and had to skim a section or two, but it was worth it. If you have a stronger stomach than I, you’ll fly through this. (Trigger & Content Warnings for WG can be found here: https://itsrorypower.com/wilder-girls/ ) Recap: Wilder Girls was a total change of pace for me, and it surprised the hell out of me. It was actually in the top spot of favorite books of the year for a few weeks before Red, White and Royal Blue bumped it to #2 (Sorry Rory). One thing I loved about WG is that all the imagery is so vivid and realistic that you get enraptured with the story and kind of, sort of lose track of time (well, at least I did). Ultimately, Wilder Girls is an elaborate mystery filled with damaged girls, fierce friends, grotesque mutations, and the strength to survive. I really can’t recommend this book enough. I've been shouting at people about it for months. I know Wilder Girls is a standalone, but I do hope that Rory revisits this world soon. I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS, OKAY?! But honestly, I will probably read anything Rory writes from now on. I am Rory Power Trash. Ready to join the club? 5/5 stars *Thank you NetGalley for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review.*
Anonymous 6 days ago
By shoeguru This book was set at a boarding school where the girls and the teachers are affected out of nowhere with this virus known as Tox that causes different things to happen to their bodies. Many of the girls and teachers pass away and the school is put into quarantine. They are confined to the Raxter School of girls and are separated from the outside world. Hetty, Byatt, and Reese are a group of girls that have chosen to stick together. When Byatt is taken away from their group after another wave of Tox hits, Hetty will do anything to save her. They find that nothing is at it seems and that their life is just one big experiment that has went wrong. I loved that this book has so many genres tied into one and that it is so deliciously different from anything else I have ever read before.
Shanza 7 days ago
Wilder Girls by Rory Power is too depressing for my taste. The writing is fast-paced. You get to read it from Hetty's point of view and get to know the pain, hunger and suffering of the girls living in Raxter School.for Girls. All the words are so beautifully weaved together that I just start reading and got absorbed in the world of Wilder Girls. The detail about this "Tox" that how it is either killing students and teachers alike or mutilating their bodies is depressing and disturbing. How the girls after being mutilated one time have to go through the pain again in seasons is a very disturbing image. The imagery by Rory Power in this book is excellent though. I got to have a clear picture of school, the yard and all of this so vivid in my head because the author has done really a great job at writing.
Book_Grams 8 days ago
The premise of Wilder Girls grabbed me from the start. Set on a remote island, The Raxter School for Girls has been under quarantine for over eighteen months. The CDC is working to find a cure for the Tox, a mysterious illness that has gripped the island, turning the bodies of the girls into something out of a horror movie. The underlying cause of the Tox is unclear but one thing is certain: girls keep dying. If they do happen to survive, the girls are left with horrific physical reminders of their situation from protruding second spines to silver scales, glowing hair, and fish gills. When their best friend Byatt goes missing after a horrible flare-up, Hetty and Reese set out to find her. They soon discover that there’s even more horror lurking at Raxter than they ever thought possible. This story started off strong for me, I was super intrigued by the premise and the boarding school setting. I’ll admit that I wasn’t prepared for the body horror descriptions, they were pretty intense so be aware of those trigger warnings. Although the plot was there, I found the execution lacking. The author doesn’t give us much insight into why this illness is happening or how it came about, we are essentially thrown into the middle of the story. A background of the Tox would have helped to connect the dots and made the storyline more cohesive. Additionally, I felt the character development lacking as well. For whatever reason, I couldn’t quite connect with any of the girls. Overall, I gave this book three stars for the unique storyline and setting. However, I got a bit bored towards the half way mark and couldn’t quite get on board with the characters or the resolution of the story. If you’re into post apocalyptic or horror stories, this one may be for you! Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
JenacideByBibliophile 9 days ago
Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher, Random House Children’s - Delacorte Press, via NetGalley for an honest review. “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.” This book will make your skin shift, your toes coil, and your breath hurt. With every page it slowly peels away layers of your heart while simultaneously sewing those pieces back together; until you’re left with nothing, but this mismatched, lumpy, irregular beating organ lost inside your chest that you aren’t even sure is yours anymore. There is a rawness and truth hidden in these beautifully writhing words. So make sure you’re listening. “…and I miss the way the wind steals your breath like it never belonged to you in the first place.” A year and a half ago, the Tox infiltrated their island. It crept its way through the trees and animals, tickled the locks on the gates and doors. It sighed through the ventilation like a whisper after lights out, and it took a hold of every girl with a beating heart and a smile. The Navy said they were looking for a cure. That there is still hope, they just needed more time. But the girls at Raxter don’t have time. The Tox is ripping them apart one by one, making them turn on one another, or worse, making them turn on themselves. But Hetty, Byatt and Resse have each other. And as long as they stick together, they can survive anything. Unless the next flare-up shreds them from the inside and turns their bodies black. “About three months into the Tox, they came back from the woods with their names torn out of their heads. The Tox took what they were, took everything except how to hold a knife. It made them stick each other in the main hall during dinner, made them watch themselves bleed dry.” This book took my body through a mess of psychological and physical torment. My stomach is still writhing around and trying to jump out of my throat, and I’m honestly more than a little concerned that something might be crawling around inside me now. Wilder Girls…is wild. Rory Power has taken the typical “virus outbreak” story and dipped it in a drum barrel of mental terrorism to give you a tale of graceful misery and unorthodox beauty. Because that is exactly what this toxic storm of starvation, terror, and savagery is. It’s beauty. “His skin peels off like strips of paper, gathering under my nails, soft and pulpy.” These sweet, innocent and delicate young girls are trapped in an asylum that keeps them cut-off from the rest of existence. Their once normal lives have been drowned; washed away by an outbreak that leaves behind unpredictable flare-ups that leave the girls in a state of physical insanity. Bruising from the inside out, second spines and hearts, a silver scaled hand, skin lesions and bubbles. Each girl is a walking nightmare. A grotesque and brutal version of their former selves. But what makes these girls truly breathtaking and beautiful, is that they look at one another without judgement. See my full review on my website: Jenacidebybibliophile.com
MiekeReads 9 days ago
I found this book horrifying, intriguing, sad, and entertaining. This is a unsolved mystery as much as it is a horror story. It's a story of loss and bizarre circumstances, as much as it is a coming of age novel. Because of the nature of the story this book is a little hard to assign stars accurately. As a stand alone I'd give this book 4 stars. If it is the first in a series, I'd give it 5 stars. This book would be stronger if there are future books, because too many unanswered questions are left at the end. Honestly, I don't think that Hetty's story and the stories of her friends could be told completely in a single book and I really hope there are more books coming. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys strong girl characters.
sp89fairy 9 days ago
Feminist Horror! I really enjoyed reading this book. It was written beautifully. The horror was more creepy and less shock factor. It also felt like a little mystery thriller to me. This YA dystopian tale is truly unique. I love this new genre that has been taking off. This one stands out from the others with the amazingly written world and flowery descriptions. This book is a little slow to start. If you are looking for action by chapter 3 you wont find it here. The first third of the book is explanation, backstory, and setup. I personally don't mind this at all but some people need to be hooked right away. The story is set at a all girls boarding school on an island just off the coast from a military base. This makes for a great built in quarantine once the Tox brakes out. The girls are told nothing by the CDC or the mainland except that they are looking for a cure. The Tox isn't just a deadly illness however, it is a pathogen that causes mutations in its victims. Tox is strange as it not only effects the human population on the island but also the animal and plant life as well. The ending does not leave you feeling like you got it all. I LOVE THIS! Its like a good horror movie that at the end of the movie even though everything worked out you've never seen more then the hand of the monster. It leaves you thinking. My imagination is way scarier then anything that could be described to me. I'm not sure if this means another book or not. I personally would be happy to have this left as is. I really enjoyed it so I would also love to read any sequel or companion book to this. NetGalley provided me with an Advanced Readers Copy in exchange for my review. All thoughts are my own.
HugsandKissesforBooks 9 days ago
Wilder Girls by Rory Power is a dystopian sci-fi for young adults. I read an excerpt on Bookish First and was so grateful that I had an ARC from NetGalley and Delacorte Press/Random House so I could finish reading the book immediately! The opening frightened and piqued my curiosity. I also felt sorry for the Tox survivors because civilization deserted them, except for limited, intermittent supply drops from the Navy. Told in alternating points of view between friends, Hetty and Byatt. (I cannot seem to get out of my mind, the fact that if the first letters of both names are exchanged, the names would be Betty and Hyatt);) Hetty starts the story and continues until Byatt suffers a Tox episode and is taken away. Hetty searches for her, can’t find her and overhears one of the leaders on the radio talking about an exchange. Then it’s Byatt’s turn to tell the story. She wakes up in a strange place and she struggles to talk. Soon, she’s surrounded by people in surgical clothing and is forced to take a bitter tasting pill. Byatt has a few more experiences to share but the majority of the story is told through Hetty’s perspective. Strange and frightening discoveries are made and the story ends with a wide opening for more to come. I do enjoy science fiction when it’s in dystopian form and the ending left me wondering what’s next! 4 stars! * I received a complimentary copy of this book for voluntary review consideration and all opinions and thoughts are my own.
OneThriftyReader 10 days ago
This is definitely the best book cover I've seen this year. It is genius! It also accurately and artistically conveys the storyline of the novel: an all-girls boarding school on an island in Maine is suddenly and mysteriously infected by the Tox, a horrible disease that kills many of the girls and the teachers and does weird things to the bodies of those who survive. They go blind, develop gills on their necks, all sorts of terrible things - everyone is afflicted a little differently, but the afflictions are all ghastly. They are totally cut off from the mainland except for a two-way radio and a supplies boat. Even with the supplies boat, they never have enough food to eat or fuel to keep warm. They develop into tight-knit groups who help each other survive. When one of the girls disappears and her friend is determined to find her, the action really heats up.
Anonymous 10 days ago
The Raxter School for Girls has been under quarantine for 18 months. A sickness, which the girls have named the Tox, spread quickly killing many of the girls and leaving the rest with mutations. Forced to survive on the limited rations the Navy delivers, most of the girls have become wild and deadly, just like their surroundings. The promise of a cure and their bonds to each other is the only things keeping them in check but when those things become threatened, the girls will stop at nothing to survive. As soon as I read the premise for Wilder Girls, I knew I had to read it. This is one of those novels that just feels as if it was written specifically for me. The girls who have survived the Tox have been quarantined to their boarding school in Maine. Hetty, one of the main characters has been left with only one eye. Her bond with her roommates Byatt and Reese are the only things in her life that keep her from going crazy. When Byatt goes missing Hetty and Reese decide leave the protection of Raxter to bring her back and in doing so discover dangerous secrets. This was one of those novels I didn't want to put down and I can't wait to add this to my library when it releases. A fresh and exciting horror novel with strong female protagonists and a mysterious body mutating contagion...a must read!
YourDreamComeTrue 10 days ago
This book is not for the faint of heart and certainly a book that everyone needs to read. Even though this is a YA novel, young adults and adults alike need to read this. This post-apocalyptic novel is not one to shy away from and shows how far our fighting spirits go, especially the fighting spirits in young women. The writing, paired with the contents of the story, was woven beautifully to convey a harrowing tale that sadly doesn't seem all that fiction if it were to happen in another fifty to a hundred years from now. This novel is fast-paced and will grab you from the start. Its grip is unrelenting and it will have its hooks in you until the very last page. Don't sleep on this book, and add it to your TBR ASAP.
FadedPages 11 days ago
5/5 stars ***I received this digital ARC in exchange for an honest review. I loved this creeptastic YA thriller so much! It pulled me in from the start and wouldn't let me go. I just had to keep reading to find out what was truly happening on Raxter island and how it would end. Synopsis It's been almost two years since signs of the 'Tox' appeared on Raxter island and Raxter's School for Girls was quarantined. No one knows what the 'Tox' is for sure, but it's slowly changing the teachers, girls and island in disturbing ways. When Hetty's best friend Byatt goes missing, Hetty risks everything to find out what happened to her and discovers everything on the island isn't what it seems. Pacing, Points of View & World Building The overall pacing was lightning quick! I couldn't put this one down, but I also didn't feel like the story rushed over parts. There were three main points of view which were Hetty, Byatt, and Reese. I honestly enjoyed every character's point of view and never felt like speed reading past any one character's part. The world building was amazing! When the characters walk through the woods on Raxter island, it felt extremely realistic, eerie and mysterious. The oddness of those woods crept off the page and threatened to suck you into it's murky depths! This story's world truly had me on the edge of my seat and questioned whether I really needed the light off at night to sleep! Characters The dynamics between the three main female characters was very raw and real. I loved reading about Hetty, Byatt, and Reese. All of the characters within the story were survivors, but with that survival came emotional baggage. It showed in the raw interactions between them especially when one fell ill or during meal time. The drive to do anything to survive reared it's ugly yet entertaining head a few times in this story and I loved the realness of it all. Overall Overall, I loved this thrilling survival story about the bonds between those people and the strange situation that is Raxter island. Please do yourself a favor and grab this one if you're in the mood for a fast read that's filled with eerie mystery and raw emotions! I feel ridiculously lucky that I was granted an advanced NetGalley copy. Thank you so much to NetGalley, Random House Children's and Delacorte Press for allowing me the opportunity to read this amazing digital ARC in exchange for an honest review. I cannot recommend this book enough to thrill seekers and anyone who loves survival stories!
hufflepuffilicious_books 11 days ago
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher for an honest review. This might not be a very happy book, but it is a good one and I can see it going up for several Youth Media Awards in January. The story takes place on an island where the students at an all girls school have been trying to survive on their own ever since a disease known as the Tox began ravaging the island. Several students and most of the teachers have already died because of it, and the story begins 18 months into the school’s quarantine. At this point, the girls at the school are just trying to survive until a cure is developed. The characters are complex and raw. Hetty, Byatt, and Reese are the three main characters and the story switches between Hetty and Byatt’s point of view. Byatt disappears from the school and her POV shows the reader where she is and what the government is doing in regards to finding a cure for the Tox. There are two separate romances in the story, but both are subtle and don’t overwhelm the story. The main focus is still trying to survive the Tox. I loved the originality of the story. I know it’s being marketed as a feminist Lord of the Flies, but the world building of the Tox and how it is evolving in its victims was fascinating. That’s what actually kept me turning the pages. I just wanted to learn more about the Tox and you discover something new about it at every point in the story. It’s also a horror story, but it’s more of the creepy kind, as opposed to the jump-out-at-you kind. I would also put this in the science fiction category because of the Tox. Also, can we talk about how amazing the cover of the book is? It really captures how the girls’ bodies are basically unraveling as the Tox rages through them. The flowers represent what is at the heart of the Tox, while the hair covering Hetty’s eye reflects what the Tox has done to her. There were a few things that bothered me about the story. The ending doesn’t let the reader know what happens to the three girls, and I’m pretty sure there is not going to be a sequel. It would just be interesting to see what the girls will do. Will they go back to the mainland? Will they be lost at sea? What exactly is going to happen? I’m also really bothered by the way Hetty just left the rest of the girls at the school to fend off the bear. Hetty injures herself to save the girls from the gas, goes on and on about how the teachers kept things from them and tried to kill them, goes after the headmistress for giving up on them, etc. And then just leaves the other girls to be killed by the bear! It just didn’t make sense for her character. Because she spent the entire book trying to save other people, but then is like “oh look, there’s a boat. Come on Reese let’s get blow this popsicle stand. That bear will just finish off the rest of the girls and give us a chance to get away.” I do think that you need to go into this book with an open mind, but the complex characters and excellent writing make it a wonderful read.
Sydney Springer 11 days ago
4.5 ⭐’s “Because I think I’d been looking for it all my life - a storm in my body to match the one in my head.” I don’t think I’ve ever been so disturbed by or in awe of a book. It sounds crazy, but that’s pretty much how I felt the entire time I was reading. This book is something special. I have never read anything like this, and I doubt I ever will. This book is dark, twisted, gory, and beautiful. “A knife in my belt, and the shotgun in my hands. A year and a half of empty sky, of not enough medicine, of bodies burning behind the school. We have to help ourselves.” The premise of this book hooked me immediately. When I received this in the mail, I was thrilled to tear into this book ASAP. I heard so many good things and went into this book with a lot of high expectations, and let me just say: Wilder Girls is as amazing as everyone says it is. There were times I gasped so loudly people were concerned about me, there were times I cried (and, again, people were concerned about me), yet there were also some beautiful moments that show the beauty of female friendship and love. “I don’t need the truth anymore. I just want to live.” Wilder Girls makes you question everything you think you know. Good, bad, otherwise, and in-between. It makes you realize people are complex and you may never really know someone and their true motives. People are more complex than we often give them credit for. Another thing I really appreciated about this book was its representation of LGBTQ+ characters. So many of the girls on the island are not straight, but it is not a defining characteristic. This is not a romance novel or a book about being LGBTQ+. This is a horror book with lots of LGBTQ+ characters. Dropped in all throughout the novel are sentences about girlfriends, about queerness, about having crushes on girls and boys. Now, the small romance that takes place within the novel barely is even a romance, but it’s there. I wish it could have been fleshed out some more, but I also realize that this was not the novel for that. Now, almost the entire reason this is not a 5-star rating is because of the ending. It doesn’t feel finished to me, and parts just felt unrealistic (I say about a book where girls grow second spines and have gills, but my point still stands). [BEGINNING OF SPOILER]⚠️⚠️⚠️ Byatt coming back to life felt wrong. It sounds terrible, but I wish she had stayed dead. It didn’t really feel like it stayed on theme with the general heartbreak and darkness of the book. I also have so many questions as to how she is still alive, what happened to her, etc., and none of them really get answered. ⚠️⚠️⚠️[END OF SPOILER] There are too many loose ends, too many questions unanswered. I hope there will be a sequel because I don’t feel any sense of closure by that ending. Another thing: I totally recommend listening to the author’s Spotify playlist while reading, because this book has a very specific aesthetic, mood, and theme and the playlist perfectly encapsulates that. In sum: Please read this book. Please buy this book. Please love this book the way it deserves to be loved.