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.
It's been eighteen months since Hetty and her friends have been quarantined at the Raxter School for Girls. A deadly virus, the Tox, has infected them and the staff. They are left to fend for themselves while those around them either die a grisly death or are transformed into something terrible. Hetty though knows that there's more going on than the authorities are letting on. When her friend goes missing, she searches for the truth. Only she finds there's much more to their story and fate.
What worked: Think futuristic twist of LORD OF THE FLIES set in a quarantined girl's school. Add climate change to the mix and you have one mesmerizing, chilling survivalist tale.
Hetty and her classmates transformation after being infected by the Tox is shown in sometimes gruesome images. Hetty is strong and even though the virus has affected her sight(the description of what she feels is very chilling), she struggles with feeling deep down that the headmaster and authorities aren't being totally honest with them. Most of the adults at the school have died and those who did survive have changed in their own gruesome ways.
There is a Sci-fi element throughout this story, though it could be based on something that could very well happen in the near future with the consequences of climate change. Not only are the girls affected, but all life on the island.
Provocative, haunting story that is guaranteed to keep you turning the pages until the early hours.
Beware. Wilder Girls will draw you in, softy whispering tendrils creeping through your mind and thorny vines entangling your heart and capturing it completely in this beautiful, eerily dark and haunting, yet hopeful book.
The cover is the first thing to be noticed. With it’s gorgeous yet subtly unsettling artwork, it will immediately catch your eyes.
These unforgettable characters live and breathe on the page, from Hetty’s stubborn unwillingness to give up on Byatt, to Reese’s sharpness and burning hair. The chapters narrated by Byatt were heartrending. Even minor characters felt brought to life. The girls’ struggle to stay alive in the treacherous shadowy place their lives had become was darkly fascinating, as was the tension between obvious bonds and caring between all the girls, yet also a mentality of everyone being willing to do whatever it takes to survive.
Not only the plot and the characters shine in this book. Rory Power’s writing gleams and shimmers, able to shift from flowery introspective prose to heart-pounding action scenes.
This book wouldn’t have been hurt by another few hundred pages. Unfortunately, it is as of now, a standalone, we will have to make do with the ending we were given, which is just as beautiful and captivating as the rest of the book. Although open-ended, it is a satisfying close to the tale. I think we will just have to assume that all turns out well for our beloved wilder girls.
Thanks to Bookishfirst for providing me with a copy of this book. All opinions are my own.