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Ratings and Book Reviews (4 4 star ratings
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    Not for me

    If I didn’t have to read and review this book, I honestly wouldn’t have finished it. Needless to say, “Wilder Girls” started out interesting. I thought I was going to like it especially when I liked the relationships between certain characters (more than the characters themselves). Unfortunately, “Wilder Girls” just wasn’t a book for me. I think “Wilder Girls” would’ve been a book I might have enjoyed if we were still in the “Maze Runner” era or the era where dystopia YA was still pretty popular. Right now, I am just not feeling it. I didn’t feel like I enjoyed reading this book despite the author’s beautiful writing. Now, don’t get me wrong, this book was pretty awesome for a debut YA novel. However, I’d say the writing “saved” this book but the story did not. Now that I’m a bit older, I’m more conscious about the books I’m reading. I like to think about the “where,” “why,” and the “how’s” of what I’m reading. I like to think deep or beyond what was being portrayed/showed in the story. In “Wilder Girls,” the reader does not get all the answers or the answers weren’t wrapped up in a nice way. In fact, it was pretty messy to the point that I’m actually doubting these characters or whether they know or understand what was going on. There had also been a point where some characters knew what was happening but it just made ZERO sense to me on how they arrived to that conclusion. It just didn’t make sense how they would understand the science behind the Tox just by looking at diagrams and scientific information. I can’t even recall a time the girls in the boarding school were actually studying. They were just hunting, trying to survive, etc. There really wasn’t enough backstory or substantial backstory for me to even understand what was happening. At the same time, I don’t know what the meaning is behind this story. This book seemed to be purely plot based just to show a horror and queer story. There *might be some character development but it hadn’t been major for it to have affected the story (definitely not like a character driven type of story). I couldn’t find anything substantial in the book besides the relationships. All I’m saying is that, while I’m reading this book, I can’t help but think: “what’s the point?” All in all, this was a slow and less cohesive story with a pretty cover but ultimately it just wasn’t for me.
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    Beware!!!

    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 an obvious bond 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.
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    Gruesome tale told through beautiful prose

    Hetty is the teen protagonist who wants not only to survive but to truly live in this gruesome, immersive, and gorgeous story that takes place in an all-girls school set on an island that has been infested by the deadly “tox”. This story is not for the faint of heart as the tox causes monstrous deformations in the host bodies- both physical and psychological. And the author does not hold back on causing every single one of her characters pain! Nor is this story for the grammar police. The prose is absolutely stunning in the poetic sense. The author goes ALL IN on voice, throwing grammar conventions out the window. The result is almost a cinematic experience—virtual reality, at times, and I think it is completely fitting for this story. If you’re looking for an engrossing tale that is dark and raw, devoid of superficial beauty or expectations, about girls, survival, friendship, and f/f romance, and find beauty in the strange and sometimes macabre...then you will enjoy this book!
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    Unnerving and horrific in the best way

    I loved this book, it was unnerving and horrific and haunting in the best way. The isolated setting lends an extra layer of eeriness to it, the quarantined boarding school of girls who are all infected with the Tox are cut off not only by the fence that surrounds their school grounds but by the water surrounding the island. And the island isn't a haven either - the Tox has morphed the flora and fauna into a dark and dangerous woodland. I liked that we aren't coming into this at the outset of the Tox. By the book's opening, the girls are relatively resigned to the occasionally deadly mutations that predictably wrack their body. The key is holding onto just enough of a semblance of organized society to keep things from falling apart completely. I liked the idea of the ending but think another chapter or two would've been nice to flesh it out a little more. Not saying we need a nice clean bow tied on everything, but I felt there was room for a little more lingering expansion that wouldn't detract from the story's last-ditch desperation. This is definitely a book for fans of Annihilation, the Doctor Who "Waters of Mars" episodes if you're familiar with those. Not for fans of body horror.
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