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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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4.0 out of 5
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All Book Reviews

  • 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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    31 person found this review helpful

    31 people found this review helpful

    31 of 31 people found this review helpful

  • 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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    22 person found this review helpful

    22 people found this review helpful

    22 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Okay, but I wanted more.

    I’m going to start out by writing that this was a good book. And it was. I was expecting more though. More horror and more chaos and more young women bucking authority. I kept seeing Wilder Girls by Rory Power all over the socials and people were giving it outstanding reviews. So I was expecting more. I kept seeing it being compared to Lord of the Flies. The young women don’t go against the two older women in charge and they don’t take over the house. They go along with not having enough food to eat, no medications, being cold, and the fear of not knowing what will happen next. It isn’t until Byatt is taken to the locked wing because she’s deteriorated so badly that two of the girls finally escape the contained area to find her. And then, finally, in the last quarter of the book the girls start to fight back but only because an unnatural creature forces them too. And still only Hetty and Reese question the status quo as they try to escape, leaving all the other girls behind. Often with horror there isn’t a lot (or any) backstory. You get thrown right into the action. The main characters are trying to stay alive. And there’s no time for backstory. Only going forward, either to their death or to be the final girl. But with Wilder Girls since everyone was laying around the house and the only horror was the changes in their bodies (granted, they were major and sometimes deadly changes) I needed more backstory about the disease. And then towards the end, which came really quickly, after such a slow beginning, we finally learn a little about the disease, but it felt like just a teeny tiny blip in the story. And once again, I needed more. An interesting concept with lots of potential but I needed more.

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    12 person found this review helpful

    12 people found this review helpful

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Fast-paced YA - constantly throws you curveballs

    Wilder Girls starts right in the action and slowly reveals itself to you as you read on. It centers around three best friends Hetty, Byatt, and Reese in the aftermath of a quarantine. Sent to the Raxter School for Girls eighteen months ago, Hetty and her friends are now just trying to survive the Tox, the mysterious illness infecting Raxter Island. Without enough food or supplies, the girls try to stay sane while the Tox spreads, killing the girls one by one. But when Byatt disappears, Hetty will do anything to find her. But the deeper she digs, the more disturbing truths she finds. I devoured this book in one night. Part sci-fi thriller, part heart-warming story of friendship, it pulls the reader deep into the world of Raxter Island. Incredibly fast-paced, it slowly reveals its mysteries to you. It’s told alternating the first-person between Hetty and Byatt. I thoroughly enjoyed both the characters’ viewpoints. I enjoyed formulating theories about the Tox. Presented as a mysterious illness, it affects each person differently. As cool as it was, it was equal parts horrifying. Just when you thought you figured out what was really going on, it threw you another curveball. While I honestly didn’t find the ending satisfying, I found the rest of the story enjoyable and would definitely recommend it to those who like fast-paced YA.

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    9 person found this review helpful

    9 people found this review helpful

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • 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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    2 person found this review helpful

    2 people found this review helpful

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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