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.
Genre: Young Adult Fiction / Horror
Author: Rory Power
Hardcover, 368 pages
Expected publication: July 9th, 2019
Publishing House: Delacorte Press
Wilder Girls feels dystopian.
Generators are working around the clock. Animals have gone savage. Humans are getting infected…dropping like flies.
There was an outbreak of the TOX, the CDC and the Chemical /Biological Incident Response Force have issued the implementation of a full isolation/quarantine for the Raxter School for Girls. Everyone is to remain on school grounds within the fence and supplies are dropped off via Camp Nash at the western pier of the island near Maine.
There is order in the school…for a while at first. Girls are paired up, rations are carefully dealt and job shifts are listed weekly. Gun shifts and supply shifts are the most dangerous duties. But the fevers are encroaching, wretched, leaving scars and the infirmary is not a place you want to go…or you may not come back.
The three main characters in this story form a trifecta relationship through love, loss, and hope. Byatt becomes sick and is taken to the infirmary. Hetty, who has had a long relationship with her, sharing everything from secrets to bed-space, is now trying to find her in the infirmary. But Byatt is kept isolated and can’t be visited. Hetty does what she has to, to find out what has happened to her. Her discoveries lead her into another realm of secrecy that is kept from all the girls.
Reese is there for Hetty to deal with the pain and vying for Byatt's bed space. The two of them will take on an investigation of what is happening behind the closed doors of the infirmary and a shipment that has arrived on the island that was anything other then provisions needed.
Something fishy is going on on the island and they are bound to find out what. Tragedy hits very personally on the outer reaches passed the woods when the TOX is making its way in towards the school.
Can Hyatt track down her friend and uncover the conspiracy happening around them?
This novel has a striking cover as well as a story. A shared space of beauty and wretched simultaneously. I did not see it like that at first, but the rawness of hurt and evil are spreading like an evil fog, suffocating all that is left of the beautiful girls.
In places, I found the writing somewhat abstract, which added to the eeriness of the plot. The pacing and elusive choice of dialogue have the reader guessing to make sense of it all. This particular part is not my fortay, I don’t enjoy it as much, but I think it would be considered a fitting component to add to the overall atmosphere.
The action scenes were my favorite part of the novel and an element of romance gave the characters a reprieve from hardship. With a dystopian feel and the backdrop of government secrecy, it holds the reader’s interest throughout. I had hoped to find an extreme ending to all of this, but it fell a bit flat in a sense, that it is somewhat open-ended. Therefore the reader has to deduce an appropriate conclusion to their liking. I have seen this in movies that are to be continued, but I am not sure if this novel is to be. Again, all up to the readers taste if this is a make or break.
Overall it was an interesting read filled with chilling moments and adventure. The author shares notes on content trigger warnings on her site: https://itsrorypower.com/wilder-girls/ just in case. And if dystopian novels are your thing and you enjoy YA novels, this one is worth to spend your time with.
I received a digital copy of this novel from Netalley in exchange for an honest review.
All opinions are my own. Thank you
I absolutely love that cover xoxo