RELEASED: July 9, 2019
PUBLISHER: Delacorte Press
FORMAT: ARC [Courtesy of Waterstones Brussels!]
GENRE: YA Horror
GOODREADS RATING: 3.67
TRIGGERS: Mention of selfharm, animal death
REPS: LGBTQIA+, one-eyed character (disabilities)
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.
Wilder Girls is a book that spoke to me right from the get-go. It isn’t one I’d usually pick up, but that made the intrigue even bigger, I guess? Not to mention how many people I’ve seen talking about it these past couple of months!
Let’s start with the thing that spoke to me before picking it up and the thing I kept loving throughout the story: the cast. It’s an all-girl cast which isn’t something too common in books. It made the story more unique. Apart from that, I also felt it highlighted how different and unique relationships can be. The usual friendship, the knowing someone, the “just something more than friendship”… All kinds of relationships are present. I loved seeing that.
There’s also a small undercurrent of romance, but it isn’t focused upon at all. It’s a story about survival after all, and I felt the author did the right thing by not making “love” a huge aspect of her book.
The writing took some getting used to, mainly because there are parts where one of the characters is completely out of it. Those parts lack punctuation. A lot. I don’t know whether that’s only in the ARC or in the physical copy as well. In a way it was harder to read, but on the other hand.. You end up feeling as confused as the character is at that point. I thought it to be a good thing!
See how a body will change, to give you the best chance it can.
But it isn’t all good. Some of you might’ve noticed how Wilder Girls was on my “currently reading” for almost six weeks.. I simply didn’t have the urge to pick it up again? It was my “bath book”, but I still found myself scrolling through my phone instead of reading. Not something I usually do to be honest.
On top of that.. The beginning of the story felt vague. Or weird. I don’t know. Since the main character doesn’t really know what’s going on, the reader doesn’t either and I didn’t quite like it? It felt like something was missing.
Last, but not least, I expected to be freaked out, to get all “ugh, gore” at parts but that didn’t happen. Probably because my head wasn’t really into it, but.. it’s still disappointing either way.
In the end, I’d say this is an okay read, but I wouldn’t pick it up a second time. I don’t even know if I’d pick up a sequel if there’d ever be one..
Have you read this book? How did you feel?
Or is it something you might be reading in the future?