5 Oct 2022

#Review: WILDER GIRLS by Rory Power


Author: Rory Power
Series: N/A
Source: Audiobook from Audible
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: July 9, 2019
Overall Rating:
Diversity Rating:

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.
Amazon | Chapters | TBD
Disclaimer: While I read this as a finished audiobook that I purchased myself, I did receive an advance copy. This has no impact on my review.

Content Warning: Gore and body horror, guns, murder, parental death, animal death, self-harm, kidnapping and non-consensual human experimentation, chemical gassing, suicide, starvation, emetophobia.

18 months ago, the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine left to fend for themselves after the Tox infected their world. The Tox is a sickness that takes over your body, slowly mutating it until it eventually kills you. Unable to leave the school grounds in fear of what lurks in the woods, they patiently wait for the cure they were promised. But then, Byatt disappears and Hetty will stop at nothing to find her best friend, even if it means breaking quarantine.

This was a book I was very excited for. I loved that synopsis and the cover and I’ve heard nothing but good things from people I trusted. It was actually better than I expected after seeing the mid reviews on Goodreads, but there were some issues with it since it dragged in a lot of places.

I liked Hetty and Byatt and Reese well enough. I liked their almost camaraderie and how all of the girls bonded together like packs. There’s a good amount of violence and confusion and Hetty’s inner monologue reflects that. It was a bit of a struggle to settle into her side of the story. Byatt’s chapters were much better.

Plot wise, it was boring and intriguing at the same time. The writing was choppy and disjointed. My main complaint is that I wanted to be shown things, not told. The entire narrative was tell tell tell. I will say, I loved the imagery of the things happening, especially the density of forest and the effects of the Tox.

The writing in Wilder Girls is beautiful in the most haunting of ways, it’s the kind that gets your heart racing because of how it drives the point home and gets you feeling every emotion the characters feel. The biggest chunk of it is written from Hetty’s point of view, but we also get a few chapters from Byatt’s.

Overall, I did enjoy the very abrupt ending and how things played out. I'm excited to read more by Rory Powers in the future!

Have you read this book? Are you going to pick this up?

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