Wilder Girls (Barnes & Noble YA Book Club Edition)

Wilder Girls (Barnes & Noble YA Book Club Edition)

by Rory Power

Hardcover(Barnes & Noble YA Book Club Edition)

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A Barnes & Noble YA Book Club Edition! This YA Book Club Edition features a deleted scene & an author/editor conversation.

"Celebrates the resilience of girls and the earthshaking power of their friendships. An eerie, unforgettable triumph." —Claire Legrand, New York Times bestselling author of Furyborn

"Wilder Girls is so sharp and packs so much emotion in such wise ways. I'm convinced we're about to witness the emergence of a major new literary star." —Jeff VanderMeer, New York Times bestselling author of Annihilation

A feminist Lord of the Flies about three best friends living in quarantine at their island boarding school, and the lengths they go to uncover the truth of their confinement when one disappears. This fresh, new debut is a mind-bending novel unlike anything you've read before.

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.

"The perfect kind of story for our current era." —Hypable

"A groundbreaking speculative story—brutal and beautiful, raw and unflinching." —Emily Suvada, author of This Mortal Coil

"The perfect kind of story for our current era." —Hypable

"Real, flawed, brave girls against a world gone mad. A shudderingly good read!" —Dawn Kurtagich, author of Teeth in the Mist

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780593126349
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 07/09/2019
Edition description: Barnes & Noble YA Book Club Edition
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 1,172
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Rory Power grew up in Boston, received her undergraduate degree at Middlebury College, and went on to earn an MA in prose fiction from the University of East Anglia. She lives in Massachusetts. Wilder Girls is her first novel. To learn more about Rory, go to itsrorypower.com and follow @itsrorypower on Twitter and Instagram.

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Wilder Girls 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 58 reviews.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Lisa_Loves_Literature 4 months ago
I was really excited about this one. I mean, the cover, the synopsis, it just all sounded really good. But it took so long for anything really to happen. And then, when it did, it wasn't really anything that exciting. It was about a third of the way through, and I got excited, but then, really nothing happened. We never really find out for sure what caused what they had. Or what the people in the world outside were doing. Had this actually affected the outside world? I'm guessing not. And what kind of experiment were they even doing? There were so many different offshoots of the story, and at the end when we start finding things out, they don't all fit in, and something about climate change was inserted as if they were trying to make the story about that or something, but it all just really didn't add up to anything. The ending was very inconclusive, not sure exactly what happened. It was also kind of hard to feel much for the characters, honestly, they weren't really relatable, and nothing about them made me even that sympathetic to them. I'm sorry to say this one is the first book in a long time I've rated below a 3. As I saw another person say, if I hadn't really kind of had to review this, I probably wouldn't have actually finished it. But I just kept hoping the final answers would make all of the story worth it. Unfortunately they did not.
Anonymous 13 days ago
I understand why this book is getting a lot of buzz but I felt as though it was a ripoff of The Maze Runner. It is a book that left a lot of unanswered questions which may be because the author would like to write a second one but the parallels between both stories are uncanny. While I wanted to like this book due to the authors writing flow, and the beautiful cover I just didn't. This again is mainly due to the fact I believe the author ripped off another popular book.
AlexFoux 28 days ago
I was sucked into the "Wilder Girls" world from page number one. The writing style, the graphic slightly gory details and the way I am left hanging off the edge of my seat at the end of every single chapter. There are several reason why I was so entranced with this book but just to name a few: - The flow of the plot. I was already half way through the book and I still wasn't entirely sure what was happening! There are so many mysteries hidden in the information that it leaves you guessing (usually wrong) as you read each chapter. - Girl power to the MAX. I am digging the No Boys Allowed vibe but also the ruthlessness of the girls just because they CAN be. It speaks to the wildfire in my own heart, the one that wants to be unrestrained and free but also to sometimes watch the world around me burn to ashes. These girls are on fire! - The budding romance. I adore the way the girls are so careful and intentional as they test the waters. Despite this book being wholly fiction, it FEELS utterly real I had to ration myself out chapters because I just wasn't ready for it to end! There is a reason this made the Barnes & Noble YA Book Club - just do yourself a favor and go get this book!
Elena_L 4 months ago
"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." The premise for Wilder Girls reminded me of "The girl with all the gifts". The idea behind the story was mysterious and exciting. Nevertheless, as I was reading, the plot sounded confusing. I was expecting more action and clear storyline, however the story was quite dragged and I kept waiting for something more significant to happen and further explanation about Tox. There are lots of teenager talking - which wasn't my cup of tea. The characters were just fine. The good things: the cover is creepily pretty and the writing style is easy and fast. [I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review]
Kaleena 4 months ago
I really wanted to enjoy this book more than I did and no one is more disappointed than I am. While I absolutely loved the world-building that Power crafts in her debut novel, unfortunately, I struggled to connect with any of the characters and found it difficult for me to suspend disbelief - but not for the reasons you'd think. "Wonder what she'll get, if it's anything at all. Gills like Mona, blisters like Cat's, maybe bones like Byatt's or a hand like Reese's, but sometimes the Tox doesn't give you anything - just takes and takes. Leaves you drained and withering." Her prose is captivating and gruesome, as harsh as life has become on Raxter Island. The writing and story seem well suited for the screen, and I think I would enjoy this as a movie a lot more. Power has a vivid imagination that she is able to translate well onto the page, but there is something about the narrative flow that doesn't work for me as a novel. It is almost as if the narrative relies heavily on foreshadowing, only it is so overt that you notice something isn't right long before the characters uncover anything. This may be fun for some readers, but it annoyed me to no end. I found myself having an intensely difficult time believing the circumstances of life for the Raxter girls following the Tox, to the point that it prohibited me from ever fully being swept away by the narrative. I hesitate to point out specifics because I do not want to spoil the reading experience, but I couldn't stop myself from asking logical questions like How are they fighting over blankets and jackets when earlier in the text it is stated that the US Navy continues to send food & clothes for the full number of girls originally on the island (even though their numbers have dwindled)? and Why are there not enough rooms when a lot of girls have died? I am not sure if some of these things are continuity errors or not, but much of what made me frustrated and roll my eyes wound up being part of the plot... which honestly wasn't a satisfying revelation for me because it was so overtly off earlier. I never felt connected to any of the three main characters. They felt one-dimensional and paper-thin to me. The one I felt most believable was Reese with her hardened emotions and propensity for protecting herself from emotional pain. But when you don't really connect with or care for any of the characters, it is difficult for you to root for their struggle in an action-packed and dangerous plot. I was more interested in the Tox itself than what was going on with the characters in the book. The most compelling part of the story for me is omitted from the narrative. I understand that this is in large part because we learn about the disease through Hetty, and there is a lot that she doesn't understand or uncover. But for me as a reader, the ending felt anticlimactic and reasonably there could have been another 100 pages added to the end to expand her understanding a little bit and provide some closure for the reader. Wilder Girls is definitely a plot-driven novel, and I kept reading because Power crafted a horrifically compelling micro-dystopian world and I wanted to see how it ended. How it began. Any sort of explanation, really. But the ending felt abrupt and unsatisfying to me. Then again, I am one of the few people that didn't enjoy this book so please do take my experience with a grain of salt! Unfortunately, Wilder Girls was not the book for me, but it might be for you!
Felicia_Medina 4 months ago
Well here's something I never thought I'd never say, this book should have been at least another 100 pages longer. The premise for this book is really exciting and the cover is fabulous but the execution is sorely lacking. The story picks up some year+ after a remote school for girls is ravaged with a devastating virus and subsequently quarantined. Notice how I said "picks up". Very little backstory is ever given about the onset of the virus. How it all started and progressed leading up to the quarantine and beyond. For me, the most compelling part of the story was omitted. This book features three best friends that have seemingly settled into this horrific existence as much as could be expected, even going so far as finding some appreciation for their newly found strengths and Independence. Again, some history of the events that lead the girls to this point, including a more in-depth storyline as to what brought them to the island in the first place would have been nice. When one of the girls goes missing after a flare-up in her illness, the other two set on a course to find out what happened to her only to discover that all is not as it seems. Shocker. The reader is never enlightened as to what the cause of or how this illness started. Why did it only occur on this island? Why does it manifest in such different ways from person to person? Basically nothing is ever revealed, from the history to the present, making it hard to connect with this story and it's characters. The abrupt ending is perplexing. Will there be a sequel? More importantly, can we get a prequel? It seems the author forgot to include the entire backstory from this book. I would be interested in reading a second book because the ending leads you to believe that the next chapter could be a thrilling one. Additionally, the author has a real flair for atmospheric world building and what I did learn of the characters was fascinating. And who knows, maybe I'll get that history after all. 2.5 Stars rounded up ⭐⭐⭐ *** I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. ***
ScarlettG12 4 months ago
Honestly I don't even know where to start with this book. I was really excited about it when I first started reading it, especially because I had won it. But I quickly realized this was not the book for me. It was very vague and confusing, with major plot developments contradicting things that happened earlier. I felt confused the whole time I was reading it, and while there are some answers towards the end, a lot of things are left vague and unanswered. I also mostly felt like the book had no point. Like I know I read a whole book but thinking back on it I can't come up with a whole lot of things that happened. It was just a bunch of nothing. This was supposed to be like a creepy "horror" book, but besides one or two skin-crawling scenes, it was a lot of teenage bickering and the main character worrying and being horrible. I did not care at all about the characters. The main character Hetty was selfish and everything she did was unreasonable and irritating. There was also no characterization between characters. Hetty talks about how close she is with Byatt and would do anything to rescue her, but we have to reason to believe her or feel that relationship because there's no backstory. And as I said, there's not much plot here. You'd think Byatt going missing would be enough but it doesn't happen until almost halfway in, and then Hetty and Reese do next to nothing to find her except worry and say "I'd do anything to get Byatt back." I really liked the concept of this book and reading the description I still feel like it should have been a really cool and creepy book, but it fell seriously short to me, so much so that I was just ready for it to be over.
meredithjj 2 days ago
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book, especially given that I did have a few too many questions left at the end of it. That being said, I did like that it picked up right in the middle of the action and after the Tox had already set in. While I did like the characters, however, I did not find myself buying into the main relationships as much as I probably should have. I think if we'd gotten a bit more about Hetty and Reese before things got complicated. And I would've preferred to get Byatt's POV much earlier in the book, especially given how things changed for the girls as it progressed. I would probably read a sequel if we got one, especially to see more from Hetty and Reese's relationship and to see what happens next and what it's like elsewhere.
Anonymous 7 days ago
I do think it started out slow, so hang in there it gets better.
Deniareads 9 days ago
We read this book because it was Barnes and Noble YA Book Club for this month and this was a certainly interesting book and totally not what I was expecting. First of all, the cover was very deceiving, I’m just going to say that. And what I mean by that is just that you would never guess the topic of the book by looking at the cover. In this story, we follow the life of Hetty, Byatt, and Resse while they are at boarding school in a secluded island off the coast of Maine. This island has been infected with a disease that’s been killing the girls for the past year and a half. No one is allowed to leave the island and well, it’s a mess. It is a girls-only boarding school and they developed this sort of routine. For every girl with the Tox, it affects them differently. It’s a very gory book. Like the descriptions of how the Tox affects them each is very disgusting and at times outright gross. I’m not going to go into details about how blood and pus were pouring out of one girl’s eye. Or how another one had a second spine jutting out of her back. Nope, I’m not going to get into any detail of that sort. The story itself left you with more questions than answers and the end felt abrupt. The book itself was short but the story itself felt too long and I still felt like nothing happened. I kept waiting for the “big” thing to happen, and personally, I didn’t think there was that BOOM moment that we all wait for in a book. When you finish the book, you are going to be a little confused tbh. Now, with that being said, I don’t think it was a bad story. Did it had so much more potential? Yes. But overall, not a bad story and the concept itself is pretty neat if you can get over the gruesomeness of it. If you like Lord Of Flies, Post-apocalyptic worlds, Zombiepocalypse, Maze Runner, Gone, etc., then this is the book for you. Anyone 13 years old and older can read this book. And as always, I want to thank you for taking the time to read my post, I really appreciate it.
HollyLovesBooks4 14 days ago
I found this book a little difficult to get into, at first. Then its off to the races and you can't put it down. Wow. Really impressive retelling of a female version of The Lord of the Flies with a twist is probably the best way to spin it without giving anything away. Just read it! Highly recommend! #WilderGirls #NetGalley #RandomHouseChildrens #DelacortePress
Anonymous 15 days ago
Disclaimer: I received this book as an advanced copy by the publisher via NetGalley for reviewing purposes, but all opinions are my own. This book absolutely broke my brain. Left me wide open and incapable of forming complete sentences. I want it to break everyone; I need the world to read this book and be broken completely into tiny little pieces by this book so it can build us back up again the right way. Because this book knows things. It very appropriately seems to have a mind of its own, and it will get under your skin, you can count on that. It’s a slow kind of creep, as it snakes its way through you, but this book will devour you just as you devour it. It is worth noting that I have never in my life read a Stephen King book. This is basically sacrilege as a born and raised Mainer, but that kind of horror has never really interested me. I was absolutely willing to try a feminist YA horror though, but I was not prepared for the feeling I have now. Wilder Girls takes place on a fictional Maine island, but one so similar to many of the literal thousands of coastal islands we have that Raxter Island is basically real. I have not read any horror set in my own state before. Now, if I had read some King books previously, I’m sure I would be used to this dread that has settled in me as I look around outside. It’s one thing to read a scary story, another thing entirely to read a scary story that references places you actually know and visit. It’s definitely left an even bigger impact on me than this book was destined to make, and while it is a little freaky, I am thankful for it. The book follows a group of boarding school girls, quarantined on Raxter Island, which is home to wilderness, the school, and now, the Tox. We jump in just over a year after the quarantine started, so the girls are pretty adjusted to this life. Their bodies are being manipulated and mutated by something, which they’ve named the Tox. It gives some of them things like a hand covered in scales, a second spine, a blind eye. And from some it only takes. And when it takes too much… let’s just say they are at about half the population they were when it all started. We read from the perspective of Hetty, who’s 16 and forgetting what it was ever like to live before the Tox. We also get a good section of chapters from the perspective of her best friend, sister of her heart, Byatt, who worms her way into our hearts without even trying. But mostly we’re with Hetty, and she is exactly as flawed and human as we need a protagonist to be. She never should have had to shoulder the things she has or make the decisions she has to make. Her life shouldn’t have been this hard. But the Tox changed everything, for all of them, forever. But they’ve found a new normal, while waiting on the CDC and Navy to find them a cure. Until Byatt goes missing after a flare-up, and Hetty knows she has to do everything she can to find her. Including breaking quarantine. And what she finds when she does flips her life upside down again, and may just destroy the little life they’ve managed to build on Raxter living with the Tox. The plot Power has come up with here would be enough to carry this book into being one of more memorable books of the year. But her writing style is what seals the deal, what will make this one I will always remember and throw at everyone I can until the whole world has read this book. It draws you in from page one and doesn’t let go. Even after you reach the end, you’ll stil
Sydney Luttschwager 17 days ago
I finished this book a few days ago, and I wasn’t sure what to write for my review so I thought I’d take my time. Welp, I’ve come to a conclusion and it’s intense. At first I was skeptical. The concept seemed interesting enough and that’s what kept me reading this book. But when I first started Wilder Girls, I thought the writing was rough. It was almost like Power’s editor sucked at their job. The sentences are all over the place and it was very confusing at the beginning. However, it got better. But let’s talk about the rest of the book. It’s really good- and I mean REALLY good. The concept is awesome and unique and those are key to a good dystopian story. This book is about a school for girls that gets quarantined on an island because of the Tox. All I’m going to say is that it goes south and sh*t hits the fan. This book has all the action, drama, and LGBTQ+ love that my YA-loving heart could desire. It’s been almost a week since I finished this book and I can’t stop thinking about it. I really hope Power writes a sequel because I would love to know what happens to Hetty and her friends. Love love love this book! https://sydneykarole.wixsite.com/reviews
Caroldaz 20 days ago
The Raxter School for Girls has been hit by the Tox several months ago. The Tox causes mutations that are so very gross and yet fascinating. The Navy quarantines the island the school is on and keep promising a cure, but it is not forthcoming. This is a story of survival and of fiercely loyal friendships. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Kaitie-Maday 21 days ago
This book had me sucked in right from the beginning. It is the kind of story that at first you feel like you came in in the middle but not in a confusing way. You don't get all of the backstory about what is exactly going on right away, it is little bits throughout the story. The Tox has caused the girls of Raxter Island to be isolated from the mainland for 18 month. They have had no contact with the outside world apart from supply drops in that time. The girls are confined to the school grounds under quarantine due to the Tox. For the most part, the girls must fight for the limited resources that they are given. Given that the girls are all malnourished and their bodies are being destroyed by the Tox, the only hope they have is that the doctors with the CDC are working on a cure. Throughout all of this, the girls of Raxter really have become wilder in order to survive. Definitely a good read if you like story with a bit of a creepier twist to it.
ruthsic 24 days ago
Wilder Girls is a horror novel with a mysterious disease scenario trapping a school of girls on their isolated island for quarantine measures. The disease has been with them for a year and a half, and while they get supplies from the nearby navy base, they are living in survival mode. There aren't many rules, but one they adhere by is not go out of their school fence unless they are part of the group that goes to receive supplies. The disease takes many of them, but also changes each one of them in cycles of flares that leave them with a new spine or some extra organs. When Byatt comes down in a serious flare and is taken away, Hetty throws caution to the wind to recover her, and thus comes across the truth of the disease plaguing them. While the story is narrated by both Byatt and Hetty, the former's is a limited perspective and she is as mysterious a figure to us as she is to Hetty. Hetty, meanwhile, has a way of looking at the scenario that simultaneously invokes awe and fear. Byatt looks at the beauty of the weirdness this contagion has wreaked on them all, but her perspective also serves to give us more insight into the nature of the operation being conducted; Hetty, however, is chasing the mystery for most of the book, and pieces things together by the end. Through them, we see the island as a living thing, a threat turned on them after the outbreak, their 'wilder' natures mirroring the wildness of the forests around them. The atmosphere that the writing creates is so well done - you can feel the terror of the unknown outside, the ferocious existence wreaked out of a dire situation, and the feral nature that is their enemy. It is brutal, and doesn't show much kindness to its characters, which is why the relationships portrayed are such precarious things; this is a world in which terrible choices have to be made, and loving someone is a sure way to get your heart broken. As for the science aspect of the novel (because this is also SciFi and I am a science person, I have to speak on it), I wasn't really convinced. I won't spoil it, but it doesn't fit with how these things work and how it would spread. Even with the allowances made for it being so unknown. Also, there are hormonal aspects that don't make sense when you look at it as a big picture. Additionally, I felt there were some things that were never clarified, like what did Hetty say in her sleep (or was Byatt lying?), why Reese commented on Byatt's personality, and where were those people evacuated to. The open ending, however, gives me hope that there might be a continuation to this story (because I need it!)
ChocolateCheeks 24 days ago
I was sent a physical copy of this book for review thanks to the publisher and Bookish First. So this isn't going to be a very good review. Why? Because I committed a mortal bookish sin and DNF'd this book. I'm sorry but I just couldn't get past page 75 for the life of me. I had to set it down as a disappointment. So here's the thing. I was actually REALLY excited to read this book. I added it to be TBR as soon as I saw the gorgeous cover and read the interesting synopsis. Then I got an ARC and I was even more thrilled. Then I opened it... and... I... was... bored. I am having a hard time pinpointing what exactly turned me off from this book in such a snap but I am going to try and explain it the best way I know how... with words, duh. Anyway, for starters, I should have known this book wasn't for me. After all, it is a retelling of Lord of the Flies - a book that I couldn't bring myself to finish either when I picked it up from the library last year. It's just... not my cup of tea I guess. The graphic, gory, disturbing scenes and the savage af characters turned me way off in both of these books. If you're the kind of person that gets grossed out easily, ha, find another book, sweetie. This one gets kinda nasty right away. In terms of the plot, I was less than thrilled. Nothing about it sparked my interest and made me really care what the f happened to any of the characters. Speaking of which, didn't care about the characters either. I think you really need to get invested in them in order to care if they make it to the end but I found myself cold to all of them. Now the writing... people are saying the writing is rich and lush and gorgeous and while it is fine, there's nothing inherently wrong with the writing style, it didn't nothing for me personally. It was good, not great, settle down. I'm going to wrap my review up here because frankly I've wasted enough time on this book. I do hope if you choose to pick it up (most likely because of the stunning cover) you find tons and tons to love about it. Happy reading!
Anonymous 26 days ago
Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine 18 months ago. Since then, most of the teachers have died, and a strange infection has been spreading through the students, giving them strange growths and odd abilities. "The Tox," as it is called, has spread through the whole island, changing the plants and animals that live there, and making it impossible for the girls to leave the school, except one group of girls who travel down to meet the boat and get supplies when they are shipped in. Hetty has adapted to this life, even becoming an expert marksman, but when her best friend goes missing, she has to make the decision whether to break quarantine and find her - and some answers to questions better left unasked. My Notes: I really, really wanted to love this book, but it just wasn't for me. Given the subject matter, and the gorgeous cover, I thought I'd have it read in a day, but I kept struggling to get through the next chapter. It was very slow-paced, and I just had a hard time caring what happened to the characters. I know some people will love this book, but it wasn't for me. *Thank you to NetGalley for the eARC of this title, which I was given in exchange for an honest review.*
Anonymous 27 days ago
The mystery of "The Tox" and what is really going on with the island kept me reading and wanting to know all the answers.The ending was disappointing, seems to be setting up for a series. This book should be a stand alone with a more dramatic ending then it was given.
MyAlterEgoIsFiction 29 days ago
This book gave me all the feels. Even the bad, creepy ones that make me flinch. It caught my attention right away and I adored the characters. Set on an island, blocked off from civilization, these girls have to fight to survive emotionally and physically. Ravaged by an unknown disease called the Tox, they must survive for as long as possible. That's all. The way the disease works was BEAUTIFULLY rendered. I was so fascinated. I needed to know more. Why? How? When? The love, friendship, and betrayals were sooooo good. I also love the sisterhood-not-sisterhood background characters. Even when it was every girl for themselves, there was still a level of love and respect. Except for that one part. And the other part.
Kamisha 3 months ago
What a weird, strange and creepy little book! Before picking up Wilder Girls myself, I’d read mixed reviews about it from several people, and I could see why! The narrative style of the story is certainly not for everyone. There’s a good bit of flowery description happening throughout the book, and not a whole lot of explanation about how and why the Tox began. Fortunately, for myself, I was so drawn in by the plot of the story that I was able to suspend my disbelief enough to be entertained by it. But then again, I also enjoyed reading Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer, which shares some similarities to this story as well. Wilder Girls is a dystopian story about the Raxter School for Girls, which is (conveniently for the plot) located on an island. The story starts over a year after the Tox has already hit Raxter and the island, and the girls, have been quarantined. The Tox initially killed many of the school’s teachers and left only two adults remaining. It affects the girls in many strange and terrifying ways, some girls grow scales, some lose an eye, and some form extra bones and joints. It’s bizarre and definitely one of the creepiest parts of this story. When the main character, Hetty, finds out that her best friend Byatt has gone missing, she will stop at nothing to find her and prove that she’s still alive. Even if that means breaking quarantine. The dynamics between the girls and their two remaining teachers are intense and often even verging on savage. I know this book at some point got called “feminist Lord of the Flies,” but other than the survival aspect, there’s really no comparison here. The girls have little resources and are strictly governed by the two adults in their dystopian “society,” even being appointed to different teams such as the Gun Team, who protect the school from the denizens of the Tox-ridden woods outside the fenceline, and the Boat Crew, who meet the supply boats. Overall, I can’t really pinpoint exactly why I was compelled to keep reading this story, there were certainly things that didn’t add up, and yet I kept hoping for more answers until the very end. I gave this a higher rating because I was definitely entertained the whole time and I think the world Power created was unique and weird as hell (which is my aesthetic), but I could definitely see how this might not be for every reader out there.
Pseudandry 3 months ago
Book review: Wilder Girls by Rory Power read courtesy of Netgalley.com Publication date: July 9, 2019 I didn't want to put this book down, until I did... at the end... disappointed & frustrated. Back to the beginning. I was hesitant at first to even begin the story when I read its comparisons to Lord of the Flies, which I didn't like. (Sure, I understand LOTF's significance and symbolism and all of that, but I just wasn't into reading about an island full of 12 year old boys.) So I wasn't too excited to read about an island full of teenage girls. The author of Wilder Girls, however, caught my attention with a very telling sentence of how the girls were about to become, um, wilder, "Even when there's no bread, there's always shampoo." Though I didn't know at the time that was prescient, or actually backstory, but either way, it provided me a way to see the "feminist" point of view without having the perspective shoved down my throat -- for which I was honestly also fearful, given the fem-LOTF references. Some notes I took along the way... --I was surprised that the islands on which the story took place were in Maine; I think 'islands,' and I think tropical. I liked the Maine setting, because it made sense that a girls' school would be in Maine. --I was confused that all of the girls had different symptoms. If they were all suffering from the same 'disease,' then why were they all showing different manifestations? This was even more confusing when, later on, the girls figured out that one thing was causing everyone's illnesses. --The different manifestations of the disease felt derivative to me of the Star Trek: Next Generations' episode called Genesis. --It wasn't cleared up until the end why males and animals and plants also got the disease, which of course is the point of a mystery It never made sense to me why the Navy would keep arming the girls' school and replenishing their ammunition. --The adults were also keeping knives away from the girls but not bullets - although, some of that is explained later in the story. And... the Navy sends bullets but not space heaters? --Another good, succinct explanation of the girls situation, "At some point the order was alphabetical but we've all lost things, eyes and hands and last names." --Feminism isn't the same as female... what purpose did it have to not have the disease kick in until puberty, especially since the disease struck males and animals, too? --It's not clear why the girls had to surreptitiously and clandestinely be moved to be examined, especially because the attending physician seems like a mensch. --When the girls were running, --and had to shoot a gun, how come no one back at the school heard the shot? --I loved the reason the parents were given to cut off communication with the students, especially because the reason the girls were initially told communication was cut off made no sense. --Towards the end, just at the point where I was having difficulty remembering which 'side' everyone was on, the author provided a brief memory through a character that helped place each character in perspective again. And that's when it all fell apart. The end of the story made no sense. It felt rushed and didn't follow any trajectory that was started anywhere prior to the end. So, so disappointed! I really, really wanted to like the story, but it ended so abruptly and awkwardly that I felt cheated out of a real ending.
KarlieSch 3 months ago
Quarantined on an island, the girls from the Raxter school are told to sit tight and wait for a cure but things aren't going so well anymore... I always enjoy a boarding school setting for a story but Rory Power really takes it to another level. Fun and horrifying all at once, I could easily see Wilder Girls being a Netflix movie that I would devour like I did this book. The friendships are developed well so that you truly feel for these girls and can relare to them. This book kept me on my toes the whole time, constantly trying to figure out what is going on behind the scenes that the main characters and readers don't know about yet. A pretty quick but intense read. I definitely recommend it.
bayy245 3 months ago
I really wanted to love this one and I'm disappointed that I hated this one. I wish I got the feminist message that a lot of people have received from this book. I couldn't connect to the characters or anything else about this novel. We're placed right into the action for this novel, it didn't work at all. I feel like I was dropped into this very confusing world without being able to form a connection with anyone or anything. I couldn't connect to any of the girls in this story. It was super narrative-heavy which I think is another obstacle in the way of getting to know the characters. It needs a whole host of trigger warnings and I don't even know where to begin to list them. Opening this book, I feel like I ran head first into a brick wall and I couldn't ever get my bearings straight. It wasn't a great start to the novel and nothing got better. *I received a complimentary copy of this book from Delacorte Press through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.*