Raxter School for Girls lies at the tip of an isolated island off the coast of Maine. Eighteen months ago it was hit by the Tox, a mysterious illness that killed off most of the teachers and leaves the students suffering from horrific and violent mutations. The island has been in quarantine ever since. The only people to ever leave the confines of the school are those chosen for Boat Shift; a select few tasked with collecting meagre supplies shipped in by the Navy to be brutally fought over by the surviving girls at the school.
Hetty is one of the survivors. One of her eyes is fused shut, a strange restless presence behind the lid, but other girls have it worse. Some suffer flare ups that leave them incapacitated, sent to the infirmary, with a chance that they won’t return alive. Those girls are burned out back. When Byatt gets sick and goes missing, Hetty learns that she will do anything to safe her best friend, even if it means putting others in danger.
The things I’ve done here, the bodies I’ve felt under my hands.
They’re for nothing if I don’t find Byatt.
I have seen countless reviews praising Wilder Girls so I was anticipating a five-star read from Rory Power. I certainly enjoyed it, and was fascinated by the premise. The body horror in this novel makes you squirm and is fantastically written, but somewhere along the way the plot started to waiver for me and my investment in the characters and the narrative began to wain. I anticipated a jaw-dropping ending but it ultimately felt anticlimatic and open-ended. Like another of my recent ARC read, The Last Day, I felt that Wilder Girls could have been pushed further. Whilst the setting and premise of the story felt exciting and original, the story itself was, for me, forgettable.
Rating: 3 / 5 stars
Wilder Girls is out now.
*I received a free e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.*