Thursday, August 29, 2019

Wilder Girls by Rory Power-- Strong Beginning, Non-Ending

Wilder Girls

When the Tox infected the girls at the secluded Raxter Boarding School, the government quarantined them.  That was 18 months ago.  Since then, the girls have barely had enough food or heat, and they've been hit with an array of disturbing symptoms with little to no medical help.

Hetty, Byatt, and Reese look out for each other.  They are each other's families.  So when Byatt goes missing, it's no question that Hetty will look for her.  Coinciding with Byatt's disappearance, Hetty learns from one of the few adults left that there is more going on than what she thought.  It's a race to save Byatt... and themselves.

I've been looking forward to this book all year.  I love boarding school books, I love horror, and I love apocalyptic-type books.  (Okay, this isn't the end of the world yet, but it's certainly a concern with a quarantined disease.)

So.... I really want to say I loved this book.  But sadly, I did not.  It's not that I didn't see potential, because it was clearly there, but somewhere along the way the story got lost.

Wilder Girls starts out strong.  The setting is captivating.  This island in New England that grew flowers that bloomed in winter??  And was wild beyond imagination??  Yes, I was all IN for that.  Then the story and the bonds between the girls kicked in and I was HOOKED... for a while.

I really liked the initial character-feel of this book.  The relationship between the girls was odd and interesting.  I liked learning about the island and their connection to it.  I liked seeing flashbacks about their previous lives and how the 3 main girls became close.

What I didn't like was when the book devolved into more of an atmospheric book.  The story and the character focus fell away and it was all gore and setting.  I wanted to know WHAT THE HECK WAS GOING ON.  This disease was something so strange that it begged explanation.  Scientific explanation.  I need it.  I need you to tell me how it works.  Where it came from.  Why it's not anywhere else.  I need to know.

I didn't get to know.

The ending of this book was SO disappointing.  It's been a while since I've read a complete non-ending book.  They piss me off every single time.  I don't need everything tied up in a neat bow.  I don't need to know the answers to all my questions.  I actually kind of like open endings... but I need there to be some type of ending.  This one just felt like the author got bored and said THE END.

OVERALL: I hate to say this, but I just did not love this book in the end.  It started out strong, but it got completely lost along the way.  Open endings I'm good with, non-endings enrage me.  This was the latter.  I think this story had potential to blow me away, but it needed like 50 more pages with SCIENCE.

Date Published: 7/9/2019
How I got this book: Thanks to ALA and Penguin Random House for providing me with an advanced copy to read and honestly review
Publisher: Delacorte Press

Add it to your To-Read List!!

My Rating: 2/5

Character: Byatt
Book: Bad Girls with Perfect Faces by Lynn Weingarten

  • I think Byatt and Sasha have a similar personalities.


  1. Aw, sorry you didn’t like this. I am a borderline hypochondriac and SERIOUSLY creeped out by virus books. It’s just not good for me to read them. So you are making me feel better for skipping this....

    1. Yeah-- it's very detailed on the medical descriptions... although the symptoms are very odd and almost seem fake?? So maybe it wouldn't remind you of a real virus at all.

  2. Nooo! I loved this book so much, but I can understand why it wasn't for you. I do agree that it could have used a bit more closure.

    1. It made me so sad to not love this book!! THAT COVER!!! The boarding school and the girls!!! I wanted to love it and I could have, I just really needed those explanations at some point :(