It’s a true cover buy.
Let’s begin with the most positive thing here, the cover of this novel is absolutely stunning! This is truly a book you’ll see on the shelf at a bookstore, admire the cover and pick it up hoping to display it on your shelf because your TBR is a mile long and you won’t get to it for a while.
Note (to my book swap buddy): Sara (@scientificstars [go follow her]), please don’t read this review until you’ve read the book because I don’t want to sway your opinion xx
Blurb: 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. Book Depository | Dymocks
I picked this book up as it was TheYARoom’s book of the month for August. I really liked the sound of it and the potential for some gore during my fantasy reading binge, also the cover is stunning!
I don’t know whether to be mad or disappointed with this story, and I hate getting roasty about books – because I feel like a bad person – but I really think that this novel deserves the roast it gets (sorry).
Wilder Girls had the ultimate potential to be an amazing novel. It could’ve been a proper (exaggerated) warning about the impending risk that climate change can bring us, though it severely missed this opportunity and instead developed into something with plot-holes, desperation and secrets that weren’t really as shocking as they should be.
I actually read the blurb before reading this novel and went into it expecting a survival, almost horror-like novel with some queer romance and friendship. Alas, the only queer romance there was was the conflicted ramblings of our main protagonist (that made me want to stab her) and some cute moments between two of the protagonists that became a reprieve from the monotony of this novel.
Throughout the novel, I felt like I was grasping onto strings of happiness from where the story would get better or at least develop a solid storyline. When the point-of-view change, the voice was a little better although the main issue still remained: the characters were very one-dimensional.
This is a novel about survival in which everyone is desperate to survive, but no one actually has any real reason to survive. It seemed that all the girls on Raxter felt like they belonged there, were owned by the island and knew they had to leave, but there was never any reason to other than the fact that they’re destined to die.
Our main protagonist didn’t really have a personality aside from being severely obsessed with one of her best friends in such a way that was so annoying and worrying, I kinda wanted to send her to get checked out for potential brainwashing.
I found myself so desperate for a character to like, for a character with personality, I started to treasure the NPCs (seriously minor characters that have the least page-time), mostly because my image of them wasn’t ruined by pages and pages of them repeating the same rubbish over and over, and they had more personality and likeability, even though they were mean and naive.
Also, all the girls only had two main defining characteristics; their deformity from the Tox and something Hetty knew about them (or herself). For example – and this technically isn’t a spoiler because it’s on the blurb – Hetty is defined by her eye and her desperation to find Byatt.
I feel like I can say anything about this novel and not have it be a spoiler, as it didn’t really have a structured storyline and therefore the secrets that were revealed were not so much a plot twist, rather just another conversation between characters.
What annoyed me most about Wilder Girls was the ending. The disappointing way in which it just fell off the face of the earth irked me to no end. It didn’t conclude anything, leaving the characters in the middle of their journey, always finding things out and never achieving their main goal. Sometimes a very meh book can have a good ending and even make me read the sequel, but this one just makes me sad to be passing it on to my friend.
★ Rating ★
I rated this book a ★★☆☆☆ (2.5/5 stars) or an official 2.5 stars. It wasn’t bad enough to be 2 stars because there was some suspense and parts that kept me hooked, although I felt that Byatt was the only character who wasn’t severely boring. Overall this novel is a quick read and I would 100% watch a movie based off of this concept!
See you back here on Monday’s (book reviews), Wednesday’s (storytime/ writing updates) and Saturday’s (other bookish content).