Review: Wilder Girls by Rory Power
This book really took me by surprise. As soon as I heard it had a lot of similarities and was somewhat of a retelling of The Lord of the Flies, I knew this would be a hit for me; turns out I enjoyed it even more than expected. A group of teenagers from Raxter boarding school for girls have now been living with 'the Tox' for over a year. This has caused various mutations (all of which are very graphically written so I wouldn't recommend this book if you have a week stomach). A girl with a third eyelid, a girl with a second spine that protrudes from her back and a girl with a scaly silver claw...amongst others. If you are a daily commuter like me, get ready for people to ask you questions on public transport as I could not help but make some appalling faces!
The book is written from 2 different perspectives: Hetty and Byatt, both young girls that have been infected and are close friends. I am a big fan of books written from multiple sides, but I think this book could have missed this a bit. Hetty was the central character and got considerably more air time. This wasn't the end of the world, but it made me feel the book could have done with being a bit longer to include more from Byatt as her story line was completely different but very memorable. Always a fan of a LGBTQ+ relationship being included. The romance does not take over the story but it a nice subtle addition to give you a break from the horror, and a reminder that despite the 'wild' side, there is a still a huge amount of the human experience included in the book. If you like horror (especially body horror), read it. If you like The Lord of the Flies, read it. If you like weird, queer, 'what did I just read?', read it. My only real complaint was a slight anticlimax at the end of the book. I felt there could have been another completely terrifying horror sequence, or some kind of real conclusion to the plot twists that come to light in the last section. Maybe this was on purpose, and by all means a book does not need to be concluded with a nice bow on it; I just felt the ending didn't leave me on a high... There is no denying though: I will be recommending this book far and wide, as I truly did love it!
Initial Prediction: 4 stars
Final Rating: 4.5 stars
Publication Date: 9 July 2019
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books (UK) Genres: Young Adult, Horror
# of Pages: 357