Updated: Jul 13, 2021
Rating - ⭐⭐⭐
"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."
Wilder Girls by Rory Power is a standalone YA horror novel.
Going into this I was expecting something on the level of Junji Ito, but I got was a book that focused more on character relationships than body horror. Overall though, this book was just okay.
The premise was interesting and kind of reminded me of Annihilation, but it lost itself in the execution. I also felt like it started to lose traction as the book went on and it became a bit of a shit show. I also don't like how a lot of what happened was rooted on what Hetty did and there wasn't enough time given for her actions to really sink in.
And as always, an open ending is never the way to go for me, as it feels like the author didn't know how or when to end the story. The writing style was fine but I don't think that I am a fan of the random gaps in the text that I assume shows distress. I felt no pull to the characters and felt that the tiny glimpse of romance was pointless.
If you go into this expecting a fully fleshed out story with a concrete beginning and ending and strong elements of body horror, then maybe you should find another book.