Wilder Girls, the debut novel of Rory Power, is the horror story of best friends Hetty, Byatt, and Reese. They have been stuck in Raxter, the island in which their school for girls is on, for eighteen months, quarantined and away from the world because of the Tox, the deadly disease that has claimed the lives of teachers and students alike. The Tox, though, gives surprising but strange abilities to the girls that do survive it, as well as gruesome liabilities. Double heartbeats, gills, second spines. After Byatt’s disappearance, Hetty and Reese work around the clock to try to rescue her, uncovering dark secrets as they go.
This book spooked me to the bone. I could hardly sleep at night. The characters were relatable and interesting, with well-developed backgrounds. Hetty and Byatt’s relationship was beautiful on its own (and very relatable for me), but it was also nice to see Hetty and Reese grow on each other. I loved how Power wrote Byatt’s perspective in fractured, broken bits and sentences, like you were reading her brain. Finishing it is also a satisfaction. The ending gives you a sense that you want more, to know what happens next, even if there isn’t a sequel, but the answers that are given to you, and the way everything ties together makes up for it. I would recommend it to any horror sci-fi/realistic fiction lovers, or anyone who loves a good, spooky mystery. I would also recommend it to any fans of The Vanishing Game. I loved this book!