Everyone loses something to the Tox; Hetty lost her eye, Reese’s hand has changed, and Byatt just disappeared completely.
It’s been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put in quarantine. The Tox turned the students strange and savage, the teachers died off one by one. Cut off from the mainland, the girls don’t dare wander past the school’s fence where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure as the Tox takes; their bodies becoming sick and foreign, things bursting out of them, bits missing.
But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her best friend, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie in the wilderness past the fence. As she digs deeper, she learns disturbing truths about her school and what else is living on Raxter Island. And that the cure might not be a cure at all..
Wilder Girls is the strange and compelling story of the pupils at Raxter School for Girls, which is put under quarantine after the island becomes infected with the Tox. Affecting every student and teacher differently, Hetty loses an eye, Reese loses a hand and many of the teachers have died off one by one. When Hetty’s best friend Byatt goes missing, Hetty breaks the rules to search for her discovering the truth behind the mysterious disease that is affecting her classmates.
I wanted to love this one. There was so much hype around it that I think I might have built it up in my expectations just a little too much. It was a really enjoyable read but it wasn’t particularly scary and I think I was expecting that shiver up your spine kind of feeling. I really liked Hetty and Reese, they were great main characters and I really liked watching their relationship blossom. It was an enticing read, drawing you deeper and deeper into the reasons for this horrible plague.
I really liked Power’s writing style, the island and the setting beautifully described and the horror of the tox was highlighted in a really visceral way. The plot was pretty fast going and I read the first half of the book pretty quickly, but I did feel a little let down by the ending. It felt a bit on the rushed side and just wasn’t the type of ending I was expecting.
Overall Wilder Girls was a really enjoyable read and if you’re looking for a YA mystery with a touch of horror thrown into this mix this could be exactly what you’re looking for!