Release Date: February 3rd 2022
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4/5 stars
When Lux McAllister and her boyfriend, Nico, are hired to sail two women to a remote island in the South Pacific, it seems like the opportunity of a lifetime. Stuck in a dead-end job in Hawaii, and longing to travel the world after a family tragedy, Lux is eager to climb on board The Susannah and set out on an adventure. She’s also quick to bond with their passengers, college best friends Brittany and Amma. The two women say they want to travel off the beaten path. But like Lux, they may have other reasons to be seeking an escape.
Shimmering on the horizon after days at sea, Meroe Island is every bit the paradise the foursome expects, despite a mysterious history of shipwrecks, cannibalism, and even rumors of murder. But what they don’t expect is to discover another boat already anchored off Meroe’s sandy beaches. The owners of the Azure Sky, Jake and Eliza, are a true golden couple: gorgeous, laidback, and if their sleek catamaran and well-stocked bar are any indication, rich. Now a party of six, the new friends settle in to experience life on an exotic island, and the serenity of being completely off the grid. Lux hasn’t felt like she truly belonged anywhere in years, yet here on Meroe, with these fellow free spirits, she finally has a sense of peace.
But with the arrival of a skeevy stranger sailing alone in pursuit of a darker kind of good time, the balance of the group is disrupted. Soon, cracks begin to emerge: it seems that Brittany and Amma haven’t been completely honest with Lux about their pasts––and perhaps not even with each other. And though Jake and Eliza seem like the perfect pair, the rocky history of their relationship begins to resurface, and their reasons for sailing to Meroe might not be as innocent as they first appeared.
When it becomes clear that the group is even more cut off from civilization than they initially thought, it starts to feel like the island itself is closing in on them. And when one person goes missing, and another turns up dead, Lux begins to wonder if any of them are going to make it off the island alive.
Reckless Girls is the dark and addictive story of Lux McAllister, a young woman who followed her boyfriend Nico to Hawaii. Planning to fix up his boat and sail the world, Nico is hired by two women to take them to Meroe Island, a mysterious place with a tragic history. Lux agrees to go along and soon hits it off with the two women. When they arrive they join another couple and spend time exploring the island. As the group spends more time together they begin to realize that not everyone is what they seem and the arrival of a third boat brings tension to the remote island. As things take a dark turn Lux begins to wonder if they are ever going to make it off the island alive.
This was such a fun and fast-paced story. I sat down to read a few chapters and it was so readable and engaging that I didn’t put it down for the next few hours. The story is really easy to get into and I was completely fascinated by this mysterious island and its dark past. I really liked the inclusion of short chapters from the perspective of others that have been there, it really added another layer to the story. We mainly get things from Lux’s point of view but there are some chapters set in the past with Eliza and Amma. The story had plenty of twists and turns and the ending was definitely not something I could have predicted.
Reckless Girls has a slow, creeping atmosphere that builds as the story goes along. This is my first book from Rachel Hawkins but I am absolutely going to pick up more from this author. If you love addictive mystery stories with compelling characters, you’re sure to love Reckless Girls.