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Wilder Girls by Rory Powers

I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Trigger and Content Warning: Graphic Violence, gore, blood,body horror,death,reference to self harm,starvation,reference to suicide and not consenting to medical procedures. 

Wilder Girls has been everywhere lately, with its gorgeous cover to amazing synopsis. I have to say this cover is probably my favorite cover of the whole year.I’m going to need all the sapphic horror books from now on. The female-female relationship in this book was everything! I loved these girls so much and was horrified for what they were going through.

The books follows three girls,Hetty, Byatt and Resse, while there boarding school is under a quarantine. The Raxter school is located off the coast of a Naval base on an isolated island in Maine, the once popular school now sits deteriorating due to a mysterious affliction called the tox. This disease has wiped out all but two teacher and about 40 girls, with terrible affects caused by the tox. The Navy and the CDC has issued a quarantine where everyone must remain in the school grounds except for the boat girls who travel to the water and pick up supplies with one of the teachers. However they do not send nearly enough food or other supplies, many of the girls go hungry as there outbreaks continue to get worse. The CDC promises they are working on a cure but if the quarantine is breached they will stop helping.

Some days it’s fine. Others it nearly breaks me. The emptiness of the horizon, and the hunger in my body, and how will we ever survive this if we can’t survive each other? “We’re gonna make it. Tell me we’re gonna make it.”

The outbreaks are different for each person leaving behind a physical affliction of the tox, but what is the same is the intensity and email drain it leaves them all with. Some girls have brightly glowing hair with silver scales on there arms, and some have more grotesque disfigurations such as bones protruding from the skin or feeling of something crawling behind there eye.

“We’ve all lost things, eyes and hands and last names.” 

Rory power’s writing is beautiful yet it does a fantastic job at making your skin crawl, with it’s deliberate descriptive details. Power’s does not hold back on the horror scenes, as a horror movie lover I found some of the horror to be tame but to others it can be quite triggering. That being said this was one of the most unique young adult novels I had the pleasure of reading.

I ended up only giving Wilder Girls a 4 star rating because I felt like the ending was a bit rushed and slightly unfinished. We were left with so many un -answered questions. Many horror films also tend to have no closure at the end, and leaves us wondering what will happen to the remaining characters. I guess that’s how the mystery continues and leaves us thinking about the book long after were finished reading. I originally thought this book was the first of a series but then later on found out it was a standalone.

“We don’t get to choose what hurts us.”

This book had so many things i liked about it, queer girls,boarding school,creepy animals and horror. I highly recommend picking up Wilder Girls, you will not be disappointed.

Buddy Read with Alexis.


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The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

5 thoughts on “Wilder Girls by Rory Powers

  1. This sounds so interesting! I don’t really read horror but I can imagine how the description in this would make you shudder. It sounds really intense too with the disease looming over them. Great review!

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