"Wilder Girls" Book Review

By Kendra Sue - February 06, 2020

Synopsis from Goodreads: 

"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."

I finished reading Wilder Girls about a week ago and I'm already re-reading it and listening to the audiobook. It was wild from start to finish and I would keep reading it if that was an option but its not lol. 

I personally spent most of the book wondering what the Tox even was, and now that I'm re-reading it I'm starting to understand it based on what happens later on in the book. Throughout the beginning of the book it mostly just talks about how everyone got infected with the Tox and no one knows where it came from. 

It's one of those books that I think you have to give it a second read or really pay attention to it as you go along or else you'll get lost. It's taking me getting halfway through it again to really understand how and what happened. 

One really big trigger warning for this book is the body horror. Lots of the girls have mutilated bodies, are sick, or have died from the Tox. There are girls with silver arms, one eye, because the second got infected and fell out, two spines, two heartbeats and much more. I was definitely not expecting any of this when I first picked it up, I just knew they were under quarantine when I read the synopsis on the inside of the book. 

Since I'm reading it again obviously I have to give this 5/5 stars. It absolutely blew me away and I couldn't be more excited to finish it again. The characters were lovely, they were built really nicely and fleshed out well. Their development throughout the story was amazing and all around the story just kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. I loved the queer representation even though it wasn't exactly "in your face" kind of representation. It was very subtle but I liked that. Like it was meant to be there and not forced at all. One of my favorite quotes from the book is this: 

“And I’ve wanted boys, and I’ve wanted girls, but I’ve never wanted anyone enough to miss them.”

I really recommend reading this book, just keep in mind the body horror trigger warnings. I read it in a matter of days and it was one of the first books of the year that I didn't struggle with at all. So yay second book of 2020! 

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