I loved this book.
Wilder Girls by Rory Power
18 months ago, the Tox came to the Raxter School for Girls and infected everyone. Teachers died. Girls died and those that didn’t were changed– their bodies became horrors. The forest outside the school grounds is now unsafe, with Tox-infected wild beasts roaming. The island was put under quarantine and the school was locked down. A cure was promised, but has yet to arrive. Hetty is managing the Tox as best she can, with the help of her best friend Byatt and the third of their trio, Reese. But then Byatt goes missing and Hetty will do anything– anything– to find her and bring her back.
I found this book disturbing, gross, moving, thrilling, horrible… So many feelings! The devotion Hetty feels towards Byatt, the burgeoning relationship between Hetty and Reese that Byatt’s absence engenders, the web of secrets and betrayals that begins to unravel as Hetty starts pulling strings in her quest to get Byatt back. It’s all so breathtaking. I read the book in two days, eyes glued to my kindle, turning pages as quickly as I could. The book was powerful and extremely well plotted.
This is truly not a book for the squeamish, either emotionally or physically. Power describes the effect of the Tox in all it’s brutality and gore. But Power also delves into the realm of female friendships, exposing both the beautiful and the horrible. No one here suffers nobly, for the benefit of mankind. People make selfish, brutal choices that leave you the reader and the other characters reeling. And yet, there is sweetness and light in the book. The tenderness between Reese and Hetty, as they begin to explore their feelings for each other even as the world around them is crumbling is a wonder to behold. 5 stars.