I imagine if something like this happened in real life, maybe it would go a little bit like it did in Wilder Girls. But honestly, in my opinion, that’s not a good thing. And when I say that, it’s my roundabout way of saying that there’s no rhyme or reason to the way things go; they just are. Rory Power had an intriguing, if simultaneously horrifying, idea and that was about it. Everything else is kind of just a mashup of things the wind blows in. But, to tell you the truth, I didn’t expect to like Wilder Girls in the first place.
Powers’ novel is basically centered around the idea of this school for rich girls hidden away on an island and a disease of some sort, called the tox, that has infected them all and causes all sorts of weird things to happen. Main character Hetty has some sort of growth on her eye, another girl’s arm is all kinds of messed up. And the government is sending them supplies, but also supposedly looking for a cure? And it seems the “tox” as it were is at least quarantined to their island.
How is it I left this book with more questions than when I started?
Other than the fact that certain people are corrupt and some people died, I don’t think I really learned anything by the end. I kind of felt like I did at the end of that one horror movie I watched as a teenager (solely because Rider Strong was in it) where everyone was basically acting stupid, nothing of note really happens, everyone gets sick, and then, in the end, there’s this kind of assumption that the disease will spread even further.
And then I’m just like, what was the point of any of that?
Looking back, there’s really nothing about this book that stands out to me. I didn’t really care about any of the characters. But then, I never actually felt like I got to know them, either? There wasn’t a whole lot of development for anyone. The plot was pointless, the disease was just a horror-movie-esque way of creating a conflict, and I’m just left wondering why I bothered.
What was I even supposed to take away from this?
I sure didn’t enjoy it. I didn’t learn anything. There’s no overarching theme or message to be gleaned. It was, frankly, just a massive disappointment. It wasn’t terrible nor the worst thing I ever read, but the only thing I got from reading this book was lost time.
I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.