Kid’s Book Review: Wilder Girls

Kid’s Book Review: Wilder Girls

About the Book and Author

The US blockbuster debut novel for YA readers that was on the New York Times bestseller list for weeks is now available in the UK. This book is thrilling horror story set in a girls boarding school during a fictitious pandemic and not one to be recommended to the faint-hearted! (according to Martha, our young reviewer). Wilder Girl is published in the UK by Macmillan

Everyone loses something to the Tox; Hetty lost her eye, Reese’s hand has changed, and Byatt just disappeared completely.

It’s been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put in quarantine. The Tox turned the students strange and savage, the teachers died off one by one. Cut off from the mainland, the girls don’t dare wander past the school’s fence where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure as the Tox takes; their bodies becoming sick and foreign, things bursting out of them, bits missing.

But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her best friend, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie in the wilderness past the fence. As she digs deeper, she learns disturbing truths about her school and what else is living on Raxter Island. And that the cure might not be a cure at all . . .

Wilder Girls cover
Rory Power author

Rory Power grew up in New England, where she lives and works as a crime fiction editor and story consultant for TV adaptation. She received a Masters in Prose Fiction from the University of East Anglia and thinks fondly of her time there, partially because she learned a lot but mostly because there were a ton of bunnies on campus! Her debut novel Wilder Girls was an instant New York Times bestseller. You can read about the other books she has written on her website.

Book Review

The characters are strong-willed, unapologetic, complex and unforgettable young women

Wilder Girls was a strange book to read this year because it’s set during a pandemic. The Tox started 18 months ago, and it never got better. Hetty and her friends are too afraid to leave Raxter Girls School for fear of what the Tox has done to the world. When Hetty’s best friend Byatt goes missing, she’s ready to do anything to find her, even if that means breaking quarantine. Little does she know that this will lead to her discovering more about her world than she ever thought possible.

Wilder Girls isn’t a book for the faint-hearted, it’s very gory in some parts and features a lot of death, and the girls still left at Raxter have gruesome deformities. The characters are strong-willed, unapologetic, complex and unforgettable young women.

My favourite part of the book was its use of language. It was so poetic and descriptive that it really elevated the story. The only thing I wasn’t satisfied with was the ending, I didn’t know what to do with it, or what to assume. I understand why the author chose to finish the book like this and why it would satisfy some readers, however I think there was some wasted potential.

This book felt comparable Lord of The Flies, but is still original. I would recommend it to older readers who are looking for something new.

However, I don’t think its suitable to anyone under the age of 14 as its content is very mature.

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Reviewer Profile

Young Reviewer Martha
  • Name: Martha
  • Age: 14 years
  • Likes: Mamma Mia, running and reading
  • Dislikes: physics and tomatoes
  • Favourite Book: A Good Girl's Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson
  • Favourite Song: Something Great by One Direction
  • Favourite Film: Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!