Wilder Girls (Paperback)

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Wilder Girls (Paperback)


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Summer 2019 Kids Indie Next List

“Set at a girls boarding school off the coast of Maine, Wilder Girls explores the lengths to which a group of teen girls will go to survive their own mutating bodies and the vicious wilderness on the island where they are quarantined due to a mysterious contagion called the Tox. Unapologetically brutal, this feminist horror story is both a mystery unraveling and an action-packed thriller, showing humanity’s desperation as the girls try to survive and save those they love most. A stunning debut by a powerful new voice.”
— Hanna Yost, Northshire Saratoga, Saratoga Springs, NY

Staff Reviews

Wilder Girls is an emotional rollercoaster in the best way possible. The twisty plot added to the suspence of what comes next and the author made it delightfully easy to fall in love with the characters and their stories through detailed descriptions and the inclusion of small actions, adding to their personalities. The emotional depth in the narrative was appreciated as it was easy to imagine myself in the situation, something I've always enjoyed in books. The hints at romance, without being too overwhleming, was the perfect touch to make me really love this book. The idea of The Tox was masterfully executed, making me shiver just the right amount each time. The cliffhanger at the end has me anxious and excited to read the sequel. I loved this book and would recommend it to anyone looking for great fiction based on the need to survive!

— Kyra, Tattered Cover Teen Advisory Board member

Wilder Girls takes place on Raxter Island at the Raxter School for girls. Eighteen months ago, the tox spread over the island, killing many and leaving the ones it didn't changed. Hetty has survived the tox with her best friends Byatt and Reese, but as Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her. Wilder Girls is a thrilling horror telling the story of deep friendship and even love as new discoveries are made around every turn. I really enjoyed this book. Though horror is not usually my genre, I was completely entranced by all of the plot twists and the vivid description. I really liked the main character, Hetty, and thought that the alternating perspectives added to the story. I loved reading a book with all female characters, and the premise was definitely delivered. The friendship and romantic relationships between the characters kept me interested, and I am looking forward to a sequel. I would recommend this book to horror fans, or to those interested in a new genre, and people who like strong female characters.

— Nava K., Tattered Cover Teen Advisory Board member

Wilder Girls was truly a wild ride. It tells the story of a group of girls attending the Raxter School for Girls, isolated from the rest of the world on an island just off of Maine. After a disease, dubbed “the Tox,” shakes the population, Raxter is put under quarantine, and the number of girls on the island slowly begins to shrink. Focusing on Hetty and her friends Byatt and Reese, this story begins as the island of Raxter continues down its path of chaos, things going sour suddenly much quicker than before. The book is categorized as a horror, but I didn’t acknowledge that until afterwards, when I looked up the book in search of a sequel. Hetty’s story, and the experience of the Raxter girls is beautifully written, and plays out in such a realistic way that you’ll forget you’re reading fiction. Wilder Girls is Rory Power’s debut novel, but her prose is gorgeous and the book reads like that of a seasoned author. Though I’m typically not a fan of horror, this book is the perfect combination of realistic fiction and bone-chilling horror that it’s an amazing read for fans of any genre. If Power releases a sequel, or even more books following this story line, I’ll be more than ready to read them!

— Avalon, Tattered Cover Teen Advisory Board member


"The perfect kind of story for our current era."Hypable

Featured in Vulture’s "11 Books to Read If You Already Miss Yellowjackets"!

From the author of Burn Our Bodies Down, a feminist Lord of the Flies about three best friends living in quarantine at their island boarding school, and the lengths they go to uncover the truth of their confinement when one disappears. This fresh debut is a mind-bending novel unlike anything you've read before.

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.

And don't miss Rory Power's second novel, Burn Our Bodies Down!

Praise for Wilder Girls:


"Take Annihilation, add a dash of Contagion, set it at an all-girls' academy, and you'll arrive at Rory Power's occasionally shocking and always gripping Wilder Girls."--Refinery29

"This thrilling saga...is sure to be one of the season's most talked-about books, in any genre."--EW

"Fresh and horrible and beautiful....readers will be consumed and altered by Wilder Girls."--NPR
Rory Power grew up in Boston, received her undergraduate degree at Middlebury College, and went on to earn an MA in prose fiction from the University of East Anglia. She lives in Massachusetts. She is the New York Times bestselling author of Wilder Girls and Burn Our Bodies Down. To learn more about Rory, go to itsrorypower.com and follow @itsrorypower on Twitter and Instagram.

Product Details ISBN: 9780525645610
ISBN-10: 0525645616
Publisher: Ember
Publication Date: June 2nd, 2020
Pages: 400
Language: English

A New York Public Library Best Book of the Year

"Power's evocative, haunting, and occasionally gruesome debut will challenge readers to ignore its bewitching presence." Booklist, starred review

★ "This gritty, lush debut chronicling psychological and environmental tipping points...weaves a chilling narrative that disrupts readers' expectations through an expertly crafted, slow-burn reveal of the deadly consequences of climate change....Part survival thriller, part post-apocalyptic romance, and part ecocritical feminist manifesto, a staggering gut punch of a book." Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"An ode to empowering women and a testament to the strength of female bonds....Far more than just an unsettling horror story, this powerful debut novel about a strange disease at an all-girls boarding school explores female empowerment, friendship and survival with tenacity and brilliance." Shelf Awareness, starred review

Electric prose, compelling relationships, and visceral horror illuminate Power’s incisive debut...[and  its] environmental and feminist themes are resonant, particularly the immeasurable costs of experimentation on female bodies, and the power of female solidarity and resilience amid ecological and political turmoil.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Tightly coiled narration moves between quietly reserved to vividly but coldly detailed, doubling the horror." Bulletin

"Your new favorite book.Cosmopolitan

“Everything about this thrilling, unnerving debut will make you want to immediately read it. For fans of Mindy McGinnis and Gillian French.” —Paste

Wilder Girls is so sharp and packs so much emotion in such wise ways. I’m convinced we’re about to witness the emergence of a major new literary star.” —Jeff VanderMeer, author of the New York Times bestseller Annihilation

"Wilder Girls is the bold, imaginative, emotionally wrenching horror novel of my dreams—one that celebrates the resilience of girls and the earthshaking power of their friendships. An eerie, unforgettable triumph." —Claire Legrand, New York Times bestselling author of Furyborn

A nightmarish survival story that’s as much literary fiction as it is young adult...I couldn’t look away." Casey McQuiston, New York Times bestselling author of Red, White, and Royal Blue

"The eeriness of Raxter Island permeates every scene, and Rory Power's characters are fierce and honest, blazing from the pages. This is a groundbreaking speculative story—brutal and beautiful, raw and unflinching. I adored this book." —Emily Suvada, author of This Mortal Coil

"A feminist, LGBT+, sci-fi-horror story with all the tantalizing elements of gore, mystery, war, and love you can ask for. Real, flawed, brave girls against a world gone mad. A shudderingly good read!” —Dawn Kurtagich, author of Teeth in the Mist