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Wilder Girls

Written by: Rory Power
Length: 8 hrs and 49 mins
4 out of 5 stars (28 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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 new debut is a mind-bending novel unlike anything you've heard before.

It's been 18 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.

©2019 Nike Power (P)2019 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Solid story (with caveats)

Solid YA piece that will naturally be compared to the Sourhern Reach series, but tighter and with a plot that doesn’t meander as much.

Well-drafted characters and engaging scenario are inexplicably derailed around 2/3rds of the way by a melodramatic and unnecessary “livers’ quarrel” that might just be par for the course for YA. However, the author gets things back on track thereafter.

Reader added great distinction to characters and kept the tone if the piece. Oddly, there were a few moments where she seemed to misread the beats for a joke or sarcasm, but otherwise excellent.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

apparently this is obligatory

the characters kinda fell flat for me, the narrator was good and added some much needed emotion to the text.

the story had weird pacing, I never felt like listening to the first half of the book. about 70% in I listened to it whenever I could

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sandra Gomez
  • 2019-07-12

Let’s go lesbians let’s go

This book was gross in all the best ways possible. I had no idea how much I needed a book about queer girls in a zombielike island trying to figure out what’s happening but I definitely needed it.

32 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Melissa Jackson
  • 2019-08-14

Interesting concept

I really loved the writing style, the aesthetic, and the narrator. I don’t really know how to rate the story itself, though. It felt like a non-ending, and the fate of other characters (a lot of them!) was left up in the air. I think I appreciated the concept more than the execution.

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Brad&Britney
  • 2019-07-31

Such a unique and chilling novel!!

Wowza! This book was so good!! I loved the plot, the characters, and the setting of the story. People are comparing it to Lord of the Flies because it’s an easy comparison. However, I think Wilder Girls is more original than those who compare it believe it to be.

What got my attention:
1. The way the plague-like disease affects the girls is so interesting to me. Each girl develops a different deformity that makes sense as the book goes on.
2. This is a Queer lead book, with characters embracing their sexual identify in a subtle, but powerful way.
3. There were moments I was actually creeped out. The writing was so descriptive that I found myself getting the heebiejeebies during some scenes
4. The author has a way with words. Such a rhythmic and lyrical way of writing that really draws you in and makes you want to pay attention to every word.

The reason I didn’t give it a full 5 stars:
1. I wanted to much more from the ending. It ends in a cliffhanger and I wanted this book to wrap up better. Now, I’m just sitting around wanting more and I don’t know if I like that feeling, especially when I have more questions.
2. I felt like parts of the book were rushed and Some of the scientific elements went over my head a bit. I had to go back to re-listen to some parts because I was like, “wait, what?”

But other than that, this book was phenomenal. I will definitely add this to me “re-read” pile so I can go back and find things that I might have missed. The story was just so well done!!

5 people found this helpful

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  • Felicia M
  • 2019-07-27

More please?

This book was amazing. The descriptions were very... Descriptive? I would literally read it and cringe or just be horrified with how accurate it was. Not for weak stomachs. Very well worded. There could of been more to the relationships, description wise. Like if it was accepted or not. Or even them just being kids and discovering how they feel. Im still confused by who the main character like liked and who was just a good friend. The story was amazing other than that.


The narrator dismantle amazing job on giving each voice it's own personality. You knew when someone else was talking and who it was. You heard the emotion each character was feeling with her voice. Spoiler alert from here on.....



The house scene was truly gut wrenching. The emotions were spot on. The heartbreak and everything about the scene, truly made the story. Thanks for the good read, Rory Power.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • B. Throssell
  • 2019-09-17

Weak plot. Good writing

The book is well written but the plot has gaps and is illogical at times. I kept listening expecting the gaps to be fixed but they never were.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Alex
  • 2020-04-13

Annihilation meets Lord of the Flies

It's a coming of age story with sifi horror tones combined with elements of body horror, told through the experiences of teenage girls quarantined on an island. Beautifully written, the readers were amazing. Listening to this right now draws uncanny parallels to what's happening today. I highly recommend.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Chad Aufderhar
  • 2020-03-24

what happened to the end of this book??

this book really falls apart over time. but I enjoyed it at first, like lost.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 2020-03-24

Compulsively readable

This may have not been the best choice as we are going through the Coronavirus pandemic right now, but it was so compulsively readable I couldn’t stop myself. Really beautiful albeit somewhat strange story about the power of friendship and the resilience of the human spirit. It had a few slight surprises but nothing major- the story was just such a different journey you had to get to the end to see how it all played out. Really well developed characters. The only small criticism is that the way the narrator who did Byatt inflected was sort of annoying- I think it was intentional to show the extent of her trauma but it still bugged me. The main narrator was awesome. Totally recommend this- very fast read.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Michelle
  • 2020-03-20

Fast-paced but needed more character developement

I am torn on this one. I thought the concept of the story was original, solid-paced and full of kick-ass teen girls, and I enjoyed the read…but I didn’t LOVE it and I so wanted to. I think what was lacking for me was the character development. In this story, I needed to care more about the characters in order for me to really care about what was happening to them and for this story it was crucial. The pacing overshadowed the character development and in the end it left me feeling meh about the book.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • FlyingFish
  • 2019-08-10

beautiful writing; storytelling falls very short

I was willing to give the book 3 stars for occasionally pretty prose until I read the ending... which is not an ending at all. Barely anything is explained and it's full of holes. Characterization and the relationships between characters don't make sense. [mild spoilers ahead] You can't have people beating the hell out of each other suddenly confess their feelings in the cheesiest, most useless scene in the book (because come on, you can't just teach someone to shoot like an expert in 5 minutes), and then the two get into a stupid fight and we don't see the main character's object of affection for many pages. It just makes no sense.
Also in a world where there's literally trees growing out of people's bodies, how come no one asks the vital question "what the hell is going on with us?". Nobody is even panicking much. When one of the girls disappears and wakes up with a doctor by her side she doesn't burst with questions either. It's just unrealistic. No real human being would act that way in the circumstances. Book is full of those kinds of situations and that's ultimately why it doesn't work. Considering that the main idea is taken straight out of Annihilation, it's inexcusable to not have a story and characters that make sense

3 people found this helpful