I can't say how thrilled I was to read this book since after I read it everyone started talking about it and rightfully so. It's a dark adventure that follows a group of girls left behind in their boarding school after it's been put under quarantine because of the “tox”. Now, it's been 18 months and the girls are starving, dying, and evolving. We follow our protagonist, Hetty, as we make our way across the grounds, learning the stories of the other girls both alive and passed. Alone, they must fend for themselves as the woods and animals surrounding them become stranger and more dangerous. Then when her close friend, Byatt, goes missing, it’s up to Hetty to find her, even if that means crossing the barrier of the quarantine and coming face to face with the surrounding unknown.
This book was exciting, poised as the lord of the flies but with young girls in boarding school. The writing does an amazing job of laying out the mystery and suspense. The tension sometimes feels like it's oozing off the page. It was actually the descriptions that made the book difficult for me to read it--not because they were bad, to the contrary, the descriptions were so beautiful and vivid that the images of the body mutations made me incredibly uncomfortable. I was surprised to learn that it was too much for me. It almost felt like gore writing but not gratuitously. That being said, for anyone interested in some mystery, sci-fi and has a strong stomach, this one may be for you.