Wilder Girls is a disturbingly beautiful read about girl power, acting on what’s right and wrong, and surviving something that is unsurvivable. Please be aware that there is LGBTQ subplot within the novel.
The novel is told in two different POVs, Hetty and Byatt who are both students at Raxter School for Girls. It follows the hardship of living secluded from the rest of civilization, being torn apart from the inside out from some mysterious virus that kills everyone who contracts it. All the girls and remaining teachers are just waiting for when their time will come.
But the mystery of what the Tox is and where it came from is much more sinister than any of the girls could’ve thought. It’s unknown until its too late who is on their side and who is not.
Hetty and Byatt along with their other friend, referred to as a third wheel at times, Reese each have different symptoms of the Tox and are struggling with hunger and just trying to survive the day without a flare up. Except this last time Byatt has a flare up she gets sent up to the infirmary, or so the Hetty thought.
Secrets are deep, emotions are high and lies from those who the girls thought they could trust ruin lives. The plot was really interesting. The Tox and what it does to the human body and the mention of what it is...is gross.
The development of the characters showed the personalities well and how each deals with grief. The inner dialogue that Hetty has as she puts the pieces together give her a likeable edge. The betrayal of some characters, the desperation of others, and the lack of judgement of some keep the reader guessing.
There were however some aspects of the story that I didn’t fully like. All I can say is, without spoilers, realistically even main characters shouldn’t be safe from death. At times the writing just didn’t flow for me and felt choppy to the point where I had to reread a few paragraphs. The LGTBQ relationship in the story doesn't pertain to the two people you would assume and the relationship felt a little flat as their relationship before they declared this wasn't spoken of or even developed much.
Overall, if you don’t like horror then this novel isn’t for you. But if you don’t mind some grotesque parts and infectious diseases then you should snatch this book right up. Now, all I’m left with is what will come of the girls and the Tox.