I received a copy of this book via Delacorte Press and BookishFirst in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! In no way does this affect my rating or review.
All included quotes have been taken from an ARC and may not match the finished publication.
Content Warning (from the author's website directly): Graphic violence and body horror. Gore. On the page character death, parental death, and animal death (the animals are not pets). Behavior and descriptive language akin to self harm, and references to such. Food scarcity and starvation. Emesis. A scene depicting chemical gassing. Suicide and suicidal ideation. Non-consensual medical treatment.
DNFing at page 31.
Here I am again, with another DNF. I must admit that I’m rather relieved to set this one down with a sense of finality. Wilder Girls first caught my attention when it was said to be a Lord of the Flies retelling with an emphasis on feminism. I’m not one for feminist stories (or the targeted audience for that matter), but the retelling portion had me intrigued. Lord of the Flies is a title that I won't forget, despite having only read it once when I was in high school. When I kindly received a physical ARC from BookishFirst, I had to try it out, despite my hesitations. After only getting thirty pages in, I realized that I should have just gone with my gut instinct on this one.
I had read a short snippet of the book before receiving an ARC, and was somewhat wary towards the writing style. I hoped that the snippet I read was singular, and meant as a voice of introductory narration. To my dismay, the entire story is told in a conglomeration of fragmented sentences and incomplete thoughts. For a movie, this style may have been more appropriate. For a novel, it does not work. Undoubtedly, the style hints at a crudeness that fits the premise. It felt blunt and even barbarous, at times. While effect in that aspect, it doesn’t work for a novel because it prohibits flow and unity.
In regards to it being a Lord of the Flies retelling, I cannot really say. Seeing how I didn’t (and couldn't tolerate) read far enough to wager whether Wilder Girls did, in fact, follow the themes, or not. From what I read, I believe relationships will take on a higher importance and focus than its counterpart.
Since this is a DNF read, I will not be assigning a star-review.