fascinating | BookishFirst


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first of all, this is the most beautiful book cover of all the new releases this year in my humble opinion. this is a female driven horror retelling of Lord of the Flies and oh was She juicy! the girls at the Raxter boarding school have all been infected with a terrible plague called “the Tox” that affects them all in different ways but ensures that they remain quarantined at the school. we follow Hetty, Byatt, and Reese as they start to realize that something is amiss about the entire situation when weird stuff starts happening around them. this book is very dark and very gory and definitely not for the squeamish/faint of heart. it’s super action-packed and captivating and i flew through it much faster than i expected to! the romance is subtle yet tasteful in the context of the absolute terror these girls are living through and i appreciated that it wasn’t overdone for the sake of including romance. there was a huge emphasis on friendship in these books between the main characters as well as the other girls at the school, as they all looked out for one another and became a family throughout the plague. the plot twists were definitely riveting and kept me frantically flipping pages to see what would happen next! my only complaints are that i wish we had gotten more of Byatt’s back story, as there were a lot of hints that she was sketchier than anyone thought but it was never really fleshed out like it could have been. additionally, i felt like the whole Situation was not FULLY explained by the end and i still have a couple lingering questions (mostly just Why this all happened the way it did). trigger warnings for suicide/cutting/general violence and gore. i definitely recommend this book if you’re looking for something different and like books that really capture your attention from beginning to end :)