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review 2019-11-23 03:02
4 Out Of 5 STARS for Wilder Girls by Rory Power
Wilder Girls - Rory Power

 

FEATURING

 
The Tox
Possibly Apocalyptic
Quarantined Island
Dark Academia - All-Girls School
A Splash of Girl 2 Girl Romance
Horror-if-ic Body Altering
 
 
With Audio Perfectly Performed by Eileen Stevens & Jessie Vilinsky
 
 
 
LINK TO SYNOPSIS (AUTHOR'S WEBSITE)
 

MY RATING⇢ 4 STARS | GRADE B+



 
 

 

MY THOUGHTS

 
The reviews I read for this almost derailed me from listening to this...but when the Library bought the Audio and automatically checked it out to me (I had recommended it), I was like, why not...it could be interesting, and I'm glad I did.

Wilder Girls is quite different from anything else I've ever read.  The premise alone, an apocalyptic type virus affecting the entire island, not just the school, but also the wildlife, in fantastically bizarre manners.  Added to that, the almost magnetic writing that sets it apart from other Dark Academia out there.  I was warned that it is very gory...and it is, although, the way people went on about the gore, I thought it would be more so than it was.  The romance is subtle and just a small part of the story because seriously, these girls got a lot on their plates, and very little of it is actual food.

But alas, while I dug this for all the above reasons...overall, its most significant issue is the lack of answers by the end of the story.  In that respect, it reminded me of Lost (The TV Show), which I loved right up until the final episode.  The ending of Wilder Girls needs a sequel...and so could Lost, actually...now that I think about it. 
 
 
 

THE BREAKDOWN⇢  

 
Plot 4/5
Narration Performance 5/5
Characters 4/5
The Feels 4.3/5
Pacing 4.2/5
Addictiveness 5/5
Theme or Tone 4.3/5
Flow (Writing Style) 4.3/5
Backdrop (World Building) 4.3/5
Originality 5/5
Ending 3/5 Cliffhanger Well...yeah it sorta did.  It felt like there should be a second book...but nothing about that yet.
_____
 
Book Cover Wow, this could easily be Best Cover of the year.
Setting Raxter Island
Source Libby Audiobook (Library)
Length 8 hours, 49 minutes.

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review 2019-11-21 20:31
Wilder Girls by Rory Power
Wilder Girls - Rory Power

I’m not the hugest fan of books marketed as young adult. I have absolutely nothing against them but I’m no longer the target audience for them, I suppose, so I don’t actively seek them out. This is where reading friends come in. I will always make an exception when several friends assure me that “you will like this one”. That’s how I ended up reading Wilder Girls. It also won the group read poll for the Ladies of Horror Fiction November group read so I had to read it anyway, haha. Fortunately for me, it was excellent and gory and the teens here were smart and not navel gazing, annoying, love-struck fools. There was no time for that in a story such as this and I will die on this hill! Also, don’t take any of my statements seriously. I am a fickle reader and I may fall back in love with YA next month or possibly tomorrow.

This is a weird book. The best kind of weird. It starts off in the thick of things, months after something called the Tox has infected all of the flora, fauna and the surviving residents at a remote (isolated island kind of remote) all-girls’ boarding school. The students, a headmistress and a young teacher have been quarantined and survive with the help of supply drop-offs provided by the military as they await a cure that the Navy promised “is coming”. The infection is what is weird as it physically changes them, its symptoms are different from person to person and it is always gory and gruesome and extremely painful. If body horror is your thing, this book is probably meant for you!

Hetty, Byatt and Reese are the main characters in this story and are struggling to survive each flare-up of the Tox, while looking out for each other and ferreting out secrets. And there are many secrets. Things are not at all what they seem and that’s all I’m going to say about that.

These characters are all complicated as are their relationships with each other. There is no insta-love in this book because in this story nothing comes easy and I can’t express how very much I appreciated that. These girls have dealt with many tragedies and trauma and live in fear but somehow manage to keep it together, taking the changes in their bodies as they come and never complaining about it.

Typically I’m the type of reader who wants all of her questions answered. This book spends its pages slowly doling out information and leaving you wondering what the hell is truly happening for most of the book and, in the end, not giving you any concrete answers. Arggghh. My nosy self is having a fit right now, not going to lie, but sometimes it is best to think on a book and this is one of those books. I am torn between wanting a sequel and not wanting all of the mysteries revealed in another book. As I said, this is a weird one and some things should simply stay weird without getting explained away.

4 ½ stars to this brutally raw and imaginative book. It is an incredible debut and I’ll definitely be reading this author again – sequel or no sequel!

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review 2019-09-28 05:46
“Poo-tee-weet?”
Slaughterhouse-Five - Kurt Vonnegut

Took some pages for the book to grab me. If I'm honest, I'm pretty sure it was the chat with his war-buddy's wife, and as it happens, it is something of a key for the whole book. There was a promise there

 

If I ever do finish it, though, I give you my word of honor: there won’t be a part for Frank Sinatra or John Wayne.
“I tell you what,” I said, “I’ll call it ‘The Children’s Crusade.’”

 

It was kept, in sub-title and spirit.

 

There is nothing that could ever come close to glorifying war inside these pages. The theme is how absurd a beast it is, the little and big tragedies, how far in time the damages travel (and who was that said that wars die only with the last soldier that fought in it dies?). Hell, the whole way it's constructed is thoroughly trafalmadorian, which we would call hell of a PTSD outside any sci-fi bent mind.

 

It's also so bittersweet and human. There was also this other bit near the beginning that caught me

 

And Lot’s wife, of course, was told not to look back where all those people and their homes had been. But she did look back, and I love her for that, because it was so human.

 

Because... well, I guess because it kind of encapsulates the thing, and how it feels. It's horrible, and terrible, and pretty disgusting, and so are almost every character in one aspect or another, but you are compelled to look. The dead demand to be witnessed and acknowledged and war sucks.

 

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review 2019-06-20 16:55
Prince (John Shakespeare #3) - Rory Clements
Prince: A John Shakespeare Mystery - Rory Clements

When I first stumbled upon Martyr, I was looking for something to replace C.J. Sansom's Mathew Shardlake series. Honestly,  I wasn't expecting to ever find something. The Shardlake series is a rarity when it comes to Tudor-era fiction. Clements has been more than up to the task with his John Shakespeare series. They have a gritty, edge to them that is very comparable to Sansom's work. 

 

There is a but here. It's going to be a fancy but (Friends reference anyone?). However, Sansom's characters are just a little bit more compelling. John is not a bad guy. His only fault is he is incredibly naive. For someone who works for one of the biggest spymasters in history, he sure doesn't play the game very well. I think that changes after the tragedy suffered in this novel. John's sidekick, Boltfoot Cooper, seems to be the one who suffers the most from his bosses inability to figure things out. 

 

Currently this is a seven book series so one could assume that being this is only book three, there's time for John Shakespeare to develop in to a cold, calculating agent working for the good of Her Majesty's realm. We all know what happens when you assume things. This book isn't actually the third book in a seven book series. It's more like the fifth book in a seven book series. See this series has two different orders. One order is the publication order. The other is the chronological order within the books. Books six and seven are actually books one and two. Normally, this wouldn't bother me. At least I don't think it would. I can't actually recall reading a series where the author suddenly decides mid-series to go back to the beginning. It annoys me just a little bit to think that this had to be the author's plan from the beginning. I had to stop reading Prince at about the 10-15% mark. There were so many references to previous cases that I couldn't keep up. I had to stop reading and go order books six and seven which are the books in which these previous cases are addressed. Confused yet? 

 

I promise I have a point with this review. I'm getting there. Just kidding, I'm there. My point is if you want to read these novels (which I do recommend), read them in the chronological order, not the published order. 

 

Here's the difference-

Publication Order

Martyr

Revenger

Prince

Traitor

The Heretics

The Man in the Snow (Short Story)

The Queen's Man

Holy Spy

 

Chronological Order (per book events)

The Queen's Man

Holy Spy

Martyr

Revenger

Prince

Traitor

The Heretics

The Man in the Snow (Short Story) 

 

I highly recommend the chronological order. Personally, I'm planning a re-read of the entire series just so I can better appreciate the chain of events. 

 

I'm getting a little long winded here and I've not really mentioned anything about this specific book. I don't have much to add on that front. As pointed out in a previous post, I found the book's commentary on immigration in Tudor England to be rather enlightening. The fact that as a society we haven't actually changed much over the centuries actually gives me a little hope for the future. I mean if we've made it this far being horribly ignorant and unwilling to accept blame for our own failures, I guess there's no reason to believe future generations can't survive. Right? *eye roll*

 

 

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review 2019-06-10 14:13
Beware
Wilder Girls - Rory Power
Beware. Wilder Girls will draw you in, softy whispering tendrils creeping through your mind and thorny vines entangling your heart and capturing it completely in this beautiful, eerily dark and haunting, yet hopeful book.
 
The cover is the first thing to be noticed. With it’s gorgeous yet subtly unsettling artwork, it will immediately catch your eyes. These unforgettable characters live and breathe on the page, from Hetty’s stubborn unwillingness to give up on Byatt, to Reese’s sharpness and burning hair. The chapters narrated by Byatt were heartrending. Even minor characters felt brought to life. The girls’ struggle to stay alive in the treacherous shadowy place their lives had become was darkly fascinating, as was the tension between an obvious bond and caring between all the girls, yet also a mentality of everyone being willing to do whatever it takes to survive.
 
Not only the plot and the characters shine in this book. Rory Power’s writing gleams and shimmers, able to shift from flowery introspective prose to heart-pounding action scenes.
 
This book wouldn’t have been hurt by another few hundred pages. Unfortunately, it is as of now, a standalone, we will have to make do with the ending we were given, which is just as beautiful and captivating as the rest of the book. Although open-ended, it is a satisfying close to the tale. I think we will just have to assume that all turns out well for our beloved wilder girls.
 
Thanks to Bookishfirst for providing me with a copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

 

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