At a remote island boarding school for girls off the coast of Maine, a mysterious illness dubbed the Tox has left the students and teachers indefinitely quarantined and irrevocably altered both physically and mentally. Feminist, gothic, and queer, this entirely original YA debut isn’t for the faint of heart.
Will not be everyone's cup of tea post-pandemic (the book was published just before it). A group of girls try to survive in their abandoned boarding school as a monstrous disease destroys the planet. Unusually bleak and unvarnished for YA in its behavioral realism.
Summer 2019 Kids Indie Next List
“Set at a girls boarding school off the coast of Maine, Wilder Girls explores the lengths to which a group of teen girls will go to survive their own mutating bodies and the vicious wilderness on the island where they are quarantined due to a mysterious contagion called the Tox. Unapologetically brutal, this feminist horror story is both a mystery unraveling and an action-packed thriller, showing humanity’s desperation as the girls try to survive and save those they love most. A stunning debut by a powerful new voice.”
— Hanna Yost, Northshire Saratoga, Saratoga Springs, NY
"Wilder Girls is so sharp and packs so much emotion in such wise ways. I'm convinced we're about to witness the emergence of a major new literary star." --Jeff VanderMeer, New York Times bestselling author of Annihilation
New York Times Bestseller • A feminist Lord of the Flies about three best friends living in quarantine at their island boarding school, and the lengths they go to uncover the truth of their confinement when one disappears. This fresh debut is a mind-bending novel unlike anything you've read before.
It's been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty's life out from under her.
It started slow. First the teachers died one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don't dare wander outside the school's fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything.
But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie beyond the fence. And when she does, Hetty learns that there's more to their story, to their life at Raxter, than she could have ever thought true.
And don't miss Rory Power's second novel, Burn Our Bodies Down!
About the Author
Rory Power grew up in Boston, received her undergraduate degree at Middlebury College, and went on to earn an MA in prose fiction from the University of East Anglia. She lives in Massachusetts. She is the New York Times bestselling author of Wilder Girls and Burn Our Bodies Down. To learn more about Rory, go to itsrorypower.com and follow @itsrorypower on Twitter and Instagram.
A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!
A New York Public Library Best Book of the Year
★ "Power's evocative, haunting, and occasionally gruesome debut will challenge readers to ignore its bewitching presence." —Booklist, starred review
★ "This gritty, lush debut chronicling psychological and environmental tipping points...weaves a chilling narrative that disrupts readers' expectations through an expertly crafted, slow-burn reveal of the deadly consequences of climate change....Part survival thriller, part post-apocalyptic romance, and part ecocritical feminist manifesto, a staggering gut punch of a book." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
★ "An ode to empowering women and a testament to the strength of female bonds....Far more than just an unsettling horror story, this powerful debut novel about a strange disease at an all-girls boarding school explores female empowerment, friendship and survival with tenacity and brilliance." —Shelf Awareness, starred review
★ “Electric prose, compelling relationships, and visceral horror illuminate Power’s incisive debut...[and its] environmental and feminist themes are resonant, particularly the immeasurable costs of experimentation on female bodies, and the power of female solidarity and resilience amid ecological and political turmoil.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Tightly coiled narration moves between quietly reserved to vividly but coldly detailed, doubling the horror." —Bulletin
"Your new favorite book." —Cosmopolitan
“Everything about this thrilling, unnerving debut will make you want to immediately read it. For fans of Mindy McGinnis and Gillian French.” —Paste
“Wilder Girls is so sharp and packs so much emotion in such wise ways. I’m convinced we’re about to witness the emergence of a major new literary star.” —Jeff VanderMeer, author of the New York Times bestseller Annihilation
"Wilder Girls is the bold, imaginative, emotionally wrenching horror novel of my dreams—one that celebrates the resilience of girls and the earthshaking power of their friendships. An eerie, unforgettable triumph." —Claire Legrand, New York Times bestselling author of Furyborn
“A nightmarish survival story that’s as much literary fiction as it is young adult...I couldn’t look away." —Casey McQuiston, New York Times bestselling author of Red, White, and Royal Blue
"The eeriness of Raxter Island permeates every scene, and Rory Power's characters are fierce and honest, blazing from the pages. This is a groundbreaking speculative story—brutal and beautiful, raw and unflinching. I adored this book." —Emily Suvada, author of This Mortal Coil
"A feminist, LGBT+, sci-fi-horror story with all the tantalizing elements of gore, mystery, war, and love you can ask for. Real, flawed, brave girls against a world gone mad. A shudderingly good read!” —Dawn Kurtagich, author of Teeth in the Mist