Wilder Girls

Rory Power

Wilder Girls
Pan Macmillan
United Kingdom
12 September 2020

Wilder Girls

Rory Power

An instant New York Times bestseller, Wilder Girls is Rory Power’s visceral and unputdownable YA debut. The Power meets We Were Liars in this compelling story of survival and the power of female friendships, perfect for fans of A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder.

Everyone loses something to the Tox; Hetty lost her eye, Reese’s hand has changed, and Byatt just disappeared completely.

It’s been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put in quarantine. The Tox turned the students strange and savage, the teachers died off one by one. Cut off from the mainland, the girls don’t dare wander past the school’s fence where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure as the Tox takes; their bodies becoming sick and foreign, things bursting out of them, bits missing.

But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her best friend, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie in the wilderness past the fence. As she digs deeper, she learns disturbing truths about her school and what else is living on Raxter Island. And that the cure might not be a cure at all …


This debut thriller is set on a remote island that has been infected by a virus known only as ‘theTox’. It has been eighteen months since the Raxtor Boarding School for Girls was put under quarantine following the outbreak of the Tox. The girls had phone contact with their families on the mainland for a while, but now they are completely isolated while the authorities work on a cure. The Tox affects everyone differently, but many students have died from infection and it has decimated the adults. Only two teachers are left.

Teenagers Reese, Hetty and Byatt are best friends and a tight group that look after one another under these tough conditions. Due to the effects of the Tox, Hetty has lost her eye, Reese now has a hand with a metallic claw and Byatt has a second spine beneath her clothing. Food is rationed and there are mutated beasts outside the school grounds on the island that the girls must keep guard against. When Hetty is allowed out of the grounds on food runs, she learns that the situation is not quite as she had previously been told. And when Byatt is suddenly dragged away by the teachers, this development sets Hetty and Reese on a determined course of action to discover what has happened to her. This is a smart, well-written, survival thriller that puts female friendship at the centre of the narrative and has the reader terrified as to what will happen next. It is an exciting read for teenagers aged 12+.

Angela Crocombe is the manager of Readings Kids.

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