Sapphic Horror Book Review of ‘Wilder girls’ by Rory Power
3.5 Stars. Well, that was really different. This book’s genre was touted as Sapphic Horror. How could I pass this book up after hearing that? However, I must admit I could have used more Sapphic and more horror. The horror elements to me felt almost more creepy/gory than scary horror so that was a little bit of a disappointment as I was hoping for a bit of both. This is a Young Adults book. I’m not an expert in what books are good for what aged kids but I see this as more of an older teen and adult story.
The story centers around three friends who are living in a boarding school where everyone has contracted some sort of contagion. They fight for food, they fight against the wilds of the island, and they fight the disease in hopes that the Navy will soon be bringing them a cure. People have compared this to William Golding’s ‘Lord of the Flies’ but with girls, I do see that, but this really felt like the story that comes before any zombie apocalypse book, movie or show. When the government thinks it knows what it’s doing when it doesn’t know anything, this is the book before it all falls apart.
I am very impressed that this is a debut book. I thought the actual writing was quite good. I think this author shows a ton of promise. I had some trouble with some of the execution and story choices, but it’s obvious Rory Power has a lot of potential.
What needed to be worked on more is character development. While this is about three friends you are only in 2 points of view. The one character I wanted to know more about is the one we never get close enough to. I don’t really know what makes her tick, in fact, there is only one character do we really know much about. We see her through another character eyes then we see what she is really like and she ends up being the least likable. All three characters have major flaws so in truth all of them are not the easiest to like.
There is a light wlw (woman loving woman) romance. It’s light for even Young Adults in my opinion. Considering what these characters go through daily, this relationship could have been really special. It could have been the heart of the book but instead, it seemed more of an afterthought.
A lot of people are talking about the ending. It’s not a bad ending, but it is an ending that you are not sure if there is more to come or not. Again the ending reminded me of almost every zombie apocalypse type movie I have seen, so I expected it and just figured it was the end. But many readers are speculating about a sequel so I’m just not sure.
This is a hard one to recommend or not. There is not much out there to compare this book to. I think people will have some mixed reactions to this. If you are looking for something super gay and super scary, I think you will be disappointed. On the other hand, I thought the writing was good and I was entertained by the plot. If Power does write a book 2, I will read it.
An ARC was given to me in exchange for an honest review.