Wilder Girls: How to Download This Feminist Horror Novel for Free on Kindle
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If you are looking for a thrilling and captivating novel that will keep you on the edge of your seat, you might want to check out Wilder Girls by Rory Power. This debut novel is 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, new novel is unlike anything you've read before.
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Wilder Girls is a young adult dystopian horror novel that was published in 2019 by Random House. It is Rory Power's first novel, and it has received critical acclaim and positive reviews from readers. The novel has been praised for its originality, creativity, and diversity.
The novel is set on Raxter Island, off the coast of Maine, where a boarding school for girls is located. The school has been under quarantine for 18 months, ever since a mysterious disease called the Tox hit and infected everyone on the island. The Tox causes grotesque mutations and deformities in both humans and animals, and it sometimes kills them. The girls have been waiting for a cure that was promised by the Navy, but they have no contact with the outside world except for occasional supply drops.
The novel follows the perspectives of three friends: Hetty, Byatt, and Reese. They have different symptoms of the Tox, but they share a bond of loyalty and survival. They also have secrets that they keep from each other and from themselves. 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, she learns that there's more to their story, to their life at Raxter, than she could have ever thought true.
Wilder Girls is a feminist Lord of the Flies because it explores what happens when a group of girls are isolated from society and have to fend for themselves in a hostile environment. It also challenges the stereotypes and expectations of femininity and girlhood, showing how the girls cope with their physical and emotional changes, their relationships, their power dynamics, and their identities. It is a mind-bending novel because it twists reality and perception, creating a surreal and disturbing atmosphere that keeps the reader guessing until the end.
Summary of Wilder Girls
The Tox and the quarantine
The novel begins with Hetty hearing something outside the fence that surrounds the school. She is on the roof deck with Byatt, who has a gun to shoot any threats that might come near. They are part of a group of about 60 girls who have survived the Tox so far. The Tox affects everyone differently, but it always causes pain and suffering. Hetty has one eye fused shut with something moving behind it. Byatt has a second spine protruding from her back. Reese has a scaled hand with webbed fingers. The other girls have various mutations, such as extra organs, bones, teeth, hair, or skin. The Tox also causes flare-ups, which are episodes of intense agony that sometimes result in new changes or death.
The girls have been living under quarantine for 18 months, ever since the Tox hit and killed most of the teachers and staff. The only adults left are Miss Welch, the headmistress, and Mr. Harker, the groundskeeper. They have no contact with the outside world except for a radio that connects them to the Navy, who occasionally send supplies by boat. The Navy also told them to stay inside the fence, where the Tox is supposedly less severe, and to wait for a cure that they are working on.
The girls have developed a routine and a hierarchy to survive. They have classes, chores, meals, and bedtimes. They also have rules, such as not going outside the fence, not touching each other's mutations, and not asking too many questions. They have roles, such as the Boat Shift, who go to the dock to collect the supplies; the Garden Girls, who tend to the crops; and the Lookouts, who watch for danger. They have factions, such as the Lighthouse Girls, who live in a separate building and are considered elite; and the Wilder Girls, who are more rebellious and adventurous.
The Boat Shift and the discovery
One day, Hetty is chosen to join the Boat Shift, along with Byatt and Reese. She is excited and nervous to see what lies outside the fence for the first time in almost two years. She is also curious about Reese, who she has a crush on but doesn't know how to approach. Reese is cold and distant, but she also shows signs of caring for Hetty and Byatt.
On their way to the dock, they encounter a huge bear that has been mutated by the Tox. It has antlers, claws, teeth, and eyes all over its body. It attacks them, but they manage to escape by shooting it and hiding in a bunker. There, they find a stash of food and supplies that Miss Welch has been hiding from them. They realize that she has been lying to them about the scarcity of resources and the severity of the Tox outside the fence.
They also find a map of the island that shows a research station on the other side. They wonder if that's where the Navy is working on the cure, or if there's something else going on there. They decide to take some of the food and supplies with them and head back to the school.
The rescue mission and the revelation
When they return to the school, they find out that Byatt has had a flare-up and has been taken away by Miss Welch. Hetty is worried about her friend and wants to see her, but Miss Welch tells her that she's in quarantine and can't have visitors. Hetty doesn't trust Miss Welch anymore and suspects that she's hiding something.
Hetty decides to break into Miss Welch's office and look for clues about Byatt's whereabouts. She finds a letter from the Navy that reveals that they are not working on a cure, but on a weapon. The Tox is not a natural disease, but an experiment gone wrong. The Navy has been using the girls as test subjects, injecting them with different strains of the Tox and observing their reactions. The food and supplies they send are laced with more Tox agents.
Hetty also finds out that Byatt has been taken to the research station by boat. She decides to go after her and rescue her. She convinces Reese to help her by telling her about the letter and showing her affection. They steal a boat from Mr. Harker and sail across the island.
Meanwhile, Byatt wakes up in a lab at the research station. She is hooked up to machines and tubes that monitor her vital signs and extract her blood. She sees other girls in similar conditions, some alive and some dead. She also sees Miss Welch talking to a man in a hazmat suit. He is Dr. Keller, the leader of the research project.
Byatt learns that she has a rare mutation of the Tox that makes her immune to its effects. She also has a symbiotic relationship with it, meaning that she can communicate with it and control it to some extent. Dr. Keller wants to use her blood to create a more potent version of the Tox that he can weaponize.
Byatt tries to escape from the lab by using her Tox powers to manipulate the machines and infect Dr. Keller. She also tries to contact Hetty through their mental link, which is another effect of their Tox bond.
Hetty and Reese Hetty and Reese arrive at the research station and find Byatt in a coma. They also see Dr. Keller, who is infected with Byatt's Tox strain. He tells them that he has been experimenting on the girls and the island for years, trying to create a biological weapon that can adapt and evolve. He says that the Tox is not a disease, but a life form that can communicate and cooperate with its hosts. He also says that Byatt is the key to his project, because she has a unique mutation that makes her immune and symbiotic with the Tox.
Hetty and Reese try to rescue Byatt and escape from the station, but they are confronted by Miss Welch, who is working with Dr. Keller. She shoots Reese in the leg and tries to stop Hetty from taking Byatt. Hetty fights back and manages to stab Miss Welch in the throat. She then takes Byatt and Reese and runs to the boat.
As they sail away from the island, they see a helicopter approaching. It is the Navy, who have been alerted by Dr. Keller's distress signal. They also see a huge explosion at the research station, caused by Byatt's Tox powers. Hetty realizes that Byatt is still alive and awake, and that she has been trying to communicate with her through their mental link.
Byatt tells Hetty that she loves her and that she is sorry for keeping secrets from her. She also tells her that she has a plan to stop Dr. Keller and the Navy from using the Tox as a weapon. She says that she can control the Tox and make it spread to everyone on the helicopter, infecting them with her strain. She says that this will make them immune to any other strains of the Tox, and that they will be able to communicate with each other and with the island.
Byatt asks Hetty to trust her and to let her do this. Hetty hesitates, but then agrees. She tells Byatt that she loves her too, and that she trusts her. She also tells Reese that she loves her and that she is sorry for hurting her. Reese says that she loves her too, and that she forgives her.
Byatt then uses her Tox powers to infect everyone on the helicopter, including Hetty and Reese. They feel a surge of pain and then a wave of calmness. They see visions of each other and of the island, and they hear voices in their heads. They realize that they are now connected by the Tox, and that they can share their thoughts and feelings.
As the novel ends, the three girls are waiting for the tide to change so they can reach the mainland. They have a vague plan to find Hetty's father, who is in the Navy, in the hope of prompting officials to find a cure. They also have a new sense of belonging and purpose, as they are now part of something bigger than themselves: a new life form that can change the world.
Analysis of Wilder Girls
The themes and motifs of the novel
Wilder Girls explores several themes and motifs throughout its story, such as:
Feminism and girlhood: The novel challenges the stereotypes and expectations of femininity and girlhood, showing how the girls cope with their physical and emotional changes, their relationships, their power dynamics, and their identities. The novel also celebrates female friendship, solidarity, agency, and diversity.
Dystopia and horror: The novel creates a dystopian and horrific scenario where a mysterious disease has infected an isolated island, causing grotesque mutations and deformities in both humans and animals. The novel also depicts the violence, fear, pain, and suffering that result from this situation.
Nature and nurture: The novel examines the relationship between nature and nurture, showing how both factors influence the characters' development and behavior. The novel also questions the boundaries between natural and unnatural, human and animal, normal and abnormal.
Science and ethics: The novel exposes the dangers of unethical scientific experiments that aim to create biological weapons without regard for human rights or environmental consequences. The novel also explores the potential of scientific discoveries that can lead to new forms of life and communication.
The symbols and imagery of the novel
Wilder Girls uses several symbols and imagery to convey its meaning and mood, such as:
The Tox: The Tox is the main symbol of the novel, representing both the disease and the life form that infects the island. The Tox causes grotesque mutations and deformities in both humans and animals, but it also gives them new abilities and connections. The Tox symbolizes the horror and the wonder of change, the pain and the power of survival, and the threat and the hope of evolution.
The fence: The fence is another symbol of the novel, representing both the protection and the imprisonment of the girls. The fence separates them from the outside world, where the Tox is supposedly less severe, but it also isolates them from any help or rescue. The fence symbolizes the safety and the danger of isolation, the order and the chaos of society, and the control and the rebellion of authority.
The island: The island is another symbol of the novel, representing both the home and the enemy of the girls. The island is where they live, learn, and love, but it is also where they suffer, fight, and die. The island is also where the Tox originated and where it thrives, changing everything on it. The island symbolizes the beauty and the horror of nature, the familiarity and the strangeness of place, and the attachment and the detachment of identity.
The styles and techniques of the novel
Wilder Girls employs several styles and techniques to create its effect and impact, such as:
Dual perspective: The novel alternates between two narrators: Hetty and Byatt. They are best friends who share a bond of loyalty and survival, but they also have secrets that they keep from each other and from themselves. Their perspectives provide different insights and information about the plot, the characters, and the themes.
First-person present tense: The novel is written in first-person present tense, which creates a sense of immediacy and intimacy with the narrators. It also creates a sense of uncertainty and suspense, as the narrators do not know what will happen next or how their story will end.
Vivid description: The novel uses vivid description to portray the plot, the characters, and the themes. The novel uses vivid description to portray the effects of the Tox on the girls and the island, creating a surreal and disturbing atmosphere. The novel also uses vivid description to portray the emotions and sensations of the narrators, creating a realistic and engaging tone.
Metaphors and similes: The novel uses metaphors and similes to compare and contrast different aspects of the story, such as the Tox, the fence, the island, and the girls. The novel uses metaphors and similes to create imagery and symbolism, to enhance the description and expression, and to convey meaning and mood.
In conclusion, Wilder Girls by Rory Power is a fascinating and compelling novel that will appeal to fans of dystopian, horror, and feminist fiction. The novel tells the story of 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. The novel explores themes such as feminism and girlhood, dystopia and horror, nature and nurture, and science and ethics. The novel also employs styles and techniques such as dual perspective, first-person present tense, vivid description, and metaphors and similes.
Wilder Girls is a novel that will make you think, feel, and wonder. It is a novel that will challenge your expectations and assumptions. It is a novel that will stay with you long after you finish reading it. It is a novel that you should definitely read.
Here are some frequently asked questions about Wilder Girls and their answers:
Q: Is Wilder Girls based on a true story?
A: No, Wilder Girls is not based on a true story. It is a fictional novel that was inspired by various sources, such as Lord of the Flies, Annihilation, The Female of the Species, and The Handmaid's Tale.
Q: Is Wilder Girls a standalone novel or part of a series?
A: Wilder Girls is a standalone novel. There are no plans for a sequel or a prequel at this time.
Q: Is Wilder Girls appropriate for young readers?
A: Wilder Girls is recommended for readers aged 14 and up. The novel contains graphic violence, gore, body horror, profanity, sexual references, drug use, and mature themes.
Q: Is Wilder Girls available in other formats?
A: Yes, Wilder Girls is available in hardcover, paperback, ebook, audiobook, and large print formats.
Q: Is Wilder Girls being adapted into a movie or a TV show?
A: Yes, Wilder Girls is being adapted into a movie by Netflix. The movie will be directed by Cathy Yan (Birds of Prey) and written by Carly Wray (The Leftovers). The cast and release date have not been announced yet.