This book was everything I hoped it would be and so much more. It was dirty, gritty, creepy, disturbing, and wonderful. This will be one of my Top Reads of 2019.
This was the story of a school of girls trying to survive in a world that was trying to take everything back. The residents of the Raxter School for Girls felt abandoned and forgotten after they were put under quarantine but they did everything they could to survive. They found a way to adapt and overcome the (sometimes) horrific transformations that happened to them physically. They learned they were a hell of a lot tougher and stronger than they realized when push came to shove, and it did when it came to food. Fighting dirty was not frowned upon and the dirtier the better. Hetty and the other girls learned the hard way to not wander past the fence of the school, especially after the Tox hit. That was what caused the strange and unusual changes to happen to the ones that were fortunate enough to survive. Things change for Hetty when her best friend, Byatt, disappeared. Determined to find her, Hetty will risk her life and whatever else she has to in order to find out what happened to her best friend. Will Hetty truly be prepared for the horrors that await her on the other side of the fence? Will she ever be ready for the truth?
Hot diggity damn this book was stunning. I was both memorized and terrified by what was happening. I could not put this book down. I was intrigued by what the Tox was doing to every single girl and how it affected them individually. Power put some serious thought into what she wrote and it showed. This was an incredibly lush world with some deeply developed characters. This was masterfully written, without a doubt.
This this felt like a quick read, the story was anything but simple. There were secrets on top of mysteries wrapped in lies. It was absolutely my cup of tea and this was just were I parked my car. I was thinking about this story when I had to put the book down for other things (like work) but just could not stop thinking about it. The complexity in which the MC, Hetty, found herself was brilliant. The girl wanted nothing more than to find her best friend and then maybe get off of the island – if that was even possible. She fought like hell to stay alive and it was such a great thing to read. I felt her struggle and was cheering her on the entire way. When she was afraid, I was afraid. When she was fighting off tears, I was trying not to cry. She had me by my feels and never let me go.
I won’t give anything away but when the end of the book got close and the big reveal was about to happen, I was both ready and not ready for it. I wanted to say I knew it was coming but I won’t lie to you. I can only say this – with the way the book ended, there has to be a sequel. Give me a novella or something! I want… no… NEED more of these characters, this world, this story. I need it like I need air.
So do I recommend? Absolutely. If you haven’t already picked up a copy, do so now but know this probably isn’t for the weak stomached reader. There are some gory details that could trigger nightmares or keep you awake at night.