Ahhh it’s refreshing to have all the characters act the way you want them to for once!
This book was nothing like I’d expected. It’s a queer retelling of Grease (I’m hooked already!) but I hadn’t really thought about how that would play into Ollie and Will’s relationship. The book had a strong message from a toxic relationship (I guess it was Grease) but I felt the ending sort of underpinned it. However, I warmed up to their relationship and loved Ollie’s character so much. Bass players unite!
“But if they keep accidentally ripping your heart out over and over again, doesn’t mean they’re terrible people, but it probably means you’re better off getting to a distance where they can’t keep doing that. Accidentally or not.”– ONLY MOSTLY DEVASTATED
Another reason why I found it so unexpected was how insightful Only Mostly Devastated was. Near the end, there was a beautiful exploration of death in what I’d thought was a light rom-com. There was also a big focus on friendship which I always love, the references were on point and the side characters were well developed.
I’d be interested to see anyone else’s take on her, but I did the biggest 180 on a character that I’ve ever done for Lara. The joy of character development! Originally, her whole plot point appeared to be something that I despise – I still don’t like her but it’s impressive writing to make you totally reconsider her character? Or maybe I just like anyone who says they’re ‘bi as f***’ numerous times.
Sometimes it’s really drags but other times it’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever read.
Did I really know what this book was about? I’d been waiting to read Wilder Girls forever, but I have to admit I’d just seen that gorgeous cover and added it to my WTR pile. (Also it’s one of those books with one line on the back as a blurb). So, it might have been one of the best surprises of this year when it turned out to be a queer, feminist horror story about a school for girls struggling to survive a killer disease. I’ve developed an apprehension for books about pandemics, but Wilder Girls was like nothing I’ve read before, or ever will again.
My favourite part? The group dynamic. I’m in love with Byatt and Hetty and Reese’s relationship and watching Reese open up. Some of Byatt’s narration was more like prose and it was absolutely gorgeous; I found her’s more interesting (and horror-esque) than the other narration. I spent the start of the book hoping for more from the horror side, even if it is a YA book, but the conspiracy pulled it through. The writing was as wild as the setting. Whilst some fell flat and were too abstract, some lines literally took my breath away.
“I think I’d been looking for it all my life, a storm in my body to match the one in my head.”– WILDER GIRLS
However, it was
a bit boring quite character focused. I’d step back and think that not a lot had happened. I was so hooked for the final reveal and the ending was addictive (it didn’t disappoint) but it felt like it dragged a lot for such a short book. I have qualms about the actual ending, as in the last 10 or so pages. It’s difficult to discuss without giving any spoilers but I thought that it was unnecessary and felt too cliff hanger-y for a stand-alone.
But, I felt empowered reading this. (I guess if you know that queer feminists can survive a killer virus then you can survive 2021). Wilder Girls grows in my opinion the more I think about it – it was nothing like I’d expected in some bad ways and some good ways. It’s a gory and feminist twisted and very cool book. I’m not going to forget about it easily.