I think every review I write should just have a built in this is a difficult book to rate introduction, but hey I can’t help the fact that I overthink things to a T. I think the issue mainly resides in my overwhelming love and appreciation of an idea, but then grappling with the ways the experience or execution might’ve veered off.
I’d like to start off by saying that at the heart of it, Power has a great story in her hands. There is something about her words, and the overall atmosphere of the book, that makes you feel as if this is a real thing occurring in a real place with real people. It’s incredible that this entire world could’ve emerged from Power’s brain, so I wholeheartedly tip my hat in admiration.
However, while the bones may be good, a body still needs flesh (can you tell Power’s writing style is influencing me?). I’ve read a lot about readers having trouble with the author’s ending, but to be honest that wasn’t my issue. Although, I do think the author’s choice of an ending could’ve seemed more tasteful, perhaps even artful, to the majority if the she had fleshed out more of the story beforehand. See, while I don’t think all the answers needed to be revealed the end with a pretty bow on top–that’s too cliche for a story of this nature–I do think Power could’ve definitely benefitted from sprinkling a few answers throughout the novel. Otherwise, we’re left with a story that feels less mysterious and more so underdeveloped.
Overall, I found Wilder Girls to be a captivating and thrilling read, but there’s something about it that nags it’s not quite a finished draft. That perhaps given outside eyes (for revising/editing) we could’ve been given a stronger story. Ultimately, I think that’s what Hetty and the girls deserve.