It’s been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty’s life out from under her.
It started slow. First the teachers died one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don’t dare wander outside the school’s fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything.
But 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, Hetty learns that there’s more to their story, to their life at Raxter, than she could have ever thought true.
When I saw the cover to this book, I was intrigued. It’s the August book for the Barnes & Noble YA Book Club and I was anxious to see what the book was about.
I can’t say the story was terrible, because it wasn’t. But there was no feeling, no emotion between the characters. Reese, Byatt, and Hetty are supposed to be such great friends, best friends, but the story doesn’t convey that. You’re told that they’re best friends, but you just don’t get that feeling from the story.
Honestly, I think the only thing that truly kept me reading was wanting to see if an explanation for anything – the Tox, why they were being kept on the island – would be forthcoming. It does, but not in a very satisfactory way.
Then there is the ending of the book. The end of the book left me feeling like the story hadn’t been finished. Like the author didn’t know what to do after the closing scene, so she just decided to leave it there and hope for the best. I sincerely hope there is supposed to be a sequel, because otherwise the end is just a huge letdown.
I gave this book 3 stars because the author definitely has room for improvement. The writing style could use some work, especially when it comes to interpersonal relationships between characters and ending a book properly.