Wild Girls

Wild Girls Curtis Sittenfeld s Prep meets Donna Tartt s The Secret History this daringly imagined atmospheric and original debut is part coming of age story and part supernatural tale about teenage girls lear

  • Title: Wild Girls
  • Author: Mary Stewart Atwell
  • ISBN: 9781451683271
  • Page: 158
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Curtis Sittenfeld s Prep meets Donna Tartt s The Secret History, this daringly imagined, atmospheric, and original debut is part coming of age story and part supernatural tale about teenage girls learning their own strength.Daringly imagined, atmospheric, and original, Wild Girls is an exhilarating debut part coming of age story and part supernatural tale about girls learnCurtis Sittenfeld s Prep meets Donna Tartt s The Secret History, this daringly imagined, atmospheric, and original debut is part coming of age story and part supernatural tale about teenage girls learning their own strength.Daringly imagined, atmospheric, and original, Wild Girls is an exhilarating debut part coming of age story and part supernatural tale about girls learning their own strength Kate Riordan fears two things as she grows up in the small Appalachian town of Swan River that she ll be a frustrated townie forever or that she ll turn into one of the mysterious and terrifying wild girls, killers who start fires and menace the community Struggling to better her chances of escaping, Kate attends the posh Swan River Academy and finds herself divided between her hometown and its dark history and the realm of privilege and achievement at the Academy Explosive friendships with Mason, a boy from the wrong side of town, and Willow, a wealthy and popular queen bee from school, are slowly pulling her apart Kate must decide who she is and where she belongs before she wakes up with cinders at her fingertips Mary Stewart Atwell has written a novel that is at once funny and wise and stunningly inventive Her wild girls are strange and fascinating creatures a brilliant twist on the anger teenage girls can feel at their powerlessness and a promise of the great things to come from this young writer.

    One thought on “Wild Girls”

    1. this is a piece of adult fiction that i think would probably find a more sympathetic readership amongst a YA audience. because as allegory, as homeroom-doodle revenge fantasy, this has a lot of potential. it's all about the perceived powerlessness of teenage girls and what if some girls in this town had a switch that no one could see but every so often it would be flipped somehow and that girl would go buckwild with the flames and the flying and the unstoppable violence and everyone would be so [...]

    2. Oh my glob, y'all! This was so freakin' hot! It's about this town with like, urban legends about creepy girls with superpowers and junk and can light things on fire… with their minds!! And the main girl, Kate, is afraid she's going to light things on fire, too! And Kate's always thinking about deep things like incipient adulthood and like puberty and junk… WITH HER MIND!!!!! I was sooo scared, you guys! And there were lots of hot boys that like, want to make out with our sassy heroine but sh [...]

    3. Kate Riordan lives in Swan River, a small town somewhere in the Appalachian Mountains with a history of crazy teenage girls who, out of the blue, will spend a night burning things down and murdering people before the urge wears off as fast as it came. Kate, who attends a fancy private academy and plans to go to college, doesn't want to become a wild girl. But since no one understands how it happens, how can it be prevented? I picked this book because it sounded out of my usual genres but also ap [...]

    4. I really, really wanted to like this book. A "magical realism" book about girl power set in Appalachia and blurbed by Karen Russell? Yes, please. Unfortunately, this book fell short in just about every way I can think of and I'm wondering if I need to re-think my trust in Russell. I think that all the components were there to make this an awesome book, but the writing just didn't come through. Most of the main events happened so quickly and were so easily brushed by that it didn't even appear as [...]

    5. You might think this will all come together in the end while clumping along, but it won't. You might also think this is an adult novel, trust me, it's pure YA in its worst form from too much teen angst in a whiny voice to the obligatory love triangle that expands itself even further, add some mean girls and a weird, sort-of supernatural element thrown in to draw the crowds.You will also possibly expect lyrical writing and hope for the "Wild Girls" to be not just magical but also interesting, sli [...]

    6. I received this in a First Reads Giveaway."Wild Girls" by Mary Stewart Atwell is a coming of age story of a young girl in a small Appalachian town with two big fears; staying put for the rest of her life, or becoming a violent Wild Girl.While I have read worse books, I didn't overly enjoy this story either. It was ok. I felt the characters were under developed, and a plot line that depended on the pecking order of teen girls. There wasn't a lot of build up towards understanding what causes the [...]

    7. About 3.5 stars. At first I was a bit disappointed, because I didn't know where it was going, but then I got caught up in the story and the characters. The supernatural weirdness seems to jump out of nowhere. I felt the book was a bit uneven, but then I just got really into it. Loved the descriptions of the Appalachian town, the female relationships and the way that the main character worries a lot about becoming evil, or getting stuck.I'm a sucker for stories about teenage girls in boarding sch [...]

    8. There are times when the serendipity offered up by the New Books shelf at the library causes me great joy, and there are times when it causes me to curse the day I ever learned to read. Today it's the latter. I am not sure what exactly I expected (something 70s, with free love, I think), but horror was certainly not on my list for today. I stay away from horror on purpose, mostly because it's, um, horrifying. I stuck with it for the first 150 pages, but then I started to skip and skim and peek t [...]

    9. It thought it was great, very atmospheric, and it reminded me a bit of Elizabeth Hand's /Waking the Moon/ in a good and non-derivative way. I agree with what some others have said, that it feels more like YA than "adult fiction." My only complaint is the ending feels rushed--it's a first novel, though, so you gotta kind of give her pass I would have given it five stars, but those last few chapters starts moving too fast, doing too much. I especially like Mason. He's good stuff. ;-) Plus, there a [...]

    10. Wild Girls is literary fiction that's actually easy to read. A completely original story by an author who obviously has a unique imagination. A book that would appeal to an older YA audience as well as adults. Atwell is adept at telling a story that gets you thinking in a teenage girl's voice. I went Hunh at the end, but in a good way. She does not tell a story in an obvious way, and there were moments that I had to re-read passages to get their meaning. Pick it up if you like Curtis Settenfeld [...]

    11. The girls of Swan River aren't just wild - they're murderous! Mary Stewart Atwell's debut novel is more than your average coming-of-age story: it's dark and creepy and fantastic - I'll definitely be keeping my eye on this author!

    12. I really wanted to like this book, and I was so disappointed. I felt like there was just so much missing, it was predictable, and the ending left a lot of unanswered questions. The author, I think, writes short stories, maybe she should have stuck with keeping it a short story

    13. [English review below]"Avevo soprannominato -sorriso dell'autostrada-quella sua espressione determinata e malinconica, ma probabilmente lui non era mai stato in autostrada in vita sua"Volevo leggere questo libro da molto tempo e forse per questo motivo, mi aspettavo una storia diversa. Durante la lettura, sono passata dal mood "wow quanto caspita è figo questo libro" a "ma quando finisce?!". Sono rimasta un po' delusa. Secondo me, la storia poteva essere sviluppata meglio: durante la lettura, d [...]

    14. Kate Reardon is a high school freshman. Her father has passed away when Kate was small. She lives with her mother, her mom's boyfriend Travis (the local sheriff's deputy, and a nice guy although a bit of a stoner), and her older sister Maggie. They live in the small Southern town of Swan River. The river is the town's predominant feature. Many of the residents spend their whole lives without crossing the bridge out of town, but not Kate and Maggie. Mother Reardon is an administrative assistant f [...]

    15. How! Could I not love! A book where a character finds a field notebook full of secrets and the main one is "What is Kalmia latifolia?"Kalmia latifolia is me! It's where I got my name, mountain laurel, the omnipresent shrub, glossy & sharp & pervasive, given to bursts of white flowers bleeding pink at the petals.Also mini-Graceland is in this book, as is a reasonable facsimile of the private girls' college I attended in Appalachia, as are the towns I see in West Virginia laid along the ri [...]

    16. I really wanted to like this - young women who live in a Southern US town are vulnerable to becoming 'wild girls': furious creatures that fly, incinerate and generally wreak havoc with their internalized anger. Unfortunately, Atwell's writing style and the dullest protagonist you can imagine make it a struggle to get through. It's like the shadow of a great magical-realist novel, where the best things happen offscreen.

    17. Probably more like a 3.5. I wish we could give half-stars in our reviews. The best thing about this story is the characters. They are nuanced and interesting. They could be people you know or have met. The story also manages to include some predictable YA themes without veering into cliche, so that was refreshing. Definitely worth picking up if you want something fast and fun to get lost in for a few days, but don't overwork yourself trying to take it too seriously.

    18. This book can be summed up in this one excerpt from page 231: "If I knew someone who was becoming a wild girl, I would tell her to add up everything that matters to her - the people she loves, her hopes for the future. Put that on one side of the scale and, on the other, put the satisfaction of destroying what you hate." This book is about young women and what happens when their rage takes on a supernatural power - and whether or not each girl has the power to control it.

    19. I woke up at midnight and couldn't go back to sleep, so I read this book. And finished at 4 hours later. WOW. Not what I expected—I'd picked it up expecting more of a Heathers kinda vibe, but this was more supernatural/mythology come to small-town life. Powerful and violent and strange all the same.

    20. Why I wanted to read Wild Girls (from my Waiting on Wednesday post): a coming-of-age story set in a small Appalachian town a brilliant twist on the anger teenage girls can feel at their powerlessnessWild Girls exceeded any expectations that I had (which were pretty high). It wasn't the angst-filled drama that description led me to believe it to be. It is part mystery, part coming-of-age and very intense throughout. Anticipating when the wild girls may appear and what brought them about was enoug [...]

    21. (More accurately 3.5 stars)I have a lot to say about Wild Girls.First, the cover really doesn't work for me. Though it could be because the library I got this from put it in Adult Fic instead of YA, and the cover does look very YA.I really love the concept of Wild Girls. I love a lot of its content. It had some really great things to say about class, about class divides in rural environments, about sexism, about being a teenage girl and trying to figure out what to do with your life. About navig [...]

    22. There's something strange about country town Swan River. Over the course of multiple centuries, girls between the ages of sixteen and eighteen--"wild girls"--have committed horrific acts with dubious magical qualities. Kate Riordan is determined not to follow in the path of her sister and become a wild girl. She attends a good school and is set on a college path. However, the mysteries of Swan River call to Kate and her friend Willow, and their futures will be inextricably tangled with those of [...]

    23. Wild Girls is a dark Appalachian tale that winds along like the river within the town's story. At first glance, it resembles a creek, a bit rambling and narrow in focus. Perhaps because I attended the women's college most likely to be the basis for the main character's girls' high school, Swan River Academy--perhaps because of this, I was overly familiar with the mise en scene. Meant to build the river bed upon which the story flows, many of the quirky details of life at the Academy were instant [...]

    24. Like many generalizations, the one about literary vs. genre fiction is grounded in truth. In literary fiction, the protagonist is usually an extraordinary person dealing with ordinary circumstances, while in genre fiction the main character is usually an ordinary person dealing with extraordinary circumstances. By this trope, wild girls is clearly a genre novel. It has both feet firmly in the fantasy realm. The main character's life is ordinary. Although her surroundings are somewhat unusual in [...]

    25. I reminders mi stanno conquistando, ultimamente. Mi riferisco soprattutto ai fantasy che ho recensito in questi ultimi due mesi, perché sono state davvero delle storie bellissime.Ci sono stati dei libri che mi sono piaciuti più di altri, ovviamente, ma quasi tutti sono stati delle piacevoli sorprese.Con "Le streghe di Swan River" entriamo in una storia di tradizioni cittadine e strani misteri, nella vita di un'adolescente che ha paura di diventare una "ragazza selvaggia" e di uccidere qualcuno [...]

    26. What I really adored about this book was how impeccably created the Appalachian atmosphere is. For someone like me, who's grown up not in the Appalachia area, but incredibly near to it, it felt very authentic and like I had been dropped into the muggy days and nights in the small town mountains. Swan River was very real to me purely from the perspective of Atwell's descriptions. Furthermore, the characters in this book were fascinating and engaging, each with their own complexities. Many of them [...]

    27. I fell in love with Sawn River and was fascinated by the Wild Girls. Mary S. Atwell did a brillant job with character development as well and the "love triangle" as this young coming-of-age novel is anything but typical. I cannot wait for my daughter to read it so we can talk about it! Bright 5 stars from me!My rating system is as follows:5 stars - Excellent, Worth Every Penny, Made It Into My Personal Library!4 stars - Great book, but not a classic. 3 stars - Good overall, generally well writte [...]

    28. Two and a half stars, at most I'm not sure I understood this book. The supernatural part of it was so disjointed to me. It would have made way more sense if the girls had just gone out of their minds and committed crimes, rather than developing super powers that caused them to burn things down and slash people to bits with their own two hands. If you had taken that entire section of supernatural out, it would still be a book about teenaged girls living in small towns and wanting so much more out [...]

    29. Wild Girls is narrated by Kate, who lives in a small Appalachian town called Swan River. Kate has only ever wanted to leave the town, and the fancy private school where her mother works is her ticket out - if she can keep safe from her greatest fear: turning into a wild girl. Swan River has a history of "wild girls," girls who go crazy and become murderers or arsonists. The Academy's new headmaster, Dr. Bell, is particularly interested in this phenomenon, as is Kate's studious friend Caroline, b [...]

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