REVIEW: Reckless Girls

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Reckless Girls
by Rachel Hawkins
Published by St. Martin’s Press
Released on January 4th, 2022
ADULT FICTION—Mystery, Thriller

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From the New York Times bestselling author of The Wife Upstairs comes a deliciously wicked gothic suspense, set on an isolated Pacific island with a dark history, for fans of Lucy Foley and Ruth Ware.

When Lux McAllister and her boyfriend, Nico, are hired to sail two women to a remote island in the South Pacific, it seems like the opportunity of a lifetime. Stuck in a dead-end job in Hawaii, and longing to travel the world after a family tragedy, Lux is eager to climb on board The Susannah and set out on an adventure. She’s also quick to bond with their passengers, college best friends Brittany and Amma. The two women say they want to travel off the beaten path. But like Lux, they may have other reasons to be seeking an escape.

Shimmering on the horizon after days at sea, Meroe Island is every bit the paradise the foursome expects, despite a mysterious history of shipwrecks, cannibalism, and even rumors of murder. But what they don’t expect is to discover another boat already anchored off Meroe’s sandy beaches. The owners of the Azure Sky, Jake and Eliza, are a true golden couple: gorgeous, laidback, and if their sleek catamaran and well-stocked bar are any indication, rich. Now a party of six, the new friends settle in to experience life on an exotic island, and the serenity of being completely off the grid. Lux hasn’t felt like she truly belonged anywhere in years, yet here on Meroe, with these fellow free spirits, she finally has a sense of peace.

But with the arrival of a skeevy stranger sailing alone in pursuit of a darker kind of good time, the balance of the group is disrupted. Soon, cracks begin to emerge: it seems that Brittany and Amma haven’t been completely honest with Lux about their pasts––and perhaps not even with each other. And though Jake and Eliza seem like the perfect pair, the rocky history of their relationship begins to resurface, and their reasons for sailing to Meroe might not be as innocent as they first appeared.

When it becomes clear that the group is even more cut off from civilization than they initially thought, it starts to feel like the island itself is closing in on them. And when one person goes missing, and another turns up dead, Lux begins to wonder if any of them are going to make it off the island alive.

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*I WAS PROVIDED A DIGITAL GALLEY BY THE PUBLISHER IN RETURN FOR MY HONEST REVIEW. THIS DOES NOT AFFECT MY OPINION*

I have both so many thoughts and absolutely none at all. This book lit something within me that I’ve never felt before while reading, and something I hope to experience again in the future.

Reckless Girls by Rachel Hawkins is a delightful, addicting mystery/thriller that I didn’t want to put down. It followed me, stuck in my thoughts, and urged me to continue any time I stepped away.

Reckless Girls has messy characters. Lux, our main character, has been dealt horrible and crappy life circumstances. With a dead mother and a practically non-existent father, she’s left yearning for connection, for something to add to her life that she can’t get by herself. With Nico, she gets a touch of that, but not entirely what she’s looking for. And with Nico’s character, we’re given the start of a line of privileged, uncaring characters who really only look out for themselves and their wants. And while Lux isn’t perfect by any means, I found myself rooting for her throughout the story despite her several faults and misgivings. Characters like Emily, Jake, Amma and Brittany all gave me eerie vibes, but not in the sense of creepy—more so in the suspenseful sense as this book followed wholly.

This book is slow-burn to the max. I normally don’t like this and tend to stray away from it, but when reading this book, it was so easy to intake and fly through the texts that it felt faster than it actually was. I appreciated this immensely, as I felt that, had it not been written in this way, the story would’ve been lackluster.

Leading with that, I adored the author’s writing style. This was my first book from Rachel Hawkins, and it definitely won’t be my last. I was sucked into the story immediately, fell in love with the writing and how mysterious and suspenseful it was. It was easy for me to interpret and understand, even despite the several flashbacks and flips to the past and present.

Lastly, I adored the entirety of this story. Hawkins had me guessing until the very end, even when I was suspicious of each and every character. I’m normally a good guesser or anticipater, but Hawkins gave me a run for my money and made it difficult to place the truths among all the lies. While I wasn’t the biggest fan of how the ending was a bit rushed, I still did like the turn the story took.

For that, I rate this book 4.75 stars. I really enjoyed and loved this book, and I cannot wait to read again from Rachel Hawkins in the future. I highly suggest picking up this story if you haven’t yet already.

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DELETESRachel Hawkins (www.rachel-hawkins.com) was a high school English teacher before becoming a full-time writer. She lives with her family in Alabama, and is currently at work on the third book in the Hex Hall series. To the best of her knowledge, Rachel is not a witch, though some of her former students may disagree.


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