Book Reviews

Reckless Girls by Rachel Hawkins

You may know Rachel Hawkins from The Wife Upstairs. It’s one of those books that took Instagram by storm. When I saw the opportunity to read her latest on NetGalley, I knew I had to get it. Reckless Girls is absolutely riveting.

The Story

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.

My Thoughts

I spent 10 days with my family this holiday season. I actually took those days off too, which means I needed to find ways to fill my time. My Kindle was practically attached to my hand. I finished Reckless Girls in about one calendar day. I haven’t done that in so long.

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The concept of the book (being picked randomly to sail people to a location and finding friends in that remote location) is pretty far-fetched. However, if you get past how unrealistic of a situation that is, the book makes sense.

As far as characters go, I did have a problem with Lux. I didn’t love how…weak she was. I mean, you meet a guy and completely uproot your life after only knowing him for a few weeks? Again, unrealistic. Nico seems like a great guy, until the red flags start coming out.

The “skeevy stranger” seemed unnecessary to the overall storyline. I suppose it was a plot device in order to introduce conflict in paradise, but I think it could have been done differently.

The ending smacked me in the face. I read it on my Kindle, so I only know approximate percentages. I swear, for the last 15-20% of the book, my jaw just kept dropping. It was twist after twist with one final smack in the last couple of pages. I love books like that, so I highly recommend Reckless Girls.

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