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Wild Girls: A Novel MP3 CD – Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged

4.3 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Fire-lit from start to finish, Wild Girls is a story of Appalachian magic, conflagration, and supernatural violence; it is also a quiet and keenly perceptive account of the close ties (and the noose knots) that bind adolescent female friendships. Atwell has written a fantastic hybrid, part horror story and part bildungsroman: an elegy to the midnight selves that girls try to destroy, overcome, ‘outgrow’ on the way to adulthood, and a testament to their uncanny resilience.” —Karen Russell, author of Swamplandia!

"Wild Girls lives up to its name. This beautifully written novel alternates lyrical passages with sharp eruptions of emotional fervor, with surprises on every page. The characters and the relationship between them are drawn with compassion and an utter lack of sentimentality. Wild Girls is an impressive debut from a writer we’ll be anxious to hear more from." —Alice LaPlante, author of Turn of Mind

"If Jeffrey Eugenides' The Virgin Suicides were somehow miraculously to be gene-spliced with one of Joyce Carol Oates' baroque backwoods concoctions, you might end up with something very much like WILD GIRLS: sensual, frightening, written in lines of diamond-hard prose. One could not ask for a more exciting first novel." — Pinckney Benedict, author of Miracle Boy and Other Stories

Wild Girls is a thrilling and dangerous trek through the haunted wilderness of adolescence. You will lose yourself in the mist of Atwell’s implacable Appalachian landscape, in the mystical years of girlhood, in the mythology of violence, and you will find yourself in every character, in every stunning revelation. I simply loved this book.”

—Alison Espach, the author of The Adults

“First—time novelist Atwell deftly mixes things up. Kate is a mature narrator whose sense of fairness and responsibility holds at bay the usual tensions over cliques, bullying, and competitive nastiness until an explosive episode of demonic possession targets the whole town.” (Library Journal)

“Atwell has imbued Wild Girls with wit, humor and sometimes startling atmosphere. She makes Kate sympathetic and the tensions in her life believable.” (St. Louis Post Dispatch)

"A chilling tale of high school girls gone wild, capturing the terrors of both adolescence and dark magic in one sweeping story.” (Shelf Awareness)

Wild Girls successfully creates a sinister atmosphere for this engaging tale of a young girl facing her fears and her future.” (West End Word)

"Atwell uses witchcraft, legend, herbal lore, and just enough factual evidence to keep the reader—and Kate—guessing about the mysterious series of events that unfold." (Fiction Writers Review) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Mary Stewart Atwell's short fiction has appeared in Best New American Voices and The Best American Mystery Stories. She grew up in southwest Virginia and now lives in Missouri.
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Product Details

  • MP3 CD
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio; MP3 Una edition (October 16, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 146924988X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1469249889
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.5 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,277,743 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Luan Gaines HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on October 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover
A blend of myth and feminist awakening, Atwell sets her tale in remote Appalachia, where the stories of killer wild girls are part of local lore, bands of young women who break with tradition to wreak havoc on the unsuspecting. Kate Riordan is one of these potential females, raised in Swan River, but given an opportunity through her mother's employment to attend Swan River Academy, where the daughters of the wealthy matriculate, avoiding the public high school. Kate is attracted to red-haired Willow Becker, a young woman with little regard for the feelings of others. Though aware of Willow's shortcomings, Kate is impressed by her fearlessness. In the snobbish academy environment, the myth of the wild girls assumes a romantic aura, stripped of the true venality of such attacks, reimagined as a secret cult of females calling forth magical powers.

Absent the harsh reality of poverty endemic to the area, where the future holds no promise for those enduring chronic economic devastation, the idea of a cult of wild girls flourishes among the elite daughters at the academy, dangerous borders crossed by intellectual dilettantes with little appreciation for consequences. In the world Kate has grown up in, her home replicates a dying environment with little opportunity and no hope. Nurturing a secret crush on handsome Mason Lemons, whose sister is a wild girl and mother reads the future, Kate stands by as Willow purposefully seduces the attractive boy from the wrong side of the tracks, unable to claim him herself. While Mason's friend, Clancy Harp, waits for Kate to notice him, she is caught up in the drama created by Willow and Mason, the third member of their dysfunctional triangle.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Having grown up in a small Appalachian town in southwestern Virginia, I had no problem relating to this book, it's setting, characters and plot. It had me from the first page, keeping wondering that some big was going to happen. I've know people just like the characters in this book. Don't have to be female to enjoy this read, I'm a guy. May have to read it again.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This novel appeals to at least four distinct sets of fans: people who enjoy boarding school fiction; people who enjoy stories about girlhood, femininity, and the dramas and tensions that often arise between female friends; people who like Southern fiction; and people who enjoy supernatural elements in their books, yet also like to feel as if they're reading smart, well-written literature and not campy YA (not that there's anything wrong with campy YA, either). It sounds like a tall order to blend the South, femininity, boarding school, and supernatural qualities together, yet Atwell accomplishes it really beautifully.

The Gothic tale tackles privilege and power, control and abandon. In Swan River, Kate is in the uncomfortable position of coming from a working class background, yet riding on her mother's coattails to gain admission to a prestigious and demanding prep school. She could act as a sort of ambassador between the two worlds, but is so uncomfortable in her own skin that she is more of an observer. Her friendships are also divided into two distinct spheres: brainy and loyal Caroline, and the requisite sexy, dangerous, envy-inspiring friend, Willow. Kate's romantic interests are also torn in two, with her heart caught between the more mild-mannered and caring Clancy and Mason, who is bad news (yet, of course, charismatic and seductive in his own way). Really, "Wild Girls" thrives in these contrasts. The main focus of the story, though, the strange undercurrent that runs beneath every high school clique or awkward party, is the idea of "wild girls," the odd illness (or is it?) that affects normal young women and transforms them into something terrible and consuming.
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By DogandMe on September 29, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Interesting concept - but I didn't feel the execution gave the story the urgency it demanded.

I listened to the book on MP3-CD. The "Wild Girls" felt very abstract to me - distant, not a real threat to anyone. Several times during the novel, the author was describing some crime the Wild Girls were committing, and I found myself needing to back the CD up, because I had so completely lost interest in the story that I had missed a murder or arson. That's pretty much the tell for me: if I have to rewind because I'm so bored I lose track of the story, it's just not that interesting.

Could have been a very intersting modern take on ancient legends, but I didn't feel connected.
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