Sunday, April 17, 2022

Review: Reckless Girls by Rachel Hawkins

by Rachel Hawkins
Release Date: January 4, 2022
2022 St. Martin's Press
Kindle Edition; 320 Pages
ISBN: 978-1250274250
Audiobook: B0934BF9B9
Genre: Fiction / Mystery
Source: Review copy from publisher

2.50 / 5 Stars

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.

My Thoughts
Reckless Girls had so much promise; an idyllic setting, a horrifying history, people with dubious backgrounds trapped on an island, a remote paradise, an attraction for adventure seekers, and a sinister feeling. Unfortunately, a story with major plot holes and lack of suspense made for a story that I just didn't find compelling or interesting.  

One of the best things about this novel was the setting. One of the things I always dreamed about as a child was finding a beautiful, idyllic island that I could visit, but it had to be one that had a creepy background to explore and learn about. So this one pretty much fits that bill.  It is idyllic yes, but also haunted with stories of cannibalism and destruction that were intriguing, ruins slowly being swallowed by the jungle show how quickly nature takes over.  I loved the danger that seemed to simmer below the events in the story, and personally I don't think the horror of it was utilized as well as it could have been.

Unfortunately, I just didn't connect with any of the characters and found myself disliking them more and more as the story progressed. Typically, I can really dislike a character, but can feel empathy towards them; this one, I just didn't feel anything towards them.  I think it was because a lot of their choices just didn't make sense to me, even when I learned more about their backgrounds.  I expected there to be secrets, fear, and violence, but I need substance behind it.  I look forward sometimes to hating a character as that is the fun in a book like this, just to see exactly what a character can do to someone else. The main character annoyed me the most and the author kept putting in these scenes about her being this great survivor, but all I saw was this whiny person who latched on to this rich boyfriend and hounded him when he refused to use his family money to make their lives better. 
I did like the premise of the book, but the actual story was kind of ...absurd?  I do think the author was trying to show that wealth and privilege can ruin lives, and the lengths people will go to for revenge. However, it took a long time for the story to really get going, and a lot it simply was unbelievable.  The plot holes were a mile wide and it took forever to get going so you get treated to a ton of beach party scenes of the characters partying, etc...
Reckless Girls certainly had an interesting premise, but didn't live up to any of it. I wasn't a fan of any of the characters and thought a lot of the plot was pretty fat-fetched.  I think I kept reading as I was hoping for the story to pick up and have this big plot twist, but it didn't.  I am hoping that other people enjoyed this more than I did, but I can't recommend it.