St. Martin’s Press
A tropical island with salt air, crystal blue seas, and abundant sunshine. Sounds idyllic. (Especially considering the current temp where I am are hovering at freezing.) Pack me a suitcase full of books and bathing suit!
Reckless Girls starts off with exactly the kind of good time you’d imagine. Booz, barbeques, bathing suits, and beautiful people. Our main character, Lux, and her boyfriend, Nico, were hired to sail two friends, Brittany and Amma, to deserted Meroe Island for two weeks. Upon arriving, they meet Jake and Eliza who had already been enjoying the island paradise. Unlikely friendships begin to form between the six as they embark on the vacation of a lifetime. But all the fun and games quickly come to a halt when another visitor arrives. Quickly it’s apparent that secrets abound, and everyone has the propensity for deviousness.
“These people are basically all strangers to me, and I am alone with them in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.”
Hawkins adeptly creates the atmosphere for Meroe. On one hand, it’s the destination we all dream of. Gorgeous flora and fauna. Waterfalls and swimming holes. Sandy white beaches. But it also emanates an eeriness from its ugly history of shipwrecks, cannibalism, and deaths. There’s an ominous claustrophobia to Meroe that you can’t quite shake no matter how sunny or beautiful the island seems.
The storyline kept me hanging on, and I never could decide exactly who to trust. Marks of a good read to be sure. But the ending let me down. Some pieces of the culmination were ones I had expected. But the way it was executed and the big twist… it just didn’t work for me. Too far-fetched. Too many loopholes. And ultimately I wanted more from the ending.
In order to enjoy this island mystery to the fullest, put aside your need for plausibility, and sit back and enjoy the creepy vibes mixed with sunshine skies.