What is it about deserted islands? This theme seems to be more apparent lately with books like Stranded by Sarah Goodwin and One Night on the Island by Josie Silver or and the wonderful book The Stalker by Sarah Alderson. Out of all those books, this one turns out a little differently. Prepare yourself to read through the night, as you won’t be able to put this one down.
Lux and Nico have been together six months when Lux meets Amma and Brittany. Nico has been trying to get his boat up and running and they offer to help him with an offer of $50,000 to take them to the deserted island of Meroe, a two-day sail from Hawaii, where they are currently living. She has been working as a maid in Hawaii while Nico has been trying to get the boat fixed. They struggle when she is let go from her job. He is excited about the opportunity, while Lux is more reserved. Ultimately, they decide they will take the girls but once the group disembarks in Meroe; they realize there is another boat there, with the rich and beautiful couple, Jack and Eliza.
Everything is wonderful as a lot of books start out. They love the island, and they have plenty of food and free time to explore. The island is described as white sand and turquoise shores. None of them realize that every single person there is carrying a secret that could endanger them. When a stranger arrives and throws a wrench into their idyll, Lux realizes everything is not as it seems. Robbie tells Lux the island is cursed, and that she thinks she knows the people she is with, but she has no idea. She realizes she may be alone on the island with no way out of paradise.
This book is split into what happens before and their current residence on Meroe. Unfortunately, the back and forth between timelines did not work as well because we are exploring multiple befores, but only one after, and it became confusing. The segments in the past were all backstory for our cast of characters. The book also references the backstory for Meroe, which was scattered through the before. Hawkins did not talk enough about the actual island and what happened there and more about the backstory of the characters. All of it was interesting, but as a reader, I needed more explanation of what happened on the island to call it cursed.
The characters in Reckless Girls are all equally appalling, but it really adds to the beauty of the story. Even Lux, with her naivete, had few redeeming qualities. In the way Rachel Hawkins writes her character, you want to ally with her but struggle to understand her actions. I could not and did not predict the ending. In fact, it was miles away from what I thought it would be. This book, in summary, was so much fun. What I really enjoyed was the descriptions of paradise and the reality of contradicting those images. Reckless Girls is a great story, and I can’t wait to read more of the author.