Reckless Girls by Rachel Hawkins

Book Cover

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Date of publication: January 4th, 2022

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

Purchase Links: Amazon | Audible | B&N | WorldCat

Goodreads Synopsis:

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.

First Line:

Salt water and blood taste the same.

reckless girls by rachel hawkins

What initially drew me to Reckless Girls was the cover. I thought it was one of the more eye-catching ones. Then I read the blurb, and I thought, “Hmmm, this sounds interesting.” But I didn’t request it. I figured that if I were meant to read it, it would find a way to me. A week later, I had an email from SMP asking me to review it. How could I say no? I am glad that I accepted because I couldn’t put this book down.

Reckless Girls had an exciting plotline. Lux and Nico are stuck in Hawaii while they work to fund repairs and supplies for their boat, The Susannah. A big break comes their way when two women, Brittany and Amma, pay for the boat repairs and hire them for a trip to Meroe Island, a deserted island that has a reputation for being haunted. When they get there, they find another ship already there and meet Eliza and Jake. Things are going well when a mysterious stranger appears and throws everything out of whack. Lux has to figure out who she can trust. Because if she can’t, she will become one of Meroe Island’s legends.

Reckless Girl had a lightening fast plotline. From the beginning, where Lux worked at the hotel to the end, it didn’t slow down. That rapid pace did the book justice. If that book didn’t move as fast as it did, it would have lost some of its oomph. What impressed me about Reckless Girls also was that there was no lag in the book. The author did a fantastic job keeping that from happening.

There are multiple POVs in Reckless Girls. I am not a fan of multiple POVs. I find that they drag the book down if not done right. But in the case of Reckless Girls, not only did they work, but I enjoyed them. The main POV was Lux’s, but then were POVs from Amma, Brittany, and (later on in the book) Eliza. The author’s snippets into each person’s backstory made me understand them better and understand why they did what they did.

I liked Lux. She had overcome a lot to get to where she was at the beginning of the story. Hell, she even legally owned The Susannah (it gets into it at the beginning of the book). But, I did think she was a pushover when it came to Nico. Early in the book, it was pretty evident that he didn’t care for her the way she cared for him.

Brittany and Amma, I didn’t care for. Both had gone through traumatic experiences, and both were traveling to get over it. Their backstory was sad. I felt that there was more to what they wanted than what was being said from the beginning.

The book was made by the secondary characters (Jake, Eliza, Nico, and the guy who showed up uninvited and unannounced). They fleshed out the plotline and made the book much more interesting to read.

I loved that this mystery was set on a deserted island with a set amount of suspects. In books like this, I usually can figure out who was doing it and its motive. But in this book, the author threw that right out the window. I knew for sure that Lux wasn’t involved in anything. But everyone else was a suspect and had a motive. It made the book so enjoyable to read.

Reckless Girls have several twists, and they all made the book. There was one that I did see coming (it involved Amma and Brittany), but the others shocked the heck out of me. The last twist, the one right as the book ended and before it went to the epilogue, surprised the heck out of me. It was something that I didn’t see coming.

The end of Reckless Girls was one of the more shocking that I have read in a long time. It took me a while to get over it. I was not expecting what happened to happen. And, as I stated above, I did not expect the twist that led into the shocking epilogue.

I would recommend Reckless Girls to anyone over 21. There is sex, violence, and language.

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