ARC Review - A Map for Wrecked Girls

Title: A Map for Wrecked Girls
Author: Jessica Taylor
Publisher: Dial (Penguin)
Series: n/a
Published: August 15, 2017
Source: Borrowed for review from a local indie
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We sat at the edge of the ocean—my sister Henri and I—inches apart but not touching at all. We'd been so sure someone would find us by now.
Emma had always orbited Henri, her fierce, magnetic queen bee of an older sister, and the two had always been best friends. Until something happened that wrecked them.
I'd trusted Henri more than I'd trusted myself. Wherever she told me to go, I'd follow.
Then the unthinkable occurs—a watery nightmare off the dazzling coast. The girls wash up on shore, stranded. Their only companion is Alex, a troubled boy agonizing over his own secrets. Trapped in this gorgeous hell, Emma and Alex fall together as Emma and Henri fall catastrophically apart. 
For the first time, I was afraid we'd die on this shore.
To find their way home, the sisters must find their way back to each other. But there’s no map for this—or anything. Can they survive the unearthing of the past and the upheaval of the present?


The back of the ARC hailed this book as something for fans of Pretty Little Liars and Gone Girls, so I decided to give it a try because I love a good story filled with horrible female characters and unseen twists.  What I got was a story with a single horrible female character and...not much else.  I've never read Pretty LIttle Liars, and have seen a total of perhaps 2 random episodes, but I didn't see a lot of similarities besides the catty females and a situation or two, and as for Gone Girl, I don't think I saw anything that would cause me to pitch this book as like it in any way.

This book does have one good thing going for it, and that's the fact that it's a pretty quick read.  I sped through almost 80% of the book in a single day, a school day no less, because I was curious enough to want to see what happened on the island, as well as what caused the huge rift between the two sisters.  The other thing I appreciated was how Emma grew during her time on the island, it honestly seemed realistic because in a situation like that people either change for the better or they die, and Emma changed for the better.

Unfortunately, there were more things I didn't like about this book that things I did. I feel like I got lost at times, there would be no line gap between paragraphs that had jumps in time or words were missing.  This might just be due to the fact that I read an ARC, I'm not 100% sure on that.  The clingy relationship between Emma and her sister Henri in the "before" chapters really bugged me, I get the relationship was supposed to be toxic, but it was like...toxic without Emma getting anything out of it.  The "rift" between Emma and Henri struck me as bad, yeah, but I certainly don't think it was as horrible as it was portrayed, considering part of it was done for Henri's own safety.

All of those things bugged me, but the biggest thing was Henri.  Maybe that's where they got the Gone Girl comparison because Henri was so horrible?  Not only was she a toxic person who managed to do a 180 in less than 50 pages, but everything she did on that island was a million times worse than what Emma did.  She did at least 5 horrible things (no specifics because spoilers) that could have (and probably should have) caused them all to die several times over.  I'm not sure how either Alex or Emma, especially Emma, could forgive Henri for what she did, regardless of why.

Overall I just really wasn't a huge fan of this book.  Actually, at times I don't even think I could put my finger on why I didn't like it, just that it wasn't working for me.  I was expecting something full of twists and turns and maybe a mind f*ck or two, and what I got was an odd Survivor-esque story that had a few too many miracle saves for my taste.  I'm not going to say don't pick this book up, but I would suggest you read the first few chapters to see if it's something that works for you before you do.

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