First there were four, and now there are three. Three teenagers, Emma, Henri, and Alex, are all stranded on a deserted island that has no clean source of water, no substantial source of food, and, as the three have concluded, no plausible way to get rescued from the tropical dungeon. With their pasts still haunting them and lies rooted deep inside of themselves, Emma, Henri, and Alex must decide to work as a team to escape or else become victims to suspicions and doubts.
The story begins with Emma, a teen girl who is devoted to her sister, Henri, who continues down a dark path of wild parties, illicit relationships with school faculty, and casual sex. No matter what Henri does, Emma can’t help but feel loyal to her. But, this may be due to the fact that everything is suddenly unstable in Emma’s life: her father is leaving them for a younger woman and a new life, and her mother is going back to the work field and becoming more hands-off. These events, while brutal and damaging, only bring Emma and Henri closer together; their bond is one that is impenetrable. But when the two girls end up on a boat excursion with a couple of boys, everything begins to go into chaos. From the death of one of the boys to being stranded on an unknown island, the simplicity of high school drama and teenage rebellion is no longer at the back of the girls’ minds. They can only focus on one thing: survival.
A Map for Wrecked Girls is a book that I devoured in one or two sittings, which is a very rare occurrence for me. I found both the dangers of the island and the unhealthy relationship between Emma and Henri to be extremely fascinating; I was hooked on Jessica Taylor’s words until the very end of the novel. And while all of Taylor’s main characters are flawed and definitely broken in one way or another, she continues to add details that help readers connect with them and possibly even sympathize with their personal struggles. This novel felt like it was part contemporary and part thriller, and the two blended perfectly together. Both male and female readers are sure to be absorbed in their struggle for escape and their will to survive. And as you can see, I cannot give this book enough praise; it was that good.
Another aspect of the story that was masterfully executed was the flashback sequences that occurred in every other chapter. Some authors have tried to attempt such a feat but were left with muddled storylines and scenes that felt unnecessary. But Taylor provides readers with insight into the family life of the two girls before the accident, the personal struggles that have shaped who they are, and even more details about how confused and sometimes unhealthy their relationship really is. Without these scenes, A Map for Wrecked Girls would not be nearly as effective and engaging as it proved to be.
These girls are wrecked, both emotionally and physically. There is little hope of escape, and they aren’t even sure if the mysterious boy who is with them on the island is who he says he is. With regrets and guilt, the three must put aside their differences and fight for their survival, the only thing they have left. A Map for Wrecked Girls released on August 15 and guarantees readers a story about love, redemption, survival, and family.