Reckless Girls

A Novel

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Pub Date 04 Jan 2022 | Archive Date 18 Jan 2022


Instant New York Times and USA Today bestseller
Indie Next Pick and LibraryReads Pick

From Rachel Hawkins, the New York Times bestselling author of The Wife Upstairs, comes a deliciously wicked gothic suspense, set on an isolated Pacific island with a dark history.

"A literary pina colada." —Entertainment Weekly
"A high-octane thriller." —New York Times Book Review (Staff Pick)


Beautiful, wild, and strange—Meroe Island is a desolate spot in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with a mysterious history of shipwrecks, cannibalism, and even rumors of murder. It’s the perfect destination for the most adventurous traveler to escape everything... except the truth.


Six stunning twentysomethings are about to embark on a blissful, free-spirited journey—one filled with sun-drenched days and intoxicating nights. But as 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, sending them on a dangerous spiral of discovery.


When one person goes missing and another turns up dead, the remaining friends wonder what dark currents lie beneath this impenetrable paradise—and who else will be swept under its secluded chaos. With its island gothic sensibility, sexy suspense, and spine-tingling reimagining of an Agatha Christie classic, Reckless Girls will wreck you.

Instant New York Times and USA Today bestseller
Indie Next Pick and LibraryReads Pick

From Rachel Hawkins, the New York Times bestselling author of The Wife Upstairs, comes a deliciously wicked gothic...

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ISBN 9781250274250
PRICE $27.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 1648 members

Featured Reviews

Reckless Girls was incredible! Despite not a lot happening in the story for the first three quarters, I loved reading the descriptions of the island as well as the time jumps that explained the backstories of Lux, Amma, Brittany, and Eliza. The relationships between all four women, as well as Nico and Jake, were so complex, and I really liked the way the flashbacks enhanced that. I loved the setting of a beautiful yet insidious island, and as always, Rachel Hawkins’ writing style is beautiful. I’ve been a fan of Hawkins’ work since the Hex Hall series, but Reckless Girls may be her best work yet!

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This is a great, fun read. Nico and Lux live in Hawaii, working to save enough money to repair his boat and sail all over the world. When a couple of college girls offer him a huge amount of money to sail them to deserted Meroe Island for an adventure, he finds it hard to turn them down, so he and Lux agree to finish the repairs and head off to the shores of Meroe, which has a pretty sinister back story of its own. Upon arrival, they discover other people already moored on the island seeking adventure. While at first, they all seem to get along, soon tensions begin to simmer and this sends the story spiraling to its totally unexpected end. I stayed up late to finish this one!

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I could not put this book down! From the beginning, "Reckless Girls" checked all of the boxes for a great suspense novel.

From the moment they arrive on the island, you knew that something bad was looming in the distance. 6 strangers together on a deserted island for 2 week, and what seemed like only fun and games soon turned into something far more sinister.

This is one to read, so make sure your schedule is free because you won't want to stop reading!

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This book is 5 star! I enjoyed Hawkins first novel, but literally couldn’t put this book down! Reckless Girls is a wild ride, in a beautiful setting with standout characters! Just when I thought I had things figured out, I was wrong! Often times a book drags in the last 20 percent, but not this book! Twists and turns until the last page! I can not wait for Hawkins next book! Her writing is descriptive, her characters intriguing and the plot fresh and new! Thank you so much for an advanced readers copy!!!

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Wow! Amazing beach read, I could not put it down. It really kicked off my vacation! Five stars, make sure you put this on your read list!

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Thanks to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review. I enjoyed the author's first book The Wife Upstairs and this one did not disappoint either. There were a lot of great characters that were explored both in present day and in the past. I really liked the concept of being on an island in the middle of nowhere when things start going wrong, a paradise turned nightmare. I will definitely read more by this author in the future!

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This book was a page turner from beginning to end. Very captivating with amazing character development. Two girls show up to Hawaii and ask a island couple to take them to a remote island. However the island has some other unexpected guests and some unexpected events start to happen. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

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“What am I when you strip everything else away? I’m a motherf*cking survivor.”

Rachel Hawkins is quickly becoming an author I can’t get enough of. Her slow burning suspense novels give us a subtle taste of classic stories we’ve read before, but with her own modern, morally gray, and delightful spin. The Wife Upstairs was a page turning reinvention of a classic, and Reckless Girls showed up to Meroe Island and served angsty isolated suspense deliciousness on a silver platter.

I honestly could not get enough of this story. It had such a great and angsty build, but then the anxiousness and stress sets in because the suspense is right there and you just know it’s all about to hit. I think Rachel Hawkins did a fantastic job with this book. Making it hard not to root for certain characters and spinning certain situations from multiple perspectives. Just such a fantastic and well written suspense read.

“It’s the island, I tell myself. Nothing is real here. Nothing matters.”

Get six strangers on an isolated island, that’s rumored to be cursed, and chaos is bound to ensue. What starts off as a great time in paradise ends up being, well, deadly. Lux McAllister is our main POV character and from her account she just wants to travel. Life has dealt her a horrible hand for the last few years of her life, and now that’s she’s found someone to love, Nico, she wants adventure. He promises her one of course, but instead of that she gets stuck in Maui working at a less than thrilling job and supporting said boyfriend. Until two college girls show up and want to be taken on a tour of the legendeadly… I mean legendary Meroe Island. They hire Nico to take them, and Nico insists that Lux go along for the ride. I mean, she DOES want adventure, so why not? Problem is when they show up they aren’t the only ones on the island. Want more? You’ll have to read it yourself in January!

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Rachel Hawkins does not disappoint! After reading her awesome thriller The Wife Upstairs, I couldn't wait to read this one. Finding paradise on an isolated tropical island sounds like bliss until things turn ugly and there is nowhere to turn for help. A beautiful isolated island is where two women ( Brittany and Amma) hope to have an adventure and hire Nico and Lux's boat to take them there. They arrive and find that someone's boat is already anchored near the island. They meet the people on the boat, Eliza and Jake, and soon hit it off and enjoy their time in paradise until terrifying things start happening. What is going on and who is doing these things? Can anyone there be trusted and are they hiding terrible secrets? The twisted ending was a jaw dropping surprise. I read the book in one sitting and enjoyed every minute of it!

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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to review this title.

Lux and her boyfriend Nico don't exactly have it made in the shade in Hawaii. She works as maid in a ritzy resort and Nico works at the marina on boats. Their dream is to travel, and they even have a boat, but so far, they've barely made ends meet. When two girls decide to hire Nico to sail them to Meroe Island in the Pacific, Lux hopes this will be the start of their dream. Upon arriving on the island, they meet up with a mysterious couple already exploring the abandoned island. then things get crazy.

I love nothing more than a book that just pulls me in and doesn't want to let go. This book did that. There's levity, and mystery, and darkness and intrigue. It's everything you want in a novel. I liked the interplay between characters and the build of suspense. The different threads of the storyline we well-executed and knitted together in a way that made sense to the narrative. I've read several of Rachel Hawkins' books, and they're always an adventure.

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This book was so amazing! So I have loved Rachel Hawkins for a long while. I loved Hex Hall series and I LOVED The Wife Upstairs so I was expecting to be wowed with this a-typical "Locked Room Thriller" (I consider a deserted island a locked room for sure!) It felt like it started off a little slow, which was expected. World building, character building. But it really picked up at 47% with the arrival of Robbie. I didn't think I would like the flashbacks to everyones past lives but not only was integral to the story, they were all very interesting as well and when the threads started to weave together it was REALLY un-put-downable.. I will for sure be recommending this one!

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I. Loved. This. Book!!!
Lux and her boyfriend Nico take off for secluded Meroe Island, along with two young friends theyre chartering. Another boat appears with a fabulously wealthy young couple. All kinds of chaos ensues! So many secrets and lies. This book kept me turning the pages and the ending...on point! I will be recommending this one to all my thriller loving friends.

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Perfect beach read! I really enjoyed this one by Rachel Hawkins. The main character, Lux, was likable and I thought the POV was exciting. There were some twists and turns, especially towards the end, that I did not see coming! I would recommend this book for anyone wanting a character driven thriller with a distinct "The Beach" vibe. Remember Leonardo DiCaprio in that movie?! I read a lot of thrillers and thought this one was fresh, exciting, and suspenseful. Highly recommend!

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This book was SO good, so, so "unputdownable".

I love a closed room mystery...always. But throw in a spooky island, some douchy guys, some reckless girls and some witty observations and I am all in.

I absolutely could not put this book down. I was antsy when I wasn't reading it, eager to get back to it and find out what was going to happen next.

So well written and such a great ending, I cannot recommend enough!

Thank you to the publisher for gifting me a copy, it is my pleasure to write an honest review.

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I've read Rachel's work before (and follow her on social media), and was thrilled to be given an advance copy of Reckless Girls (aka: Boat Murder!) to read. The timing was absolutely perfect, as I was going on vacation right when it arrived. I found the book to be SUPER entertaining to read and hard to put down. The characters were fascinating, there were a lot of great twists and turns, and the ending was excellent and left me wanting more. I think this would make a fantastic movie! It's too bad that the book isn't officially released until January 2022, as this is a PERFECT summer/beach read, but hey - there are still beaches and summer weather in some parts of the world in January! Highly recommend.

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Reckless Girls is another fantastic thriller by Rachel Hawkins! Her first novel, The Wife Upstairs, was a gripping page turner, and Hawkins does not disappoint with this sophomore novel.

Lux is living in Hawaii with her boyfriend; they are working to save up money to repair his boat and sail around the world. Nico, her boyfriend, meets a couple of college aged girls that offer him an obscene amount of money to sale them to Meroe Island. Meroe is deserted, but there are many sinister tales of individuals meeting their demise while on the wild shores of Meroe.

Lux and Nico agree to sale the girls to Meroe, but upon arriving after days of sailing, they discover that they are not the only ones seeking adventure on the isolated island. Although the two groups befriend each other, there are the expected tensions between groups of people staying together that are essentially strangers, and this propels the story to its unexpected ending.

Reckless Girls is the story of 6 individuals on the isolated shores of Meroe and how their experience changes each of them and brings out their true colors. The story is mostly told from Lux’s point of view as she develops her sense self and her own dreams for her future. I couldn’t put this one down!! What a page turner - I kept trying to connect the pieces! Not one to start at bedtime. You’ll want to grab a copy of this when it’s available.

Thank you to Rachel Hawkins, NetGalley, and St. Martin’s Press for an advance copy of Reckless Girls. Pub day is January 4, 2022!!

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This book is SCREAMING to be a movie!!! I had a hard time putting this one down until the very end.
When Lux and her boyfriend Nico take two girls on a sailing trip to a deserted island, they’re expecting some fun and making some easy money. What the get is SO much more. Every time I thought I had it figured out, something else happened to blow my mind. Rachel Hawkins weaves the story so well, until you are sitting with a pit of dread growing in your stomach. You can feel the humid air and hear the ocean slapping the sand! So, so good!!!

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Last year, I was given The Wife Upstairs, to review. Having loved it, I jumped at the chance to review Reckless Girls as well. I was not disappointed.

I found Reckless Girls to be a couple shades darker than the Wife Upstairs. I spent a lot of the book feeling uncomfortable, but to be fair, I hate boats and a deserted island sounds like a nightmare to me, even without any dead bodies. My discomfort didn’t detract from how much I enjoyed the story though, it only made it feel more tense. That’s never a bad thing when reading this kind of story.

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Loved, loved, loved this mind blowing good book! Better than her first book; riveting, unique, fast paced, and unputdownable!! Really snoring me just how good of an author Rachel Hawkins is! Tension so thick you can cut it, twisty turns, thrills, chills, depravity, and shocks! Well written, with fantastic character development! Highly, highly recommend! Definitely clear your schedule before you start, as it’s one you won’t want to stop once you’ve started!

Will buzz around and use top Amazon reviewer number on release date!

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Rachel Hawkins is one of my favorite authors! This book was so good!! I was thrilled that I was approved to read this book and sat up all night to finish. I highly recommend this book and every other book she has ever written.

Thank you to the publisher for allowing me to read this book!

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Hawkins is fast becoming my favorite author. This book has everything I love in a story—including the secluded island which I’ve loved since I watched the first episode of LOST. With two giant twists I never saw coming, a whirlwind of secrets, lies, and betrayals, and a sun-soaked setting, this is—without a doubt—my favorite read of 2021!

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Are you tired of being nice? Don't you just wanna go apeshit?

Do you have those authors that you just trust? An author that you'll read anything they write even if it's not your usual cup of tea? Rachel Hawkins is one of those authors for me.

I was able to read an early egalley of this and WOW. So lush. So sinister. I had an unshakable feeling of giddy unease through the whole book. We meet a group of people who all seem to be looking to escape to paradise, temporarily, at least. Unfortunately for them, paradise becomes a claustrophobic nightmare in this Beach Gothic. The kind of book you don't want to put down. The kind you want to finish in one sitting because you've got to know what that reaction meant. Incredible and gasp-worthy by the end. Loved every word.

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I flew through The Reckless Girls in one sitting. It's the perfect thriller to curl up with on a rainy day. The island setting was both really intriguing (the ominous backstory!) and a refreshing change of scenery for this kind of story. While sometimes the time jumps with varying perspectives felt a bit distracting, overall, I really enjoyed the book and I'm already looking forward to Rachel Hawkins' next one.

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An easy, entertaining, and mysterious read with a darkness you won’t see coming. A must read for those who enjoy mysteries/thrillers.

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After the death of her mother, Lux McAllister finds herself adrift, tending bar and getting by but not truly happy. And then she meets Nico, the guy born with a silver spoon in his mouth who tries so hard to push away his family’s wealth. When Nico suggest that they go on a sailing adventure beginning in Hawaii, how can she refuse? But by the time she gets to Hawaii, she finds the boat needs major expensive repairs and Nico isn’t ready to dip into the family coffers to fix it.

Lux loses her go nowhere maid job one of the luxury resorts just as Nico is hired to take 2 women on a 2 week charter to a desert island in the South Pacific. With nothing to hold her to Hawaii, Lux is quick to jump on board, forming an instant friendship with one of the women. But when the foursome arrive, they discover that they aren’t the only visitors to the island. Jack and Eliza seem to mesh well with the group and Lux feels an immediate bond with Eliza and begins to feel a sense of belonging that she has missed since her mother died.
Another stranger sails to the island and seems to have an agenda that doesn’t mesh with the group dynamic which begins to unravel bit by bit. As each characters past and connection is revealed, their little island paradise begins to look more and more sinister.

As relationships get more strained, a dead body is discovered, and someone disappears, Lux begins to question everything she thinks she knows about these people, the island and herself.

A very fast paced read, would make a great beach or weekend away read. Very atmospheric.

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Holy cow! I’m so sorry that this book doesn’t release until early 2022 because I just finished it and I can’t stop gasping curse words over and over - which means I love this twisty, revenge-y, absolutely crazy-in-the-best-way mystery so much.

Lux and her boyfriend Nico are hired to take Brittany and Amma to a remote island in the South Pacific. The four soon become friends with each other and with Jake and Eliza, the wealthy couple they meet when they reach Meroe Island. Basking in the sun, swimming in the sea, good food, fine wine on a deserted island - sounds like the perfect getaway. Until it isn't. Things aren't as they seem on the island or with these new friends that Lux really doesn't know anything about. Including her boyfriend.

This is the book you want when you’re in the mood to light a fire and burn it all down. So so good. Put it on your TBR and preorder -- just make sure you read this one.

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I was so excited to see another book written by Rachel Hawkins as I loved her first novel. I was even more exited to receive an email offering me an advanced copy. I loved the cover and the premise of the book made me dive in. I read this book in one day and (literally) could not put it down. I loved every minute of it. Such twists and turns that kept me guessing until the end. I will read anything written by Rachel Hawkins! After reading the acknowledgements, I loved that the book's idea came from the novel "And the Sea Will Tell"....I remember reading that book ages ago! Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the advanced copy. Next time Rachel Hawkins has a new book, let me know! Thank you Thank you!!!

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I absolutely loved Reckless Girls by Rachel Hawkins! A unique and suspenseful thriller that will leave you wanting more. Plotted on a mysterious and remote island in the South Pacific where people go missing and dead bodies appear, this twisty gothic novel will have you addicted.

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A remote island in the South Pacific full of history and mystery is the setting for the new book by Rachel Hawkins, author of The Wife Upstairs.

Lux and her boyfriend Nico are hired to sail two college friends to the Meroe Island for a two-week adventure. It seems like the opportunity of a lifetime. Not only are
they going to be paid well, but they can also get their boat fixed so they can begin their sailing adventures as planned. But when they get to the island, they are not the only ones with the same idea of visiting a place off the beaten path. Jake and Eliza are anchored at the island on their sleek
catamaran filled with tasty food and a well-stocked bar. As the six island inhabitants get to know each other and adapt to island life, a stranger arrives sailing alone. His arrival starts the downslide of events disrupting current and new friendships/relationships to the point you are not sure if the island is truly cursed as the legend goes or there are ulterior motives amongst some of the islanders. Missing boats,
people and death follows leaving the reader to unwind the mysterious Meroe Island!!!

My Thoughts:
What is not to love about a book that grabs your attention from the start and keeps you reading late into the night!! This is a fast-paced thriller with well-developed characters set in a beautiful island setting. 4.5 stars rounded up

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Having read 2 other books by this author I was thrilled to read the latest thriller. It had everything that you are looking for with lots of action, interesting characters and twists and turns. I look forward to discovering future books by Rachel Hawkins.

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Who doesn’t dream of the perfect island getaway. You know, that one where you’re all alone with water that’s so perfectly clear, sun on your skin, beverage in your hand, peace and relaxation everywhere around you …

Yeah, so that is not so much what you will find here. Taking girls out to an island that remains abandoned, hostile (like almost everyone that goes here … dies… sounds like a dream vacay to me) … a young couple has no idea just how much mind twisting craziness they are about to be immersed in.

This book took so many turns, so many “bad” characters that all were suspect, and just enough “OH NO!!!” factor to it to keep a thriller reader pleasantly surprised. This is a fantastic follow up to Rachel Hawkins first novel <i>The Wife Upstairs.</i> I highly recommend this twisted castaway gem as a treat to start your new year off right - as it’s release date is set for Jan 4, 2022. This is one that you won’t be stressed to spend your money on! A definite 4 out of 5 star read for me and one I’m already alluding to the release of and recommending to people as a win in the reading world.

Thank you so much to #NetGalley, the publishers, and the author Rachel Hawkins for sending me an electronic ARC in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.

You can follow all my reviews at and hope you’ll join in on my journey of finding and sharing books you won’t feel bad spending your money on. Happy reading my friends!

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Like so many other people, I've had a difficult time lately, and I had to force myself to sit and begin reading again. This was a PERFECT book to start with, thankfully. I was sucked in from the very beginning, and rooting for Lux from the minute I was introduced to her. The descriptions the water, the deserted island.... all were so well written that they did what I had hoped reading would do- take me to another place and time. I didn't see ALL the twists coming, and I was constantly entertained. I will 100% recommend this book to others, and may reread it myself, next time I need another escape. 5 out 5, easily.

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Reckless Girls by Rachel Hawkins was a great boat murder mystery. I didn't realize how it would all come together at all from the prologue. Set on a deserted island a couple of days sailing from Hawaii, the setting is lush and ominous. Definitely a great setting with a tight and satisfying ending.

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