A mix of Prep's critique of boarding school culture and the suspenseful and high-stakes plot of The Secret History, this highly original debut is part coming-of-age story, part riveting supernatural tale about teenage girls learning their own strength. Kate Riordan fears two things as she grows up in the small Appalachian town of Swan River: that she'll be a frustrated townie forever, or that she'll turn into one of the monstrous Wild Girls that menace the community, throwing flame from their hands. Struggling to better her chances of escaping, Kate attends the posh Swan River Academy and finds herself divided between two worlds: the simple town and its dark twin, a commune off Bloodwort Road, where hippie farming and occult practices led to a disastrous end; and the realm of privilege and achievement at the Academy. Explosive friendships with Mason, a boy from the wrong side of the river, and Willow, a wealthy and charismatic queen bee from school, are slowly pulling her apart. Kate must decide who she is and where she belongs before she wakes up with cinders at her fingertips.