“I shouldn’t want to be like these boys, who cease to exist outside each other. It’s a dangerous thing, flinging open your chest and begging another person to burrow inside without breaking anything.”
When Ruby’s twin sister, Sadie, died last year, she begged Ruby to do the one thing she’d never do: find the treasure on Gray Wolf Island. Ruby’s not even sure there *is* a treasure. (Actually, she’s pretty sure there’s not.) Still, to keep her promise to Sadie, she sets off for the mysterious island off the coast of her Maine town. She’s happily alone—until three infuriating boys and a strange girl invite themselves along. Slowly she becomes more than Sadie’s sister, and as she finds herself, she forms deep and wonderful friendships. But the island demands their secrets before giving up the treasure. And nobody, not even new friends, can ever know what she did.
“I can see hope in his face, the way his eyes glitter in the warm evening sunlight, how hungry he is for the truth of Gray Wolf Island. But more than anything, Elliot believes. He might even believe enough for the both of us.”
Elliot Thorne comes from a family of treasure hunters whose claim to fame is a very old shoe unearthed from the endless pit on Gray Wolf Island nearly two hundred years ago. He’s spent his life studying the island and the legends of its treasure, so he weasels his way on main character Ruby’s adventure, which she’s less than thrilled about. It’s just that Elliot Thorne is a know-it-all who inexplicably believes he’s a badass. She relents, though, because more often than not, he really does know it all. (But really: not a bad boy.)
“Sadie thought Anne lived in her own head a little too much. I never said so, but I always liked that about her. I got the sense that if I we ever became friends it’d be because she liked me for me, not because my face matched Sadie’s.”
Most people in Wildewell say Anne Lansing is too dreamy—even though everyone knows she doesn’t sleep. Ruby had the same thought before the two were thrust into an adventure together. Anne is nothing and everything like Ruby imagined: She’s dreamy but pensive, start-eyed but wise. Above all she’s kind, and soon she becomes Ruby’s close friend.
“The boy has free-climbed Wildewell’s highest cliffs, he’s gone skydiving and white-water rafting and heli-skiing. He shouldn’t be afraid of Gray Wolf Island. Of all of us, he shouldn’t be afraid.”
Since he got his first vision of his death as a kid, Charlie Kim has been The Boy Who Will Die. Nobody knows when—not even him—but they know it’s coming sometime soon. Until then, he’s doing all the things nobody else is brave enough to do. And though he knows his death lies on Gray Wolf Island, he sets off with Ruby and the gang for one final adventure: discovering the legendary treasure.
“Some say Gabe brushed against them in a crowded store and, out of fear of the damned, their shoulders dislocated. Others say Gabe shook their hands and, after coming into contact with such evil, burns sprang to life on their palms. And if it wasn’t exactly true before, it was once they spoke the words.”
If it weren’t for Gray Wolf Island, Gabe Nash might be the most mythical creature in all of Wildewell. Everyone knows he was born of a virgin, but what they can’t seem to agree on is what exactly that makes him. Some say he’s wicked. Others believe he’s divine. Main character Ruby doesn’t know much about Gabe before he joins her ragtag group on a trip to the mysterious island off the coast of their Maine town. She knows he’s beautiful (that much is undeniable). She knows he’s an incessant flirt (seriously, does it ever stop?). But he’s hiding something beneath all of that, and the island’s hungry for his secret.
All illustrations by Liv Marcel.