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A deliciously dark bubblegum-gothic fairytale from a stunning new Australian talent.

A deliciously dark bubblegum-gothic fairytale from a stunning new Australian talent.

‘He’s gone the same way as those little birds that bothered me with their awful songs! And you will too, you and your horrible heart-music, because you won’t stay out of my woods!’

There’s a dead girl in a birdcage in the woods. That’s not unusual. Isola Wilde sees a lot of things other people don’t. But when the girl appears at Isola’s window, her every word a threat, Isola needs help.

Her real-life friends – Grape, James and new boy Edgar – make her forget for a while. And her brother-princes – magical creatures seemingly lifted from the pages of the French fairytales Isola idolises – will protect her with all the fierce love they possess.

It may not be enough.

Isola needs to uncover the truth behind the dead girl’s demise . . . before the ghost steals Isola's last breath.


A beguiling crossover novel with a fantastical mix of imaginary and flesh-and-bone characters . . . Billed as a gothic fairytale, Near's debut is a dark concoction: a heady brew of Edgar Allan Poe, the brothers Grimm and Angela Carter.

Sun Herald

Near’s writing is clever and sharp, with just the right amount of reality and whimsy, blended with the dark fantasy of masters such as Gaiman and Angela Carter . . . It’s a cobbled path leading deep into a forest, where the reader is never quite sure what each stone will bring. This is a brilliant debut that will appeal to both adult and young-adult fantasy lovers.

Bec Kavanagh, Books+Publishing

Fairytales for Wilde Girls is a rare thing in the mass of YA fairytale books – completely unique and unpredictable, with a haunting beauty that will prey on your mind. Debut author Allyse Near balances whimsy and horror in a twisted fairytale that is grounded in a realistic modern day. Fans of Neil Gaiman and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will adore Near’s fantastical world, and those who love the Brothers Grimm will appreciate her own carefully constructed fairytales . . . Fairytales for Wilde Girls is a treasure of a novel. We just don’t recommend that you read it before bed.

Marama Whyte, www.hypable.com

Gothic, dark and compellingly strange . . . Readers who have enjoyed books by Margo Lanagan, Neil Gaiman, Angela Carter and Holly Black will revel in this original story.

Pat Pledger, www.readplus.com.au

If a thousand words can paint a glorious portrait, then even the whimsically talented illustrations of Courtney Brims cannot match the glory of Allyse Near's Fairytales For Wilde Girls . . . Allyse Near has pulled magic from thin air and weaved the most gloriously modern gothic fairytale that needs to be read to be believed.


A fairytale for anti-pink girls . . . A thrilling, haunting, and puzzling tale that follows a cool and quirky Isola Wilde and her princes on a magical journey into a gothic world that’s closer than you would expect.

Erin, age 17, Random House Book Buddies

This multi award-winning book is an eclectic mix of gothic fairytale, contemporary teenage issues and genuinely spooky stuff. It only took two pages before I was deliciously disorientated and permanently hooked. I wasn’t just looking through Isola Wilde’s eyes, I was experiencing her world. What a wonderful world it was, both strange and familiar, meshing reality and fantasy in a believable way . . . A truly amazing debut novel.

Sandy Fussell, The Reading Stack

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    June 3, 2013

    Random House Australia Children's

    432 pages

    RRP $19.99

    Online retailers

    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Dymocks
    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    • The Nile

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook


    June 1, 2013

    Random House Australia

    432 pages

    Online retailers

    • Amazon Kindle AU
    • iBooks
    • Google Play EBook AU
    • Kobo Ebook
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks

Awards and Recognition

  • Aurealis Awards
    Best Horror Novel
  • Aurealis Awards
    Joint winner
    Best Young Adult Novel
  • CBCA Book of the Year Awards
    Older Readers