Hello Readers & Writers,
Today I will be reviewing Not Even Bones by Rebecca Schaeffer which is due out September 4th 2018 from HMH Books for Young Readers. I was sent a galley in exchange for an honest review.
There will be no spoilers so no need to click away.
Note that this book includes a lot of blood, mutilation, and gore so if you’re sensitive to this, take caution while reading.
The story follows Nita, a teenage girl who finds comfort in dissecting dead bodies of the supernatural. Her and her mother sell the parts on the black market for money. Nita has always separated herself from killing supernatural beings, finding it easier to maintain her morality if she isn’t directly involved. This has gone well until her mother brings home a live subject and wants Nita’s help. Nita makes the decision to go against her mother and release the prisoner which as a result leads to her capture. The biggest problem with her capture: Nita is a supernatural herself with a rare skill that traders will stop at nothing to obtain.
I want to start off by saying I absolutely loved this book. It was dark, compelling, and deals extensively with the morality of a teenage girl who begins to question the actions of her entire life. Having been sheltered from the majority of the world, and exposed to crime since she was young, Nita has never had to wonder about much. She did her job for her mother and found comfort in it. But when she’s on her own, meeting other supernaturals and having to fight for her life, she realizes the lines she drew for herself may not still apply.
Schaeffer throws out the typical convention of a YA novel. Not all of the characters are likable. The plot is brutal. The reader is operating in a world that is more for villains than heroes. Even then, the word villains may not necessarily be the best fit as these characters are forced to act under conditions that challenge ‘being a good person’. Nita experiences every aspect of the black market – being a prisoner, escaping, befriending someone who had wanted to torture her, bringing down the system, and dealing with betrayal.
By the end, you’ve gone through a whirlwind of moral dilemmas and are left wondering what can possibly come next in the second book? And may I say I cannot wait until the next installment.
This gets 5/5 scalpels from me!