**3.5-stars rounded up**
I feel like one of the few people left in the YA book world who hasn’t read Wilder Girls.
I own it, of course. Have you seen the cover!? I have added it to many TBRs, but have yet to pick it up.
When I received an early copy of Rory Power’s sophomore novel, Burn Our Bodies Down, I was shocked and excited.
I couldn’t wait to pick it up and then, I just didn’t. Long story short, I am a horrible reviewer, but you read my reviews, you probably know that.
I finally decided to give this one a shot over my week-long Christmas vacation. I am kicking myself now because I really enjoyed this. Why didn’t I read it months ago!?
Burn Our Bodies Down is equal parts weird, disturbing, suspenseful and heartbreaking. Some of my favorite characteristics to find in a book.
The story follows teen, Margot, who has lived with just her mother her entire life. She knows of no other family and any time she presses her mother for info about their past, or where she came from, her mother loses it.
Her mom is extremely unstable and their relationship is quite contentious. Margot has never felt wanted, or loved, and lives her life walking on eggshells.
Just as Margot gets to the end of her rope, she discovers a clue. The only hint she has ever had in regards to her mother’s early life.
It’s a photograph, tucked into a family bible, signed by who she believes is her grandmother. In addition to a phone number, the photo also indicates a town name: Phalene.
She’s shocked. Phalene isn’t even that far away. She decides to go there, find her grandmother and finally get some answers.
Arriving in town, Margot meets a couple of local teens she tries to needle information out of. While she is with them, they receive news of a fire on her grandmother’s farm.
The kids rush to check out the scene and end up finding the fields in flames and a body.
Upon further inspection, they discover the body is a girl, about their age and she looks exactly like Margot.
Thus begins the head-scratching drama that surrounds Margot’s family’s farm.
I can’t even begin to tell you how confused and intrigued I was by what was going on in Phalene.
She meets her Grandmother, Vera, and stays with her, but continues to be brushed off when she tries to get definitive answers about her mother’s childhood, or where she came from.
Margot learns many things in her first few days in Phalene, including the existence of family members she never knew about, including her mother’s twin sister, Katherine. During her investigation, she also ends up making a couple of friends along the way.
There is a dark feeling of unease that spans this entire novel.
You know, deep in your heart, that something is very wrong in Phalene and Margot’s family is at the heart of it, but what!?
I would classify this as an Ecological Horror Novel, a genre I have been enjoying quite a bit lately.
I personally loved Power’s writing style, although I did think some of Margot’s musings eventually bordered on repetitive. With this being said, Power’s ability to write body horror is top-notch; that cannot be denied.
I would recommend this one to Horror readers, particularly if you read and enjoyed Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s, Mexian Gothic. I would say the two stories channel a lot of similar vibes.
Thank you so much to the publisher, Delacorte Press, for providing me with a copy of this to read and review. I appreciate the opportunity to provide my opinion and will definitely be picking up Wilder Girls now!