*I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*
Title: Not Even Bones
Author: Rebecca Schaefer
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 4, 2018
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Nita doesn’t murder supernatural beings and sell their body parts on the internet—her mother does that. Nita just dissects the bodies after they’ve been “acquired.” Until her mom brings home a live specimen and Nita decides she wants out; dissecting a scared teenage boy is a step too far. But when she decides to save her mother’s victim, she ends up sold in his place—because Nita herself isn’t exactly “human.” She has the ability to alter her biology, a talent that is priceless on the black market. Now on the other side of the bars, if she wants to escape, Nita must ask herself if she’s willing to become the worst kind of monster.
I neither loved nor hated this book. I came away from reading in feeling indifferent to this story. Not Even Bones is a story about a young girl in a dark fantasy/horror world that is similar but very different to our own. Her world is cut-throat and ruthless. Her mother hunts the worlds monsters to kill and sell them for parts on the black market. Nita’s world is ruled by darkness and death. Nita herself is a dark character. She helps her mother carve up bodies to sell, distancing herself from the person that each corpse once was.
This story is indeed very dark. There is no hope and no happiness to be had anywhere in this tale. I didn’t find it to be particularly pleasant. This world that Shaefer has created is entirely different from our own in its levels of murder and violence, but this story does call attention to a dark side of our own world that does exist in the form of human trafficking and slave trade.
Well the story flows well and is well-written, I did not find the protagonist to be relatable in any way. It felt like a lot of her success throughout the story boiled down to shear luck. And the reasons behind the horrors that befall her–the immense betrayal that takes place–are not made known in this first book in the series. It’s implied that the reader will discover why these terrible thing have happened to Nita in the next book.
I think that the world in this book was a little too far reaching for me to connect with it. It runs by its own vastly different rules. The creatures and monsters that surface throughout have intensely human characteristics, but because they are considered monsters, they are not treated with humanity. There is no light in this story and I found it to be a bit of a downer. I can say after this that Horror is not a genre that I enjoy. Perhaps you’ll have a bit of a better time than I did, but it was not the type of fantasy novel for me.