Maren Yearly is a young woman who wants the same things we all do. She wants to be someone people admire and respect. She wants to be loved. But her secret, shameful needs have forced her into exile. She hates herself for the bad thing she does, for what it’s done to her family and her sense of identity; for how it dictates her place in the world and how people see her–how they judge her. She didn’t choose to be this way.
Because Maren Yearly doesn’t just break hearts, she devours them. Ever since her mother found Penny Wilson’s eardrum in her mouth when Maren was just two years old, she knew life would never be normal for either of them. Love may come in many shapes and sizes, but for Maren, it always ends the same–with her hiding the evidence and her mother packing up the car.
But when her mother abandons her the day after her sixteenth birthday, Maren goes looking for the father she has never known, and finds much more than she bargained for along the way.
Faced with a world of fellow eaters, potential enemies, and the prospect of love, Maren realizes she isn’t only looking for her father, she’s looking for herself.
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Bones and All
by Camille DeAngelis
St. Martin’s Press
March 10, 2015
Dark, touching and tragic in all the right ways…
Bones and All is about a young girl, only sixteen, who finds herself on her own after her mother takes off. But there’s a good reason for that, because Maren has a dark secret, one she cannot control. Yet, she is a truly good and kind person. She longs for love, for acceptance, for a family and a home. She longs for a future, a normal life. She longs for everything she can never have.
Alright, let’s just start with my one word synopsis: wow! I love this story, particularly the way it drew me in emotionally. I feel just as deeply for Maren as I do for her victims. It’s particularly heart wrenching because of who they tend to be. I imagine the guilt, the self-loathing. Yet the craving for human contact and love is almost as strong as that other craving Maren dreads. Again and again, she falls into the same scenario, the same connection, the same bitter end. Yet not the same. She keeps mementos. She remembers them, tries to remember only the good parts, but the other memories surface, too.
Then Maren meets Lee and discovers a kindred spirit. He feels it too, and they travel for a time together while she searches for her roots. They feel right for each other, and I found myself liking and rooting for both of them, despite what they do, or perhaps because of how they feel about what they do. It makes them seem real. Not monsters, but people.
I must also say there’s quite an edge of danger to the story. This isn’t just a romance with paranormal tendencies, it’s a true thriller. Lee and Maren aren’t the only monsters about.
In an effort to write a balanced review, I’m trying to think of things I didn’t like about the story. It’s hard. I guess I had some trouble picturing the mechanics of it all. How they could fit so much in. How there could only be enough left to fill a plastic shopping bag. It’s a minor thing. Then again, they aren’t quite human, are they? I just hit my paranormal “I believe” button and enjoyed the story.
Overall, and overwhelmingly so, I loved this story. It’s just the right touch of horror, romance and danger. The heroine is likeable, despite what she does. I would highly recommend this to folks who love modern thrillers, particularly those with paranormal/romantic undertones. This isn’t just a gore fest, it’s well thought out and meaningful.
The review copy of Bones & All was supplied by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
ABOUT AUTHOR CAMILLE DEANGELIS
Camille DeAngelis is the author of Mary Modern, Petty Magic: Being the Memoirs and Confessions of Miss Evelyn Harbinger, Temptress and Troublemaker, and the forthcoming Bones & All, as well as a first-edition guidebook, Moon Ireland. She is a graduate of New York University and the National University of Ireland, Galway, and currently lives in Boston. Camille is also a certified vegan lifestyle coach through Victoria Moran’s Main Street Vegan Academy.