“How to keep a fire burning. How to stitch a fight up until it’s only a scar. That’s the kind of thing you learn with a mother like mine. Mostly, though, you learn how to be loved without any proof.”
I finished reading Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power just over one week ago, and after screaming into the void because OMG, IT’S JUST SO GOOD (!!!), I am finally ready to write actual words about how truly wonderful this book is.
Burn Our Bodies Down was one of my most anticipated books of 2020. After finishing Wilder Girls last year I knew I would love whatever Rory Power wrote next, and holy shit, did I ever.
The story follows Margot, an older teen, who wants answers about her family. She’s spent her entire life living with her mom and knows absolutely nothing about her father, her grandparents, or any extended family she may or may not have. Her relationship with her mom is far from perfect, and she’s tired of being ignored when she asks for answers. So, she does what any teenager in her position would dream of doing: she runs away.
And by runs away, I mean she finds some information about her grandmother in an old Bible, so she takes off to find her family. However, what Margot finds isn’t exactly what she was looking for.
While the beginning of the book was a little slow, once things to start to happen they just don’t stop. After arriving in Phalene, Margot meets some locals, witnesses a large property fire, sees a dead body, gets questioned by the police (multiple times), and starts to uncover secrets in her grandmother’s creepy old farmhouse. There’s something off with her grandmother, and Margot is determined to find out what.
We slowly see past events come to light, and are given small hints as to what happened with Margot’s mom and why she stays away from her hometown. There’s more to the story and the family farmhouse than acres of corn.
The twist in this book is absolutely wild, and I never saw it coming. It was so perfect, and thinking back to all of the foreshadowing made my brain want to explode. It combined elements of horror and science fiction so well, I instantly fell in love with it.
It’s hard for me to put into words how Burn Our Bodies Down made me feel, so instead I’ll share this tweet I sent out immediately after finishing the book:
If you enjoyed Wilder Girls, you’ll enjoy this book as well. Fans of horror and speculative fiction should also add it to their lists. I will add that while this book is technically YA, I (an almost 30 year old), thoroughly enjoyed it.
I will also note that the author as a list of content warnings for Burn Our Bodies Down online, so be sure to check it out as needed.
Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power comes out on July 7, 2020, and can be purchased wherever books are sold.