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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

From the author of the New York Times bestseller Wilder Girls comes a new twisty thriller about a girl whose past has always been a mystery--until she decides to return to her mother's hometown . . . where history has a tendency to repeat itself. Ever since Margot was born, it's been just her and her mother. No answers to Margot's questions about what came before. No history to hold on to. No r…

Burn Our Bodies Down

by Rory Power

Overall Book Review:

It seems like YA has had a lot of good books published lately and as an avid reader of books for all ages, I couldn’t be happier! You might recognize the name Rory Power from a popular book that was published last year called Wilder Girls, and after reading her newest book, Burn Our Bodies Down, I can’t wait to read more from this author. Somehow Rory takes what could be an ordinary story and mixes in just the right amount of creepy, magical-realism, and thriller qualities to make her books that are hard to put down. 

Burn Our Bodies Down starts somewhat innocently, introducing us to Margot, a girl who has a complicated relationship with her mother and doesn’t know much about her past. It seems like for most of her life, Margot has been content with letting her mom get away with the bare minimum with answers about family and her childhood, but some things just don’t add up and Margot is beginning to want more than just her mom as her family. One day Margot finds something that makes her question her and her mother’s past even more than she already does, and that’s the last straw–she has to find some answers.

Margot risks a lot to find out what her mother is hiding; however, it’s not giving too much away to say that she gains a grandmother and some answers as well. But everything may not be as it seems, and maybe there is a reason Margot’s mother left her past behind to start a new life with just the two of them. Margot quickly seems to be in over her head, but rather than run back to her mother, she keeps seeking out answers and begins to unveil a story that is creepy and somewhat unbelievable, but this is a fictional story, so in theory, anything can happen.

Burn Our Bodies Down is sure to be a popular summer YA read, though it does have its fair share of violence and language. If you can get past that, then this book is one that will probably keep you up past your bedtime, and might even contribute to a few nightmares. In my opinion it’s worth it!

Review of Digital Advance Reading Copy

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Delacorte Press


Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  14 religious exclamations; 18 mild obscenities; 4 religious profanities; 21 scatological words; 1 anatomical term; 21 F-word derivatives. 

Violence/Gore:  A farm is reported to be on fire; a brief scene occurs where a character is found in a burning cornfield and an attempt at rescue is made, but character is found to be unresponsive and dies; a character recollects how the character in the cornfield looked and thinks about what the experience must have been like for the character trapped in the fire and smoke; a conversation is held where characters talk about the farm fire and how it looked as though it was set intentionally; an extended scene occurs where a teen girl is taken to identify the body of the dead girl, the body is mentioned to be grotesque with black stains of some kind around the eyes; a minor runs away from home; a minor reports another minor being pushed out of a tree and mildly injured; a mother and daughter fight and the mother is mentioned to lunge and talk forcefully to her daughter; a violent moment occurs where characters fight and the possibility of a knife being used to injure someone is realized; a brief scene where a minor gets upset and throws a Bible, breaks a piece of furniture; a brief scene occurs where a girl realizes it is possible that her parent killed her sister years ago; a report is made of a character getting sick and coughing up some black substance; a character burns a character on the cheek intentionally in a brief scene; a minor is lured to a field and her grandma tries to kill her by hitting her on the back of the head, and ends up hitting her with a shovel in a brief scene; grandmother buries her granddaughter in a grave mentioned to be filled with other bodies in a brief creepy scene; granddaughter comes to in a grave in a brief creepy scene and realizes her grandmother tried to kill her and bury her alive in a grave with other bodies; dead bodies are briefly described to be bloated with their skin splitting and pulling away from their bones; a brief scene occurs where a girl walks into a house and sees blood on the floor and finds a family dead; a creepy scene occurs where a tooth is mentioned to be in the middle of an apricot and corn is described to seem like human flesh and blood; a fire is set to a house with a human inside in an attempt to kill them, and they are mentioned to never come out. 

Sex/Nudity:  A man is mentioned to offer a ride to a girl and look at her a little too long; a minor is mentioned to have her boyfriend stay overnight frequently, sex is implied; abortion is mentioned; a minor is mentioned to be feeling unwell and to take a pregnancy test that is positive, though she has not been sexually active; in another similar scene, a minor feels sick and realizes she has missed her period.

Mature Subject Matter:

Abandonment; lying; stealing; hitchhiking; shoplifting; murder.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Adults drink whiskey; minors smoke cigarettes in 2 brief scenes; a minor is seen drinking beer and claims he’s of legal age.

Overall Book Rating
Profanity/Language
Rating:
10
10
Violence/Gore
Rating:
8
10
Sex/Nudity
Rating:
4
10

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About the Reviewer

Books and reading have always been an important part of my life. When I was very young, my grandma was the library director at our local public library. Years later, after she had retired, I became a librarian at the same library and worked there for several years before taking a part-time job at a local coffee shop, which gives me more time to do what I love, to read and to review books! A few of my favorite authors are Aimee Bender, Diane Chamberlain, and Curtis Sittenfeld however, I will read almost any book I come across! In my spare time you can find me reading (of course), volunteering at a wildlife animal rehab, or hanging out with my two house rabbits.