Burn Our Bodies Down

Burn Our Bodies Down

Book - 2020
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"Margot doesn't know anything about her family, beyond her quiet life with her mother. But she wants more and when she finds a clue that leads her to a town called Phalene, she leaves to investigate. Only Phalene and her family history are full of secrets, some that may prove more dangerous and deadly than Margot ever could have bargained for"--
Publisher: New York, New York : Delacorte Press, ©2020.
ISBN: 9780525645627
Characteristics: 342 pages ;,22 cm.


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This was so much better than Wilder Girls for me. Tense, atmospheric, and unpredictable, it kept me turning pages all the way through.

It's always been Margot and her mom. There is no one else, no family, no real friends, just the two of them with Josephine's inexplicable moodiness and tantrums. When Margot finds a photo with a phone number attached, she jumps at the chance to meet her grandmother - but Phalene is not the oasis she hopes it will be, and the family farm is hiding more secrets than she could have ever anticipated.

First off, this book just feels disturbing. I knew from the first chapters that I was either going to hate it or it was going to shift in tone, because the emotional abuse that Margot experiences at the hands of her mother is so challenging to read. When that kind of abuse is the focus of a book, I can find it pretty hard, but after things got moving here, I found it much easier to handle. Things are still massively messed up the entire time, but it's not overwhelming - things just get very intriguing instead.

Margot is an interesting protagonist. She thinks like a trauma survivor, and it's hard to read from that perspective at times. I never knew how I felt about her mom and her Gram, almost all the way through, and that was part of the appeal; she has such mixed emotions, and that really translated through to me as the reader. I empathized with her quite intensely.

I've read a couple of reviews saying this is somewhat of an M. Night Shyamalan-type plot, but I actually didn't mind the ultimate conclusion here. It's out there, it's weird, but again, it's disturbing and intriguing, and I really enjoyed it. I spent 95% of the book telling my boyfriend I had absolutely no idea what the heck was going on, and then when I finally started getting an inkling, it felt like it made sense. In a weird, twisted kind of way.

Overall, I found this to be a solid thriller. Some good twists, some disturbing details, a lot of things I didn't see coming.

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