Burn Our Bodies Down
Author: Rory Power
Page Count: 340
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Original Publication Date: 2020
Genre(s): Young adult, Mystery, Horror
As long as Margot can remember, it’s just been her and her mother. No other family her mother will tell her about. No history. No questions asked. Their relationship is strained, to say the least. Margot wants more than what her mother has given her. So when she finds a clue that may lead her to some answers, she leaves her mother behind and winds up on her grandmother’s front porch, on a strange farm in a small town. Margot learns her history—but now she’s not so sure she wants to find the answers after all.
I tried to be very vague in my synopsis because you really want to go into this novel blindly. It’s a slow-burn mystery with a little thriller/horror thrown into the end bit, and knowing much more than that could potentially ruin the whole story for you.
I read Wilder Girls last year and thoroughly enjoyed it. Though the synopsis of Burn Our Bodies Down didn’t immediately entice me, I eventually decided I wanted to read it, and ended up winning an Instagram giveaway copy, which put it much higher up on my TBR. Thank you, Delacorte and Book Riot! So going into the novel, I had high expectations from Wilder Girls, but also hesitation because it didn’t sound like something I would enjoy. I still wanted to love it, because I really do love Power, but in the end, I was right: it just wasn’t for me.
I love a good slow-burn mystery, I do, but this one takes way too long to build up to anything. I could relate to Margot with all the mother-daughter horrible relationship stuff. I even picked out a few good quotes. But otherwise I couldn’t connect with her or feel much for her. I said the same thing about the MC in Wilder Girls. I love Powers’ writing, but there’s always an emotional disconnect when it comes to fully connecting with the characters. I like books that wreck me, and when they make me adore the character despite their flaws. I never fully reach this level of feeling with Powers’ books.
The mood was creepy and mysterious, but nothing happens for so long that I was bored until almost the very end. And because I didn’t care for Margot, I couldn’t really get into the story. The mystery was interesting and kept me reading, but nothing else really stood out to me. I loved all the weird stuff that happened at the end. The horror was on point. But it was too little and way too late. Like, I read 300 pages just for this?
I really don’t want to give a negative review of this novel because I love Power and I won a free copy and the ending was good…but it just wasn’t for me. I don’t think it was a bad novel, so if it sounds interesting to you and you don’t mind a long build up, absolutely pick this up! I know spooky season is over, but you’ll still like this no matter the month. However, if you’re maybe a little unsure about it, possibly not wanting to wait 300 pages just for a blip of horror goodness, then I recommend passing on this one. It just didn’t do it for me. And that makes me sad…
–“Family histories repeat … Maybe our parents’ lives are imprinted within us, maybe the only fate there is is the temptation of reliving their mistakes. Maybe, try as we might, we will never be able to outrun the blood that runs through our veins. Or. Or maybe we are free the moment we’re born. Maybe everything we’ve ever done is by our own hands.
–“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 shouldn’t have had to be strong. Not like that. I should have been able to break. Maybe one day all that strength can just be a gift my mother gave me, and not the tool I used to survive her. But I don’t think it’s today.”
–“Does understanding her mean I have to forgive her?”