Not Even Bones (Not Even Bones #1)
Dexter meets This Savage Song in this dark fantasy about a girl who sells magical body parts on the black market — until she’s betrayed.Nita doesn’t murder supernatural beings and sell their body parts on the internet—her mother does that. Nita just dissects the bodies after they’ve been “acquired.” But when her mom brings home a live specimen, Nita decides she wants out — dissecting living people is a step too far.But when she tries to save her mother’s victim, she ends up sold on the black market in his place — because Nita herself is a supernatural being. Now Nita is on the other side of the bars, and there is no line she won’t cross to escape and make sure no one can ever capture her again. Nita did a good deed, and it cost her everything. Now she’s going to do a lot of bad deeds to get it all back.

Not Even Bones (Not Even Bones #1) Details

TitleNot Even Bones (Not Even Bones #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseSep 4th, 2018
PublisherHoughton Mifflin Harcourt
Rating
GenreFantasy, Young Adult, Paranormal

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Not Even Bones (Not Even Bones #1) Review

  • Elise (TheBookishActress)
    January 1, 1970
    Wow, so.... the "Dexter meets This Savage Song" comparison really encapsulates this? This is a deeply fucked up book, in a good way. You know how sometimes, you read YA fantasy and you just feel like it could have gone darker and it doesn’t? Not Even Bones just keeps Going There. Not Even Bones follows Nita, a girl who dissects other supernatural beings for the black market - until she’s sold into the black market herself. So first of all, this book is impossible to put down and so addicting. It Wow, so.... the "Dexter meets This Savage Song" comparison really encapsulates this? This is a deeply fucked up book, in a good way. You know how sometimes, you read YA fantasy and you just feel like it could have gone darker and it doesn’t? Not Even Bones just keeps Going There. Not Even Bones follows Nita, a girl who dissects other supernatural beings for the black market - until she’s sold into the black market herself. So first of all, this book is impossible to put down and so addicting. It's almost a thriller and almost an urban fantasy book and either way, it's so fun to read. I never knew what was coming next - all I knew was that I was desperate to find out. And better yet, this book features some seriously cool worldbuilding. Nita lives in a world where supernatural beings are prized for their parts but despised for their being, but also look exactly like other humans.Something I liked here is there is some seriously biting social commentary slipped in there? Set in Peru and following American characters, this book doesn’t shy away from the obvious discussion of colonialism and privilege in America. With a lead cast of almost entirely characters of color, it’s a very interesting read. There’s also some discussion of eugenics-ish politics, which as some of you may know is something I’m super passionate about. Okay, I’ve enthused a lot about the worldbuilding and all that, but I really think what made this book for me was the character work. All these lead characters are so awful and I love them. This is one of those books where the leads toe the line between villain and hero. Also, if you don’t like villain leads, you should probably not read this. Lol.One of the things I really liked about this book is that the lead character doesn’t prioritize the survival of other people over herself. In a lot of fiction I’ve read with these vibes, the leads are something I’d like to call Unrealistically Good. Not to shit on unrealistically self-sacrificing people, but people do not tend to be willing to risk their lives for others at the drop of a hat. Nita, by contrast, is out for herself. And it’s not even what makes her an antihero!! She’s a total antihero, don’t get me wrong, but I think this book really understands the general human impulse to save your own skin [haha. Skin.]. Instead of prioritizing normal morals, this book puts the emphasis on a personal moral code, and the lines we refuse to cross so we do not lose our humanity. Nita is willing to kill and dismember and dissect, but she has lines. Oh, and Nita? I love Nita. I would die for Nita. Her character development is incredibly excellent. And also Kovit is… a character. I can’t spoil shit but I love them and I also really like a certain side character and I am so here for it.Oh, and this book in general was pretty twisty, but there was also this one twist in this book that I think might have been the end of my brain. I guess plot twists a lot but this was just… fucking wild, I feel like I should have guessed it and I did not at all. I need the second book immediately. @Rebecca Schaeffer where are you give me the fucking second book I need thisI guess if I were to critique this, I would say that the writing is a bit… fanfictiony? I don’t know, man, it’s a debut and it happens. Anyway, you should read this. It is so fucked up and the lead and love interest are both so terrible and it scared me shitless and it is the BEST.TW: so much body horror, sadism. Blog | Goodreads | Twitter | Youtube
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  • Lola
    January 1, 1970
    Once this book hits the shelves and readers all over the world pick it up, YA Fiction will never be the same again.Because this book doesn’t sugarcoat. Because it treats its teenage readers like adults. It expects them to understand and plunges them into a world that is, yes, dark and, yes, gruesome and, yes, extremely raw.But readers can handle it. One too many times, YA main characters turn soft or give the impression that they are invincible in body and spirit when in fact a simple kiss from Once this book hits the shelves and readers all over the world pick it up, YA Fiction will never be the same again.Because this book doesn’t sugarcoat. Because it treats its teenage readers like adults. It expects them to understand and plunges them into a world that is, yes, dark and, yes, gruesome and, yes, extremely raw.But readers can handle it. One too many times, YA main characters turn soft or give the impression that they are invincible in body and spirit when in fact a simple kiss from a love interest shatters their resolve and turns them to mush. They forget what their main goals were. Please. You will not find that here.Nita is not like that. It’s not just that she takes pleasure from dissecting corpses and hurts herself only to heal her own body afterward, she doesn’t gag and she doesn’t hesitate to save her life, even if that means dissolving her moral values. She kills people. She lets people die. She betrays and hurts and steals and cuts. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think she’s an exemplary citizen, but the world she lives in needs people like her who aren’t afraid to get dirty to fight the shadows that roam the night.And YA Fiction needs strong heroines. It also needs to realize that sixteen-year-olds, fourteen-year-olds and even twelve-year-olds can stomach the visualization of blood and broken bones. I don’t know about you, but I’ve fallen when I was a teen and felt pain all over my body. Even kids understand all of that… unless they’ve been completely kept away from, you know, the outside world.I am pleased with what Rebecca Schaeffer did here. It’s true that her actions scenes could have been more exciting and her writing more emotionally affective, but this is the first book in a promising and unique new YA series. I simply cannot wait for the sequel. Why the cliff-hanger, though? So mean. Blog | Youtube | Twitter | Instagram | Google+ | Bloglovin’
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  • Rebecca Schaeffer
    January 1, 1970
    Many will call my main characters monsters. Many will call them villains. They would be right.I wrote this book for the people who watched movies as children and screamed, "why don’t you just kill the bad guy already???" For the people who watched heroes proselytize on screen and said, "It’s not that simple." For the people who watched the villains with fascination and whispered softly, where the normal, good, proper people wouldn’t hear, “I want to see their story.”This, my friends, is their st Many will call my main characters monsters. Many will call them villains. They would be right.I wrote this book for the people who watched movies as children and screamed, "why don’t you just kill the bad guy already???" For the people who watched heroes proselytize on screen and said, "It’s not that simple." For the people who watched the villains with fascination and whispered softly, where the normal, good, proper people wouldn’t hear, “I want to see their story.”This, my friends, is their story.If you’re still interested, then, please, crack open the cover and delve into the darkness. But you’ve been warned.Here be monsters.
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  • Carrie
    January 1, 1970
    Nita has always had an interest in anatomy so jumping into the family business didn't seem like a bad thing when it let Nita study the corpses her mother brought home. You see, there's a market for the body parts of supernatural beings and Nita turns a blind eye to how her mother acquires these beings in the interest of her studies. Nita however never expected her mother to show up one day with a live boy captive and still expect Nita to still procure the necessary body parts for profit. This is Nita has always had an interest in anatomy so jumping into the family business didn't seem like a bad thing when it let Nita study the corpses her mother brought home. You see, there's a market for the body parts of supernatural beings and Nita turns a blind eye to how her mother acquires these beings in the interest of her studies. Nita however never expected her mother to show up one day with a live boy captive and still expect Nita to still procure the necessary body parts for profit. This is the line that rattles Nita to her part in the family business and when she defies her mother then next thing Nita knows the tables are turned and she's waking up in her own cage having been captured on the black market. Well now, it would probably go without saying that Not Even Bones would not be a read for the faint of heart. Gone are the super special heroine who uses her super special powers fighting the evil of the world and in walks dark and twisted Nita and her diabolical mother. Yep, a bit of a gruesome tale right from the start but certainly a creative young adult paranormal fantasy read. This one has the urban fantasy feel being set in a world like ours only with paranormals existing among the humans but does take place in areas not often used in novels. Nita is also completely different than regular characters with the Dexter comparison really showing. Not sure I ever really "rooted" for her but some may and her story was certainly compelling. This is one I'd recommend to those looking for a more dark and twisted read out of the norm. I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/
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  • sofia (sam willows)
    January 1, 1970
    okay but why is this synopsis literally everything I’ve ever wanted from a book in my life
  • mith
    January 1, 1970
    find this review and others on biscotto's books!---Originally, I’d given this 4 stars on goodreads and honestly? I don’t know why. I loved this book. Why would I give it 4 stars? Not Even Bones was everything dark and morally grey I wanted in a book for so long. Screw 4 stars. This deserves all 5 of them. Past Mith was not thinking, evidently, but current Mith—me!! current me!—is thinking. And I say that this book is a solid debut and you need to pre-order if you can. If you’re like me, you’ve p find this review and others on biscotto's books!---Originally, I’d given this 4 stars on goodreads and honestly? I don’t know why. I loved this book. Why would I give it 4 stars? Not Even Bones was everything dark and morally grey I wanted in a book for so long. Screw 4 stars. This deserves all 5 of them. Past Mith was not thinking, evidently, but current Mith—me!! current me!—is thinking. And I say that this book is a solid debut and you need to pre-order if you can. If you’re like me, you’ve probably craved a dark YA that pushes the boundaries. Or wished a book dug a little deeper, got a little—a lot—darker. Schaeffer does that. I hope she continues to do that. I just loved it. I loved how messy and grey the main character was. How deeply Not Good all the other characters acted. But, Nita. Man, if Nita doesn’t have my heart—I’ll refrain from including a bad line here. She was such a badass and she got things done. She was logical, level-headed, and didn’t suffer from that self-sacrificing nonsense. She was always her first priority and I adored it. Not Even Bones has a lot of great things going on for it, but one of my favourite parts was how Schaeffer talked about privilege in the book. It’s not something I’m super nuanced in actually, properly discussing, unfortunately, but it is something I’m becoming more and more aware of and I’m glad Schaeffer brought it up. There wasn’t a lot that really bothered me? I mean, maybe a small thing here or there, but mostly that was the different supernaturals mentioned. They each had something that made them unique, and dropping stuff like that doesn’t help my confusion lmao. I loved that they were part of the world, though. I was not expecting most of what happens in this book outside of what’s mentioned in the synopsis. So all the twists? Definitely caught me off guard and definitely added to my enjoyment of the book. It was also what made Not Even Bones so difficult to put down! Would I recommend this? Oh, yes. Yes, I definitely would. Dark, sort of gory, and bloody, this was a wild start and a wilder finish. If you’re squeamish, maybe skip this one. But if you’re not, I definitely say check it out!
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  • emi
    January 1, 1970
    The synopsis says "Dexter meets This Savage Song" I don't care about Dexter, but This Savage Song? Sign me up.
  • Xiran Jay
    January 1, 1970
    **SPOILER FREE**Personal Rating: i'd let this book murder me and toss me to the bottom of the Amazon RiverRecommended For: Those that go NOOOOOO WHYYYYYY whenever a protagonist chickens outta doing something seriously fucked up but would've been so! fucking! juicy to watch!This book plunges unapologetically into the darkest parts of humanity. No selective filter that only presents the "cool" sides of violence while protecting you from getting too traumatized. No shying away from issues 'cause it **SPOILER FREE**Personal Rating: i'd let this book murder me and toss me to the bottom of the Amazon RiverRecommended For: Those that go NOOOOOO WHYYYYYY whenever a protagonist chickens outta doing something seriously fucked up but would've been so! fucking! juicy to watch!This book plunges unapologetically into the darkest parts of humanity. No selective filter that only presents the "cool" sides of violence while protecting you from getting too traumatized. No shying away from issues 'cause it's scared it'll make you uncomfortable.Rebecca Schaeffer doesn't give a shit if you're disturbed.SO, uhh... do think twice about reading this if you'd be unsettled by human trafficking, bodily mutilation, detailed dissection sequences, and general human depravity that makes you stare off into the distance thinking of how shitty the world can be. Not everyone is into reading about that, and that's fine. You've been warned though.It's too simple to describe this book as just "dark". Lemme tell you a big problem I have with a lot of books and media that get slapped with that label. In the end, they either 1. don't actually let their protagonist get their hands dirty, 2. just has them do "badass" things to be ~ * COOL AND EDGY * ~, or 3. try to convince you the correct thing to do when all odds are against you is to hold on to your honor and never lose your "humanity". Because falling to the level of your tormentors would make you no better than them. Or something.Nah, FUCK THAT.This book is about breaking all the rules other people made and living by your own. Because if all those other fuckers are laughing and running around being comfortable with what they do while you're sitting there doubting yourself at every turn, how are you supposed to win? Especially when you're a person like our dear protagonist Nita, who secretly likes some of the fucked up shit she does. She just thought she wasn't "supposed to". Well, when she's betrayed and thrown into a cage in a hidden black market in the rain forests of Peru, where there are "spiders that eat birds", she has to determine what she's willing or not willing to do real fast. You cannot hope for some mystical force made up in your head to punish those you hate. If you want them to pay, the only reliable way is doing it yourself.Not Even Bones is ultimately a story about a girl coming to terms with her true self. Not what other people want her to be, not what she thinks she should be, but the raw, complicated human under all the social constructs and expectations forced onto her by both others and herself. She faces the vilest parts of humanity and then grasps it within herself for power. A big theme: morals are optional. They have no real binding power. If you make life-or-death choices expecting others will abide by the same principles you do...Full review at my blog.
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  • Stacee
    January 1, 1970
    Everything about this book — from the cover to the tag line — seems like it’s for me. Sadly I was quite disappointed. I liked Nita well enough. She didn’t come across as developed and I found it sort of hard to root for her {excluding the captivity part} because I wasn’t invested in her story. My favorite character was Kovit and I did like the interactions between him and Nita. Plot wise, it was sort of meh. There isn’t any sort of world building or explanation for the hows and whys. The relatio Everything about this book — from the cover to the tag line — seems like it’s for me. Sadly I was quite disappointed. I liked Nita well enough. She didn’t come across as developed and I found it sort of hard to root for her {excluding the captivity part} because I wasn’t invested in her story. My favorite character was Kovit and I did like the interactions between him and Nita. Plot wise, it was sort of meh. There isn’t any sort of world building or explanation for the hows and whys. The relationships were all very shallow and lacking background. I see that it’s not a stand alone, which is what I expected going in, but I don’t think that makes up for the lack of information. Overall, it was an amazing idea with an intriguing ending, but the execution wasn’t for me. I’m not sure if I will be giving the next book a try. **Huge thanks to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for providing the arc free of charge**
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    ARC provided by HMH via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review I truly wish I loved this book more! I feel like the description was made for me. Anything that’s compared to Dexter gets my vote. But this was such a huge disappointment for me. As the synopsis says, Nita dissects bodies of “unnaturals” for her mother to sell on the black market. But after a betrayal, she becomes a victim herself; locked away in a cell and tortured.To be honest this book gave me major Hostel vibes. There are cha ARC provided by HMH via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review I truly wish I loved this book more! I feel like the description was made for me. Anything that’s compared to Dexter gets my vote. But this was such a huge disappointment for me. As the synopsis says, Nita dissects bodies of “unnaturals” for her mother to sell on the black market. But after a betrayal, she becomes a victim herself; locked away in a cell and tortured.To be honest this book gave me major Hostel vibes. There are characters that feel a high from inflicting pain on others, and some take pleasure in dismembering and eating people. Y’all, I’m usually a huge fan of serial-killer-thrillers but the graphic nature of these torture scenes felt really weird. Like some of it felt really pointless and just dragged the story on and on…And once the story is set in motion, everything just kept going around in circles. I felt there was zero resolution, a lack of world building and character development, and Nita was such an idiot.However, here is my biggest praise for this book: There is a Thai main character. If you know me then you’ll know that I am Thai, and I have NEVER read a single YA book where there is a Thai character. So I was literally jumping for joy and tweeting about it when I was introduced to Kovit. Not only is he Thai but he also tells us the creepy story about the krasue, a Thai folk tale involving a female monster that’s nothing more than a floating disembodied head with its spine and intestines still attached. Yes, that’s right, MY OWN GRANDMOTHER used to tell me that a krasue would come take me away if I didn’t fall asleep right away. HOW are you supposed to sleep after knowing about THAT THING!?Okay, but seriously, I really did like Kovit a lot. He was the type of unapologetic, morally grey character I like in a horror/fantasy stories. I just wasn’t a fan of Nita or, really, the entire plot. But major props to Rebecca Schaeffer for including such diverse characters!Another thing is that I didn’t realize this was going to be a series (this is entirely my fault.) Imagine my dismay when I reached the 90% mark to discover literally nothing has happened and NOTHING was resolved. Oh, you want any sort of resolution and answers? Gotta wait for the next book. Which I do not plant to read. Bummer.I’m sorry I didn’t love this more, and I hope my negativity didn’t ruin this for you. If you’re okay with gore/torture scenes then this may be a good read for Halloween. I just wish the story had more depth and world building to it, and overall it needed way more things to happen to keep the story moving forward to justify a sequel.Blog | Instagram | Twitter
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  • Nina-Tala (JustAddAWord) Shannak
    January 1, 1970
    This was hella weird, but in the best way possible.I wouldn’t be exaggerating at all when I say that NOT EVEN BONES is my most anticipated 2018 YA read (and I say YA because there’s Queen Schwab’s VICIOUS coming out, which is adult). I mean, dissecting monsters and selling them online to shady customers? *crashes though the door to enter dramatically*. I AM SO HERE FOR THIS. Plus, you know, one of the comp titles for this one was Schwab’s This Savage Song, and I mean ... come ON. This is guarant This was hella weird, but in the best way possible.I wouldn’t be exaggerating at all when I say that NOT EVEN BONES is my most anticipated 2018 YA read (and I say YA because there’s Queen Schwab’s VICIOUS coming out, which is adult). I mean, dissecting monsters and selling them online to shady customers? *crashes though the door to enter dramatically*. I AM SO HERE FOR THIS. Plus, you know, one of the comp titles for this one was Schwab’s This Savage Song, and I mean ... come ON. This is guaranteeing my interest. And really, this was rather fun. There is a sufficient does of action sequences and moral-questioning and break outs and etc. One of the coolest things ever, too, was the fact that this was set in the Amazon rainforest?? Like, why didn’t anyone tell me this sooner?? I love this. Nita is a fabulous lead. She’s vulnerable enough for a story this bloody, and her reactions are realistic (<— something that proved no longer a concern to me, because I like my heroines realistically vulnerable, especially with all the body chopping going on). Also, Nita’s talk of how dissecting brings her inner peace did not, in fact, strike me as weird because let me tell you: lab dissections are the most fun activities ever in the hellish things that are college courses. I love ‘em. Yay for dissection appreciation. The plot went in a direction I hadn’t anticipated. And I don’t mean plot-twist wise. I expected more .. action, a la THIS SAVAGE SONG (also: Kovit felt a bit toooo similar to August with the whole eats pain/eats soul thing? Maybe? Idk.) This was more of a escaping, planning thing, which is fine. It IS a thriller, but without much running and shooting things? More like lock-picking and escaping. Still fun! But not what I expected. Heads up: this was legit a gore fest. There was ear slicing and toe dicing and skin eating and all sorts of blood galore. And, shockingly, it even bothered ME, and I’m usually not really bothered by blood ‘n guts, honestly. But here? Y’all, I legit nearly threw up. Like, really. So heads up, because when this book says dark, it means dark. It ain’t kidding. All in all? Fun, hella bloody, and with an ending that just WOAH-ed me. Pass me book two, please and thank you. Thanks to HMH Teen for the ARC!First impression : (2017)Okay, but this legit sounds like everything I look for in a book. And referencing THIS SAVAGE SONG? Hell yes. Gimme.
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  • Nadhira Satria
    January 1, 1970
    excuse me bUT I NEED THIS AND I NEEDED IT YESTERDAY
  • Vicky Who Reads
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 starsWish it evoked a little more horror from the reader, but overall, SO GOOD. Someone please tell me there's a sequel.
  • Christina (Ensconced in Lit)
    January 1, 1970
    Where do I even start with this review? This book was just so unusual and gorily delightful that I was just surprised out of my reading stupor. It's been a while since a book captivated my attention like this one has, but it did.This book stars Nita, who cuts up supernatural beings on her cutting table. The book is hailed as Dexter meets Savage Song, but I think that's a bit of a misnomer. I think it's more like I, Zombie. In any case, the book is not for the faint of heart, there are really gor Where do I even start with this review? This book was just so unusual and gorily delightful that I was just surprised out of my reading stupor. It's been a while since a book captivated my attention like this one has, but it did.This book stars Nita, who cuts up supernatural beings on her cutting table. The book is hailed as Dexter meets Savage Song, but I think that's a bit of a misnomer. I think it's more like I, Zombie. In any case, the book is not for the faint of heart, there are really gory and grisly moments where you are like, is this really happening? But at the same time, the characters are so interesting, and in shades of gray. They aren't good people but at the same time, you can't help but like them because they are very human. Kovit is another main character, but I won't say too much about him because I want you to discover him as I did.I'm dying for the next book, pun totally intended. Don't miss reading this one, it's worth it.
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  • Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
    January 1, 1970
    You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight 4.5*I love a dark book. Sometimes, books that are advertised as "dark" don't end up being such. Worry not, because Not Even Bones absolutely delivers on all promises of being messed up, while still managing to tell an intriguing story. I have seen some reviews that mention trigger warnings but... I wouldn't even know where to start, so I'll just say this: 'tis not for the squeamish among You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight 4.5*I love a dark book. Sometimes, books that are advertised as "dark" don't end up being such. Worry not, because Not Even Bones absolutely delivers on all promises of being messed up, while still managing to tell an intriguing story. I have seen some reviews that mention trigger warnings but... I wouldn't even know where to start, so I'll just say this: 'tis not for the squeamish among you. So why don't we talk about what I enjoyed about this one! The aforementioned disturbing fuckery. Oh how I love a book that makes me wonder how an author can come up with such depravity! I mean, when a book starts with a teenager prepping for an autopsy on her kitchen table, you know you're in for some shenanigans. And it truly is just the tip of the iceberg! How did I end up loving these characters with very questionable (if any) morality? I don't know, but I did. Nita was making all kinds of messed up choices based on self-preservation (or even, in the case of the dissections, pure morbid fascination), and sometimes she'd make me mad but then... nope. I liked her. I somehow liked a person who needs a scalpel in hand to relax. And then. Then I started to like one of the "bad" guys, and maybe I too am a terrible person, who can tell? In seriousness, I think that was kind of the point- that even though the main characters certainly aren't "good guys"... well, maybe there are no good guys. (You're welcome for sneaking that The 100 reference in.) Not everyone is... strictly human. There are all kinds of hybrid creatures- human passing, for the most part, but with some sort of supernatural ability or quirk. And because humanity as a whole is pretty horrible, people will pay a ton of money for umm bits and pieces of said supernatural beings. Hence the whole "dissection and sales" portion of the book. Even more, a lot of the supernatural creatures are loathed- and not just the ones with violent tendencies. It certainly brings up the very relevant real world question: why are many people so intolerant of anyone who's "different"?  The story had me on the edge of my seat! I had no idea how this was going to turn out, really. I didn't know at the time that there would be a sequel, and I am so happy that there will be. The story is non-stop excitement, even in the calmer, more character-driven moments. Speaking of character-driven moments, Nita (and even some of the other characters) went through some great development during the story. Nita was forced to do a whole lot of self-reflecting during the course of the book, and she had to come face to face with some things she might not have loved to acknowledge about herself. But she also found some strength and awareness she didn't know she had, too. The character growth was pretty fabulous.   Will I Read the Sequel: Oh yes yes definitely, I will take it now please and thank you. (Nevermind the fact that it's probably as yet unwritten.) Bottom Line: So wonderfully, completely demented, yet somehow managing to make me care for the equally maladjusted characters, this book definitely lived up to its premise!
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  • Katherine Moore
    January 1, 1970
    This is a breakout bloody good book (pun totally intended), and if you don’t like blood, the idea of autopsies, or a lot of gore, I would stay far far away. But if you’re anything like me, and you don’t keel over at the thought of body parts being cut off (I know someone who does), and you’re looking for the most original dark fantasy this Fall (some would definitely call it horror), look no further. In ‘Not Even Bones’, Rebecca Schaeffer has given life, as gory, twisted, and fantastical as it m This is a breakout bloody good book (pun totally intended), and if you don’t like blood, the idea of autopsies, or a lot of gore, I would stay far far away. But if you’re anything like me, and you don’t keel over at the thought of body parts being cut off (I know someone who does), and you’re looking for the most original dark fantasy this Fall (some would definitely call it horror), look no further. In ‘Not Even Bones’, Rebecca Schaeffer has given life, as gory, twisted, and fantastical as it may be, to a sort of anti-hero we can’t help but rally behind, Anita, who not only is masterful when it comes to dissecting dead bodies, but who possesses magical capabilities (she’s able to turn her pain receptors on and off, and do amazing things like heal parts of her own body). Nita and her mother have traveled the world working within the black market of selling body parts of other ‘unnaturals’; Nita’s mother does the killing and Nita does the dissecting, something she enjoys, but she uses the moral reasoning whereby ‘it’s all okay because she’s not actually doing the killing, her mom is’. She even has dreams of one day doing medical research and putting her skills to good use. But then the day comes when Nita is betrayed and she ends up on the wrong side of the ‘Death Market’, and possibly will become body parts herself, and she really has to question all those good morals and boundaries she has set up for herself. She ends up putting trust in someone she’d never have imagined she’d have to, and doing things she’d sworn to herself she never would. And there’s a LOT of blood and guts along the way.I don’t like making comparisons, and make a point of not doing so myself, but the one that has been made about ‘Not Even Bones’, and is right on its cover, is that it’s a mashup of ‘Dexter’ and ‘This Savage Song’ by V.E. Schwab. I could barely tear myself away from the TV show ‘Dexter’, I loved it to death, but this isn’t why I read this book (just look at the scalpel on the cover), and making comparisons like the one made here doesn’t give author Rebecca Schaeffer the true credit she should even give herself (Dexter is referenced in the book, so I know she loved the show too). I relished all the adventure and the gore, but I also found the writing and story captivating, and not worth comparing to anything else, especially once I got lost inside this new world and involved with the characters. Above all, the questioning of Nita’s own existence, her morals, and her judgment in the situations that come up, was so fascinating to read, this book has levels beyond the ears and toes in jars of formaldehyde. It was so thought-provoking amidst all the horrifying bloodiness and excellent world-building, and that was so unexpected.I’m definitely looking forward to seeing this series progress; the fate of Nita looked precarious at the end of the book, and I can’t wait for more blood and more magical ‘monsters’ to be cut up into tiny little pieces to make her strange future right again. One can only hope, and even if she doesn’t really ‘deserve’ it. Outstanding.
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  • Aila
    January 1, 1970
    **CONTENT/TRIGGER WARNINGS: dissections, sadism, mentions of suicide, gore, deaths, murders, cannibalism, detailed descriptions of torture, LOTS of blood and mutilation**READ WITH CAUTION.Ahem, now that THAT's out of the way, I can start extolling the story. Seriously, this book was such a surprising read! It was intense, dark, and super bloody. Fans of Dexter and Hannibal will find this one RIGHT UP THEIR ALLEY. I LOVED Nita's character development and ambition. Definitely an unforgettable YA r **CONTENT/TRIGGER WARNINGS: dissections, sadism, mentions of suicide, gore, deaths, murders, cannibalism, detailed descriptions of torture, LOTS of blood and mutilation**READ WITH CAUTION.Ahem, now that THAT's out of the way, I can start extolling the story. Seriously, this book was such a surprising read! It was intense, dark, and super bloody. Fans of Dexter and Hannibal will find this one RIGHT UP THEIR ALLEY. I LOVED Nita's character development and ambition. Definitely an unforgettable YA read!Wow, this book… it was deliciously dark. Schaeffer brings readers into a tantalizing world where supernatural beings called unnaturals roam the earth and are mistrusted by the rest of the humans. Some of them are benign, such as fluffy dacts that are kept as pets, while some are dangerous, such as unicorns that suck the souls of virgins or kappas that eat human organs. Our main character, Nita, was raised by a mother that hunts down these terrifying unnaturals, leaving her to dissect them and sell on the black market. It’s kind of a family business, until Nita gets into trouble. From then on, the plot begins as she descends into a dark path where rules are loosened and morals painted gray.Review to come closer to publication date!
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  • Milana M (acouplereads)
    January 1, 1970
    I'd classify this more dystopian but regardless it was so good!
  • Cindy ✩☽ Savage Queen ♔
    January 1, 1970
    6/3/18I like the tagline, but the cover is pretty underwhelming \_(ツ)_/---With this title reveal, I am forever reminded of YA fiction's odd obsession with bones lol ---I've never watched Dexter, but THIS SAVAGE SONG? Yes!!! I am here for this! 6/3/18I like the tagline, but the cover is pretty underwhelming ¯\_(ツ)_/¯---With this title reveal, I am forever reminded of YA fiction's odd obsession with bones lol ---I've never watched Dexter, but THIS SAVAGE SONG? Yes!!! I am here for this!
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  • Crazy4Books
    January 1, 1970
    Update: Still working on my review and not 100% sure on the rating yet, but I did really enjoy this one.Okay I kinda just freaked out. I need this book.
  • andrea caro
    January 1, 1970
    First of all, I'd like to thank Hallie over on Twitter for making my #bookishwish come true. This book is dark and deeply messed up.This book is billed as Dexter meets This Savage Song. I'm gonna be real with you, I didn't like Dexter and I couldn't get through 20 pages of This Savage Song, but I was very much interested in this book. I like horror and the idea of a teenage girl dissecting corpses her mom brings home is deeply chilling. I don't think I had any idea how much until I got into the First of all, I'd like to thank Hallie over on Twitter for making my #bookishwish come true. This book is dark and deeply messed up.This book is billed as Dexter meets This Savage Song. I'm gonna be real with you, I didn't like Dexter and I couldn't get through 20 pages of This Savage Song, but I was very much interested in this book. I like horror and the idea of a teenage girl dissecting corpses her mom brings home is deeply chilling. I don't think I had any idea how much until I got into the book.We meet Nita. Nita is bright and Nita likes to dissect the corpses of 'unnaturals' The synopsis establishes that she has some empathy for beings, but you wouldn't know that from the first several chapters. She is intrigued by bodies, by how they function, and views her victims as little more than biology lessons. Her mom is a different kind of horror - a woman that instills fear in her own daughter, she brings home a live, human boy one day for Nita to dissect so that his parts can be sold off to the highest bidder. Nita isn't able to cut open a boy with a pulse, so she helps him escape; it's a choice that means Nita and her mother have to run and as they flee, Nita finds herself in a cage.I really like Nita as a character. Really. She's not self-sacrificing, she doesn't make a bunch of silly decisions and happen to get out of her situation. She spends her time in captivity, in this black market for unnatural body parts, reflecting on the choices she's made to dissect people while also trying to understand her own unnaturalness and how it can be used to help her escape.This is a book about antiheroes, really. It's about how people are imperfect, but they're still people. It's about understanding your own flaws and understanding that maybe humanity isn't black or white. It's also about choosing who you want to be, even when you feel like other people are choosing for you.This book is not for the faint of heart. There is gore, there are really questionable choices by people. For me, this book was deeply unsettling, if that's your kind of thing. It's one of those horror novels that for me did make me a little scared (not pop-ups in slashers kind of scared), but it took me to a place where I was rattled. If that's your jam, this book is absolutely for you.ALSO WAS THAT CLIFFHANGER NECESSARY??!
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  • Jamie (Books and Ladders)
    January 1, 1970
    See this review and more on Books and Ladders!Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book and chose to review it. This in no way impacts my opinion.This was very very good. It started out very strong and remained very good throughout the majority of the book. I thought it did hit a bit of a wall at 60% but the pay off at the end was well worth the mudding through. However I didn’t realize it was the beginning of a series until the very end so I’m vvvvvv disappointed I have to wait a long tim See this review and more on Books and Ladders!Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book and chose to review it. This in no way impacts my opinion.This was very very good. It started out very strong and remained very good throughout the majority of the book. I thought it did hit a bit of a wall at 60% but the pay off at the end was well worth the mudding through. However I didn’t realize it was the beginning of a series until the very end so I’m vvvvvv disappointed I have to wait a long time to continue this journey!
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  • Sierra
    January 1, 1970
    THIS BOOK WILD AS HELL LMFAO I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!
  • Lauren Stoolfire
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.That was intense and bloody and I totally need more.More to come...
  • Jessie Specter
    January 1, 1970
    Dans ce roman, l’horreur passe à la fois par un contenu explicite fort et par une narration dérangeante, au cœur de la psyché d’une protagoniste à la moralité douteuse. Tout conspire à créer une ambiance glauque et dérangeante, qui invitera tout autant à réfléchir qu’à grimacer. Les discussions sur la moralité sont le cœur du roman. Elles sont exposées directement par Nita, la jeune fille étant forcée à plusieurs reprises de reconsidérer sa façon de penser et sa propre hypocrisie lorsqu’elle s Dans ce roman, l’horreur passe à la fois par un contenu explicite fort et par une narration dérangeante, au cœur de la psyché d’une protagoniste à la moralité douteuse. Tout conspire à créer une ambiance glauque et dérangeante, qui invitera tout autant à réfléchir qu’à grimacer. Les discussions sur la moralité sont le cœur du roman. Elles sont exposées directement par Nita, la jeune fille étant forcée à plusieurs reprises de reconsidérer sa façon de penser et sa propre hypocrisie lorsqu’elle se retrouve de l’autre côté du marché aux organes. Elles sont également envisagées sous le prisme du personnage de Kovit et l’ambivalence entre sa nature et les limites qu’il s’est fixées pour ne pas sombrer complètement. Ce qu’il y a de surprenant dans le traitement de ce thème, c’est que l’auteur fait globalement pencher la balance en faveur d’une moralité grise, très éloignée des concepts de vertu habituels. Tous les personnages vertueux et les actes de charité sont immédiatement punis par le récit, ce qui accentue le malaise du lecteur. Certes, la plupart des personnages immoraux sont également condamnés par l’intrigue, mais les deux protagonistes trouvent au final une issue positive alors qu’ils sont tous les deux assez monstrueux. L’intrigue se déroule en Amérique du Sud, dans un univers où l’existence d’êtres surnaturels est connue. L’auteur ne perd pas énormément de temps à construire la toile de fond de l’histoire et les détails restent flous. Cela n’empêche pas le lecteur de se représenter ce monde sans difficulté. L’ignorance du lectorat reflète bien le point de vue donné à la troisième personne de la narratrice, Nita, et renforce l’immersion dans la peau de ce personnage. Celle-ci a en effet été coupée du monde très jeune et sortie du système scolaire. C’est un parti pris qui reflète bien les efforts de l’auteur pour rendre compte de son point de vue de manière cohérente. En parlant de Nita, l’héroïne est originale, dans le sens où il s’agit d’un personnage extrêmement ambigu. Il est parfois difficile de s’identifier à elle, puisqu’elle a des façons de penser répugnantes, mais cela n’empêche pas l’immersion. Au contraire, cette rupture d’identification entre le lecteur et l’héroïne permet au lecteur de se dissocier des expériences les plus traumatisantes que Nita va vivre, et cela permet au roman de rester adapté à un public relativement jeune. Par ailleurs, le personnage de Nita évolue au cours du récit pour devenir de plus en plus proactif… et de moins en moins moral. Cependant, les concessions faites à la moralité sont moins détestables à la fin du roman, puisqu’elles sont faites en pleine conscience de leur côté immoral, là où le roman commence par une déresponsabilisation volontaire de Nita. En cessant d’être lâche, le personnage évolue, mais pas dans la direction du bien, et c’est très intéressant à lire. Nita évolue aux côtés d’un certain nombre de personnages dont le plus développé est Kovit. Il a les mêmes côtés monstrueux que Nita, mais il est beaucoup plus conscient de ses actes qu’elle, si bien que son évolution est plus ténue. Les détails de son histoire donnent cependant une certaine subtilité à son personnage que ne reçoivent pas tous les autres personnages secondaires.Les grands méchants de l’intrigue restent assez caricaturaux, ce qui va de pair avec la moralité grise des protagonistes : pour que les méchants semblent méchants à côté des monstres que sont les personnages principaux, il fallait faire d’eux des personnages encore plus atroces. Ce côté manichéen des antagonistes n’est cependant pas dérangeant, dans la mesure où il n’apparaît pas de façon forcée, et contribue au contraire à l’intrigue. Pour ce qui est de l’histoire, il n’y a pas d’intrigue sentimentale dans ce roman. On ne peut que s’en féliciter, tant les circonstances ne sont pas propices à ce genre de développement. Quant au véritable contenu du roman, il commence in media res. Le lecteur est immédiatement catapulté dans l’ambiance glauque de l’histoire, ce qui permet à l’auteur de captiver tout de suite son attention. Les péripéties et l’ambiance du récit tiennent le lecteur en haleine, et les éléments perturbateurs parviennent à surprendre. Tout est fait pour garder le public sur ses gardes, et même le dénouement n’apporte aucun soulagement : l’auteur préserve la tension dramatique jusqu’au dernier mot de l’histoire. Cela sert à la fois l’atmosphère claustrophobique de l’intrigue et les développements sur le thème de la moralité, en permettant à l’auteur d’évoquer la question des décisions prises sous pression et dans un contexte affreux. Ce roman est génial : il est perturbant, gênant et propre à donner des cauchemars, mais l’intrigue est extrêmement prenante. J’ai trouvé les personnages fascinants (comme des accidents de voiture), et je suis curieuse de connaître la suite de leurs aventures. C’est assez déroutant de se retrouver à espérer le succès de personnages monstrueux, mais c’est aussi ça qui est rafraîchissant. Le style de l’auteur est plaisant à lire, et il a quelque chose de particulier qui le rend reconnaissable.
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  • Claire (bookscoffeeandrepeat)
    January 1, 1970
    I just skimmed till I got to the ending and wow. wow.This isn't a favorite book but I'll be sure to read the sequel, although I won't be reading it right away.Anyway, before I get to my review, I want everyone to know that I do like reading about antiheroes, morally ambiguous characters, and villains. Right away, I knew this book was written for me (HA). My only issue was that I wasn't attached to any character at all??? I didn't dislike any of them them, and in fact I liked Kovit. I just didn't I just skimmed till I got to the ending and wow. wow.This isn't a favorite book but I'll be sure to read the sequel, although I won't be reading it right away.Anyway, before I get to my review, I want everyone to know that I do like reading about antiheroes, morally ambiguous characters, and villains. Right away, I knew this book was written for me (HA). My only issue was that I wasn't attached to any character at all??? I didn't dislike any of them them, and in fact I liked Kovit. I just didn't care for the main character. To me, despite reading her inner monologues, I still didn't consider her as a favorite character. I just didn't actually care. Knowing me, I tend to like problematic characters but for some reason, I found Nita's POV to be boring and/or bland. There, I said it! I would've loved to read about Kovit and Fabricio's thoughts! This is why I didn't finish reading this book quickly (as expected) even if I already started this book in May (thanks, yallwest). I liked the world building and the idea that there were different kinds of monsters. I thought the author was creative in coming up with the different species and their supernatural abilities. I surprisingly found the "zannies" to be a lot more interesting compared to Nita's abilities. Additionally, I liked the idea that these monsters look human but they're not actually human. So this book was actually like an exploration on humanity or what it means to be human. It had been heavily emphasized in the novel because of Kovit and Nita's conversations about morality. And since morality is the main theme, it gets boring after a while because it tends to be discussed a lot between characters. There were a lot of discussion and/or conversation without action/danger that lasted for a couple of pages. This is where the pacing issue/s comes in.This book can get violent and gory sometimes, so I definitely wouldn't recommend this book to everyone. Also, this book is filled with unlikeable characters, so I wouldn't recommend this book to readers with a strong dislike for problematic characters. Even if this was the case, Not Even Bones still had some compelling characters. This book definitely deserves some attention because I thought it was unique and I haven't read any young adult book (that's totally morally grey) like this one. **This review and more can be found in my book blog.
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  • Stacey
    January 1, 1970
    This book was gory and unique and absolute wonderful. I read this very quickly and was shocked by some parts but I just had to know how it ended. This is not for the weak of stomach! In "Not Even Bones" the world is populated by "unnaturals"- supernatural creatures that live openly in the world but are prized by normal humans for their body parts. These body parts are sold on the black market for crazy high prices. Nita herself is one of these supernatural creatures. She can force changes in her This book was gory and unique and absolute wonderful. I read this very quickly and was shocked by some parts but I just had to know how it ended. This is not for the weak of stomach! In "Not Even Bones" the world is populated by "unnaturals"- supernatural creatures that live openly in the world but are prized by normal humans for their body parts. These body parts are sold on the black market for crazy high prices. Nita herself is one of these supernatural creatures. She can force changes in her body such as giving herself more breath or more strength and can even heal herself to some degree. Her mother hunts creatures and kills them and then brings them home for Nita to dissect. Once the dissection is done, the mother sells the body parts to the highest bidder. But what happens one day when her mom brings home a living boy? One that can speak to her and tell her of the terror and pain he is experiencing? Nita has never had to deal with a living unnatural before and suddenly she is faced with her own moral boundaries. What is the line that she won't cross?I don't want to spoil anything more. The book takes a few twists and turns. There is a lot of talk of the dissections and of torture. The author herself has published a list of trigger warnings for this book on social media. This is a book where even the 'good guys' aren't really good. They are still monsters and they are still capable of really bad things. More so they are willing or even eager to do the really bad things. The world is explained very well. The characters are intense and interesting due to their gray moral personalities. The book brings up some pretty deep themes that are worth exploring and does it in an entertaining, if stomach clenching, way. I basically think this book was just great. It would be great for breaking a reading slump just because it is so very different than what most YA readers are into. I recommend the book to most groups of people and personally can't wait for a follow up.
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  • Michelle Lecumberry
    January 1, 1970
    Dark Deep Cruel Content Warning: Gore, Torture, Blood/Mutilation. This books was so dark and all that I needed. I feel like I am always wishing books would be darker or creepier and Not Even Bones definitely deliver.I am always in for dark stories with dark, ambiguous characters who I end up loving because moral ambiguity is one of my guilty pleasures.The writing style was so descriptive and raw , but I have to confess sometimes it was a bit slow paced for my taste as I just wanted to know what Dark Deep Cruel Content Warning: Gore, Torture, Blood/Mutilation. This books was so dark and all that I needed. I feel like I am always wishing books would be darker or creepier and Not Even Bones definitely deliver.I am always in for dark stories with dark, ambiguous characters who I end up loving because moral ambiguity is one of my guilty pleasures.The writing style was so descriptive and raw , but I have to confess sometimes it was a bit slow paced for my taste as I just wanted to know what happens next in the story.As an chemical engineer major I love a character that have love for science, and I loved the dissections we did in biology so Nita was my favorite character.This book was definitely a pleasant surprise, so different and fresh from usual YA.If you like This Savage Son and Dexter this book is definitely for you. Rebecca Schaeffer has enchanted me.I will be anxiously waiting for a sequel.BOOK STATS: Plot: ✰✰✰✰Characters: ✰✰✰✰Writing Style ✰✰✰✰Personal Experience ✰✰✰✰Overall: ✰✰✰✰✰ (4.0 Stars)
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  • Holly
    January 1, 1970
    *eARC kindly provided by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Book Group via NetGalley*I LIIIIIKED this! I'm always a fan of dark, fucked-up books with dark, fucked-up characters, especially if moral ambiguity is a huge part of the story. But I did get bored sometimes; it was SO slow, and there was quite a lot of repetition. If I had to hear how "Nita let out a breath" one more time, I was gonna lose it. haha. (Of course, I read an eARC, so I'm really hoping many of those lines or similar ones w *eARC kindly provided by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Book Group via NetGalley*I LIIIIIKED this! I'm always a fan of dark, fucked-up books with dark, fucked-up characters, especially if moral ambiguity is a huge part of the story. But I did get bored sometimes; it was SO slow, and there was quite a lot of repetition. If I had to hear how "Nita let out a breath" one more time, I was gonna lose it. haha. (Of course, I read an eARC, so I'm really hoping many of those lines or similar ones were cut out in the final version!). I did like her character, though, and the tentative friendship she formed with Kovit, a zannie who becomes her reluctant ally. And I liked the dissections (ha) of what it means to be a monster and how multifaceted everyone is. I can see why people are loving this book; it's definitely good. I just wasn't the biggest fan, though I'm interested in the sequel, especially after that ending!Rating: 3.5 stars
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  • Eri
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 starstw: gore, torture, blood/mutilation, probably not good for anyone who is squeamish about those THIS WAS SUCH A WILD RIDE?! NITA AND [REDACTED] ARE MY MONSTROUS CHILDREN WHO I SUPPORT WHOLEHEARTEDLY TO BURN EVERYONE WHO'S HURT THEM I actually need the second book now like ughhhhhh I need to know what happens to nita
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