*This review will not contain spoilers.*
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.” Until her mom brings home a live specimen and Nita decides she wants out; dissecting a scared teenage boy is a step too far. But when she decides to save her mother’s victim, she ends up sold in his place—because Nita herself isn’t exactly “human.” She has the ability to alter her biology, a talent that is priceless on the black market. Now on the other side of the bars, if she wants to escape, Nita must ask herself if she’s willing to become the worst kind of monster.
Not Even Bones sounded dark. And I was instantly intrigued. It sounded like it would be a good, solid, and fleshed out story with enough horror elements thrown in there to make it interesting. I knew I wanted to give this one a shot and see what I thought of it. Morally gray stories are usually hit or miss with me.
This one was a hit. This book is the definition of morally gray characters and situations. Nita is basically the walking definition of the anti-hero, but she is not unlikable. She also isn’t the villain, she’s just a normal person living in this abnormal world with her abnormal family. It all adds up to some pretty messed up situations and Nita makes human decisions. There is not right or wrong. Things just are.
I’ve recently been studying realism in my English class, so it was cool to have all of that information bouncing around inside my head as I read this. I could so see the elements of it in this story. I could see how the story would be different if it was told from a different characters point of few. It would have been a classic story. That character felt like a classic YA, learning to be strong, female character. But here, she’s a side character and Nita is our leading lady.
You can’t really hate Nita. I actually really enjoyed reading this book from her point of view. It was so interesting to hear her thoughts and how she worked through the things set in front of her. Her morals might not be hero-like, but she does want to survive. The situations that Nita is point in is also very morally gray. There is never a clear right or wrong choice to make and I think that added a very interesting layer to the story.
I think a reason this book was such a hit for me is because stuff is constantly happening. It doesn’t focus so much on the choices and characters and how they are ambiguous, they sort of just are. They are placed in front of you and decisions are needed to be made fast and you can’t dwell on them for too long. Nita needs to keep moving in order to survive and she knows that. She also accepts that what she is doing isn’t saving the world. She is saving herself and she wants to live. She is willing to do what it takes to make that happen.
I also really loved the world in this book. I was so interesting. Bits and pieces are thrown in throughout the novel, but it never feels forced and I never found it confusing. Things were explained in such a way that I was very invested, but I didn’t get confused by the language. I am definitely looking forward to the next book to see more of the world and see where Nita’s journey takes me!
Not Even Bones comes out on September 4th, 2018!
Pre-order link: https://www.amazon.com/Not-Even-Bones-Rebecca-Schaeffer/dp/1328863549