I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Bodies We Wear by Jeyn Roberts
Series: The Bodies We Wear #1
Published by Random House Children's Books on 2014-09-23
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drugs, Alcohol, Substance Abuse, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult
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A streetwise girl trains to take on a gang of drug dealers and avenge her best friend’s death in this thriller for fans of Scott Westerfeld and Robin Wasserman. People say when you take Heam, your body momentarily dies and you catch a glimpse of heaven. Faye was only eleven when dealers forced Heam on her and her best friend, Christian. But Faye didn’t glimpse heaven—she saw hell. And Christian died. Now Faye spends her days hiding her secret from the kids at school, and her nights training to take revenge on the men who destroyed her life and murdered her best friend. But life never goes the way we think it will. When a mysterious young man named Chael appears, Faye's plan suddenly gets a lot more complicated. Chael seems to know everything about her, including her past. But too many secrets start tearing her world apart: trouble at school, with the police, and with the people she thought might be her friends. Even Gazer, her guardian, fears she's become too obsessed with vengeance. Love and death. Will Faye overcome her desires, or will her quest for revenge consume her?From the Hardcover edition.
Now that I have finished The Bodies We Wear by Jeyn Roberts, in what feels like record time, I am left a bit conflicted on how I should feel. You know how some books are kind of really strange and you read them and you are like, what even is going on here, but you keep reading in hopes of understanding, and THEN you do end up understanding and you are like YES THIS ENDING ROCKS and you write the longest run on sentence ever? Well, that happened to me while reading The Bodies We Wear. I am going to warn you right now that this book is really strange and some parts do feel like a bit of a trudge to get through. I spent much of the book confused, however, I ended up pretty satisfied when everything came together and I was no longer in the dark.
The Bodies We Wear is about a girl named Faye who is seeking revenge on four drug dealers who ruined her life. Everyday she gets up at the crack of dawn to train so that she can physically lay a smack down on the dealers. You see, when she was eleven years old her dad was arrested and he owed some debts to some very bad men. As revenge for these debts, the men forced Faye to take a drug called Heam. Faye almost dies, she overdoses but is brought back. Unfortunately, her life is in shambles. Her mother refuses to let her come home, believing that the overdose will affect her probation. Society does not look kindly on Heam addicts.
You may be wondering what Heam is. It is a shortened version of Heaven’s Dream, a drug that essentially kills the user and gives them a glimpse of heaven. The user either wakes up or overdoses. Some people end up addicted, some are able to walk away. It is a drug that has wreaked havoc on society. It’s users are ostracized. For Faye, it is a drug that has taken her best friend, Christian away from her. So, anyways, Faye ends up living with a surrogate father who is this ex-cop named Gazer, who trains Faye and reads philosophy book in his spare time. The two live in an abandoned Church. Anyways, as Faye comes closer to carrying out her revenge, she meets a guy named Chael who mysteriously knows everything about her and seems to resemble her dead friend Christian.
If you like your main characters with a healthy dose of grit and determination, you will like Faye. She is a bit rough around the edges. She’s hardworking though, even if her goal of revenge is a bit unsavory. The thing I like about her is that she is not completely hard as nails. We also see a side to her where she yearns for normalcy and a life that was not destroyed by Heam. She likes school because it makes her feel like a normal teenager, even though she has to hide her former Heam addict status. She has to hide her overdose scars. She is someone who has been dealt a terrible hand in life and thus maintains a lot of anger and rage over what has happened to her, and really her journey is about more than revenge but also about learning to let go of all of that anger.
If you read books for the romance, you might like The Bodies We Wear. Faye finds herself rather attractive to Chael because he reminds her so much of Christian. I’ll tell you right now that there is some kissing in this book. However, there’s more action and training and thrilling parts than there is kissing. I could see why Faye is into Chael, however, I was not entirely sold on the chemistry. It seemed a bit creepy and a bit like what happens between them develops way too fast. Further, Chael is the catalyst for a lot of the weird parts of this book which left me questioning what the point even was of the weird parts.
So, I think that this is a book that will divide some readers. There are paranormal parts which do feel a bit unnecessary. However, the book is tightly written and I absolutely cannot fault the breakneck pacing, in fact, I really appreciated how this book held my attention the whole time. Also, the ending is perfect. I liked how The Bodies We Wear by Jeyn Roberts wraps up all the loose ends and that there is no cliffhanger ending. I am not sure if this book is meant to be a standalone or a series, but it certainly reads like a standalone. I would recommend this book if you are looking for something that feels really different from other books in the paranormal young adult genre. In fact, I am not even sure how to classify this book, it has futuristic elements with the invention of Heam, it has paranormal elements, and it has thriller elements. I think if you like books that cross genre boundaries, you’ll enjoy this one.