Not Even Bones by Rebecca Schaeffer: Delightfully Disturbing

Not Even Bones by Rebecca Schaeffer: Delightfully Disturbing Not Even Bones by Rebecca Schaeffer
Series: Not Even Bones #1
Published by HMH Books for Young Readers on September 4, 2018
Pages: 368
Source:Copy provided by publisher for review, via Netgalley

Dexter meetsThis Savage Songin 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.” 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.

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!

Do you enjoy dark, twisted books? Have any recommendations? I’ll go ahead and recommend this one! 

Posted August 27, 2018 by Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight in Review / 24 Comments

24 responses to “Not Even Bones by Rebecca Schaeffer: Delightfully Disturbing

  1. The cover scares me. I would never pick up a book like this, but I am excited, because this is the most enthusiastic you have been about a book in a while. Yeah to great books, even the sick and twisted ones.

  2. I really really want to read this one, so I’m very happy you loved it. I do love dark books and morally ambiguous characters you still love? yes please! I didn’t know there was going to be a sequel, so yay!


  3. This is definitely not my book because I am *WAY* too squeamish, but the premise seems so cool! I really liked this review because now I have a book to recommend to a friend. That way they read it and tell me everything that happened but without all the gross bits. Unless that isn’t possible. I feel like there were many unmentioned dark and gross stuff that would have had me running away screaming if mentioned.

    • AW thank you, that is great, I hope your friend loves it! I think they could tell you without the awful stuff but they’d have to substitute a little hahhah. Because you are right- I tried to keep it moderately friendly for the more squeamish among us!

  4. This sounds so dark. And you are evil and twisted for liking it… okay kidding. Sounds like Nita really grows in this one, so the character development seems to be there, and depravity? Wow. Sooo curious now. And selling supernatural body parts? Wouldn’t THIS make a good show?

    You may have me talked into this.

    • HA I probably am! My first update on Goodreads was- “This is some twisted shit. Love it.”

      WOW this WOULD make a great show. I would watch it. And like- there’s so much action too, like people having to run for their lives and such. It really would be an amazing show, Netflix needs to get on this.

  5. Oh this a standlone?

    I love dark stuff, and one you, I’m usually disappointed by books that claim to be dark. I am so sold on this one, especially the morally grey. My only hesitation is with the humanoid characters.

    • Nope, book 2 was announced- apparently quite recently because it hadn’t been officially when I finished. I am SO HAPPY because there’s a lot of possibility for a second book. So- I was nervous about the extra-human stuff too, but it wasn’t overwhelming for me. And the cool part was that a lot of the “creatures” were from local urban legends and stuff so it seemed like a cultural flair too! (It’s set in South America!!)

  6. I AM SO EXCITED FOR THIS. WHAT DOES THAT SAY ABOUT ME?! Let’s not think about that part!! AHH!! I really really want some super dark YA and I’m excited that this one actually promises to deliver. ?It’s on my kindle so IDK why I haven’t read it yet except I’m a chronic procrastinator. Sooo, September for sure!

  7. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    Oh wow, I hadn’t even heard of this one. It sounds really wonderful and definitely my kind of book. It sounds dark with some morally questionable characters I most definitely want to read. I’m glad you reviewed this and got me a new book on my radar.

  8. Oh wow, it sounds like this was a wonderful read for you! I hadn’t even heard of it before DD: I love the sound of it being incredibly dark and twisty and totally delivering on that promise. The characters sound super shady but then loveable at the same time? I don’t even know how that works but sometimes good authors know how to get twisted characters into our hearts so we love them too 😛

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