Genre: Fiction with a side of Science Fiction; Horror
Rating: 4 / 5
Note: There are NO spoilers in this review. When discussing in the comments, please provide a spoiler warning if needed.
Before diving into the overview and review I want to note that I read this entire book in less than 24 hours. I know this isn’t a milestone for some people, but this is a feat for me. When you have a toddler running around – your free time just isn’t the same.
The being said, I have some mixed feelings and thoughts on this one, so let’s dive in.
In Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power, 17-year-old Margot is searching for answers about her family. For her entire life, it’s been her and her mother with no other family to speak of. While searching through her mother’s things, she finds a clue that leads her to her grandmother and a family she’s never known.
This novel is a sprinkle of my favorite things (just missing vampires) – mother-daughter drama, family secrets, a touch of SciFi, and one hell of a PLOT TWIST. I had a theory, I refined my theory and WOW was I off the mark. I was not prepared for the ending of this book.
Important to note here any surprise ending that catches me off guard immediately moves a book up in my mental rating scale. It’s one of the top elements I look for when reading any kind of horror or thriller novel.
I haven’t read Rory Power’s debut novel Wilder Girls but she definitely has talent. She drew me in, painted a picture, and created characters I wanted to know. But there were still some characters and elements I wanted more from and felt like I couldn’t quite connect with.
Scrolling through Goodreads, I noticed Burn Our Bodies Down received quite a mix of reviews. From 5 star reviews praising everything about the novel to 1 star reviews, so I think my mixed feelings aren’t far from the majority opinion.
Let’s talk about small towns, especially how they are presented in this book. Both towns we explore are deserted with the exception of a few key characters interacting with Margot. This seems a bit off to me and I often found myself thinking about why there were only like two people out and about in each town. I KNOW there has to be a group of busy-bodies somewhere just waiting to gossip about the new girl in town.
This story was short and sweet, and I understand why there may not have been a large amount of narrative around characters or description not directly involved in the plot, but it did seem off to me. I wanted a picture of the town and all I got was a deserted shopping center vibe with a small group of teenagers hanging out.
Let’s take a quick break for a small PSA – in this novel Margot hitchhikes with a man she doesn’t know. Never, under any circumstances, should you ever do that. I was screaming at Margot the whole time. For my murderinos – stay sexy.
But this isn’t to take away from the strong main character, Margot. The rebellious teenager trope is one we can all relate with on some level. Parents keep secrets and we go out of our way to uncover the mystery. Usually it’s some boring family drama, but Margot’s family was anything but.
I enjoyed uncovering the mystery while Margot did. We didn’t learn anything she didn’t already know, and I liked that about the story. It built more suspense and ultimately made the ending stand out a bit more.
If you haven’t read Burn Our Bodies Down I do recommend it if you are a fan of lite-SciFi. It’s a fun and quick read. It won’t change your life, but you will enjoy reading this one.
Have you read Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power? Let me know in the comments here or on Instagram.
Buy Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power here from Old Town Books (Alexandria, VA) or at your local bookstore!