Hardcover, 368 pages
Published September 23rd 2014 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
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?
Reviewer's Copy: e-ARC
Source: Aisha and Knopf Books for Young Readers(Thank you!)
The concept behind The Bodies We Wear was one of a kind. Set in a world that was both startlingly dark, with an abundance of rain, violence, and dire circumstances, The Bodies We Wear became the ultimate dystopic setting. The ambiance was so pronounced, it ripped into the reader with hopelessness and put a weight on my shoulders. It was hard to ignore how realistic it was, given the present times.
Heaven's Dream, also more popularly known as Heam, was all the rage in Faye's world. Affordable and accessible, it could bring you to your own personal cloud nine for just 20 bucks a hit. The drug's aftermath and long-lasting effect was apparent in how the society had changed and how strong the stigma of being a Heam addict was. In present day, there is a stigma and ever-present-judgment of drug abusers. In The Bodies We Wear, once a Heam addict, always a Heam addict. There was no salvation, no second chance and no opportunities. It was the ultimate dead end. Studies showed that almost all Heam abusers cannot recover. This made me realize how we sometimes judge drug abusers and bring them down instead of helping them recover. This was an eye-opener for me.
Faye was eleven years old when she was forced to take Heam. One out of 100 people who take Heam, overdose. She was one in a hundred. As a souvenir, she got a web of scars over her heart: purple-colored veins that would never let her forget. With the help of Gazer, the ex-police officer who saved her, she managed to get on decently. She went to Sebastian Clover, on a full-ride scholarship, and was fit from intense daily training. It was not hard to connect to Faye, given all the things she has been through. But sometimes, her burden passed on to the reader. The writing was that effective: the weight of her past, her present and her future jumped out of the pages.
One night, as Faye was stalking her target, Chael appeared. Handsome, fidgety, with piercing green eyes, Chael was not someone that Faye expected to interact with. She mostly kept to herself, even at school. The weird guy seemed to know where she was, what she was thinking and even a part of her past. She has no memory Chael but she was determined to find out his secrets. I found Chael to be affectionate and gentle and sweet. He has this boynextdoor thing going on. I loved how Chael and Faye's relationship developed from being strangers sharing a conversation in the rain to being emotionally-invested in one another. It was the kind of relationship that I would like to call effortless. It was just like breathing, natural and easy. All they had to do was keep it going.
The ending broke me. I was too attached and too invested with Faye and Chael that the ending tore my heart into a million tiny pieces and put it back together again with super glue. The story was wave after wave of obstacles, observations and realizations, dreams - realistic and not, flashbacks, and emotions. By the time it was over, I was tired but relieved for Faye and Chael.
The writing itself was good, the kind of good that could make readers lose themselves in the story. The Bodies We Wear was a crossover of dark contemporary and supernatural. It was both sweet and bitter, offering a mouthful of flavors of life and reality. This tackled various relationships within the book: daughter to father figure, daughter to mother, friends, lovers, enemies. I recommend this to readers who are looking for a heavy read - dark/emotional contemporary with a dash of supernatural.
4 Cupids = Strong book love.
I really enjoyed this. I recommend this!
I really enjoyed this. I recommend this!
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