Hello, all! This is the fifth White Pine Wednesday, which means two things: 1) I’ve been doing this for like 2 and a half months (achievement unlocked!) and 2) There’s only 2 and a half months to the festival!
This week, I’m reviewing The Bodies We Wear.
“[For]…fans of Scott Westerfeld”. Ahem. Bad vibes already. Why? Unpopular Opinion time: I have never finished a Scott Westerfeld book in my life. Not even Uglies, which I tried to read on 5 different occasions and with an open mind. Not even the Uglies graphic novel. Not even Zeros. And keep in mind, I do not DNF books.
But, back to the cover. It’s not the best cover, but it isn’t the worst. And it looks better in person. It seems like typical YA action fare. The summary suggest revenge, so I hope she actually wreaks havoc on those mofos who drugged her. The mysterious young man angle? YOU BETTER NOT GET IN THE WAY OF HER REVENGE. Overall though, it looks like it’ll be entertaining.
Well, since the first paragraph doesn’t actually relate to the book, and the second implied I was hopeful, I’d say I was half right.
I had high hopes, guys. They fell a looooong way.
This book started off extremely well and sort of… deteriorated.
The world building of this story is very well done and there are simple (as well as t0-the-point) explanations. There’s no info-dumping: the reader is simply dropped into the dystopian setting and picks up information as they go on.
Faye, as a main character, was as realistic as possible: you could see her maturity at some points, but she still made some crappy decisions (like every teenager, amirite? 😉 ) Her backstory is sad and upsetting, but she always soldiers on as she pulls on her brave face and gives it her all. Basically, (if you’ve read the summary), Faye was forced to take the drug Heam, against her will. On its own, that’s pretty upsetting. But coupled with the stigma that surrounds taking that drug (think Scarlet Letter/mass shunning) Faye walks a fine line trying to re-enter society. She’s practically on probation 24/7 – and if it got out to the general populace that a Heam addict (even a one-time addict) was among them, then shit would hit the fan. What’s even sadder is the reaction of her community around her. Even though this is a fictional universe, it’s realistic; I can still see people nowadays reacting in the exact same way.
So in an odd way, I really empathized with her problems. Even though I didn’t approve or particularly understand all her decisions, I thought she was more relatable than most. I mean, she has a thirst for revenge, is sorta cool and is the underdog?
Although I loved the smooth and quick style of writing, not even that could bring to life the terrible, YA love cliches that this book is filled with.
Like honestly, it totally ruined my enjoyment of the revenge for me, and bogged down the book with extremely boring scenes. I caught myself skimming some of the more romantic exchanges. I feel I would have rated this book higher if there was no love interest. For the sake of brevity (and the impending physics test of doom), I won’t go into details, but let’s just say it’s not worth it.
However, I thought the ending was worth it (yay optimism), so I will rate this book 3.5 stars out of 5.