Knopf Books for Young Readers
September 23, 2014
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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.It is supposed to give users a glimpse of Heaven, but it is still a deadly drug. Haem kills all of its users, some just never come back. Many that do wish they hadn't.
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?
Forcibly given the drug at eleven, Faye has spent the past six years wishing for revenge for that night. Still craving the drug that left her scarred and a social outcast, she's been plotting her revenge against the men that forever changed her life and killed her best friend.
Forced every day to keep her past a secret from her fellow students, Faye's one goal is her revenge. It is what keeps her going and what she looks forward to.
Until Chael appears. He seems to know everything about Faye - the things she keeps hidden, her past and who she is - but refuses to tell her how he knows so much. Then Faye's carefully managed school life begins to fall apart. She has managed to remain unnoticed for years and now, just months away from graduation, she's drawn attention to herself. In trouble with the police and fearing the school's actions, Faye tries to hold it all together. And figure Chael out.
The Bodies We Wear is a good paranormal read. Haem is a drug, recently invented, that claims to give users a glimpse of the afterlife. Of Heaven . . . or, in Faye's case, Hell. There is great debate, of course, over whether it really is a look at life after death or simply the brain's reaction to the drug, to momentary death.
Faye believes what she saw was much more than chemistry and neurons, though. It was her destiny.
And if you're already destined for Hell, what point is there in trying for more?
Which is where The Bodies We Wear really worked for me. Roberts takes the intriguing idea of Haem and not only shows us how it affects society, but how it has affected Faye and how that society has also impacted her. She is a girl hell-bent on vengeance, on payback. In a world where a choice that was forced on her seems to provide a setback at every turn, she sees no point in trying to achieve anything else.
It doesn't matter to her whether anyone else agrees with her goal or not. She knows it's right.
Until she isn't so certain, anymore.
The more Faye refuses to question her decision, the more those questions refuse to go away, the more connection readers will feel with Faye. She knew what her life was, where it was going and what to expect. Now, things are not quite the same. As much as she does not want to give in to hope, reader can't help but feel it for her.
As we see more and more of Faye's past and get a fuller picture of how Haem has affected society and its citizens, The Bodies We Wear becomes more and more thought-provoking. Is Faye right and it doesn't matter what she does, she's going to Hell? Or do our choices truly matter?
The relationships in The Bodies We Wear may be unique due to circumstance, but they have a familiarity to them, too. Gazer and Faye's life is far from traditional but the bond they share feels real and their relationship makes sense. Each has a past and it was what brought them together, but something more keeps them together.
I quite liked Chael. It is clearer to readers how Chael may know her so well, but the explanation also isn't obvious. When things really do come together, for Faye, little things that might have passed unnoticed in the beginning, make the explanation, the character, more whole.
A fun paranormal read, but also a character driven novel that will provide some questions to really think about, The Bodies We Wear has something for most readers.
digital review copy provided, via NetGalley, by publisher for tour participation & review - thank you