Cover Image: Wake the Bones

Wake the Bones

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Member Reviews

the most wonderful Midwestern Gothic book I've read in a long time. the magic is so cool and all the characters are visceral and interesting. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. some wonderful LGBT representation too! Issac and Garrett were so real and I adore them. 
laurel is someone id love to be friends with. heck I've had friends like laurel. she's wonderful. 
everything about the small town vibes was really realistic and I appreciated the nostalgia. even the get me the fuck out of here feelings lol
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This book is what I wanted from 'Wilder Girls' but did not get. It's a small-town horror novel with sufficient body horror and LGBTQ+ characters whose personalities are more than just their identities. It's definitely on the heavier side and deals with themes that are not suitable for everybody but if you are able to handle these topics it makes for a meaningful and thought-provoking read. 
I'm a huge fan of Kilcoyne's writing style, it's the right amount of intriguing, vivid, and easy to read that makes me fall right into everything she is describing to me.  
Laurel as our main character is....interesting to say the least. She's not the most likeable character I've seen and sometimes her choices were questionable and I disagreed with them but she was also interesting and having an 'unlikeable' MC is a nice change of pace. I say unlikeable because she does not fit into the 'hero/golden child' that a lot of YA main characters tend to. 
I do have some problems with the book though, nothing insanely critical but I do want to acknowledge them. 
My main criticism is that I firmly believe this book would have been better off as an Adult or New Adult (18+) novel rather than a YA (13+) novel. The characters are all roughly college-aged and I just think that the overall vibes and story would have benefited from an older age rating. 
The plot itself got a little muddled as the book went on and by the end of the book, I did struggle to remember plot points from earlier on. 
Overall though I found this book to be an intriguing and interesting mix of horror and fantasy and if these are genres you find yourself interested in and you can handle the heavier content and themes, then I think it's worth checking out when the book is released on July 12, 2022. 

The following list of trigger warnings come right from the author, Elizabeth Kilcoyne's website: 
Some of the thematic material in Wake the Bones involves mental and physical abuse, violence, and suicide. Additionally, the book includes dental trauma, guns, postpartum depression, drug usage, animal death, and blood.
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Wake the Bones started out with a lot of promise but by the end I was very ready to put this story down.

The setting is vivid and it felt like the author took time in crafting her words delicately. The prose is beautiful in many places but for the bulk of the book, it felt disjointed and over the top superfluous.

In some spots, it’s as though preteens are talking.
“I’ve still got options. I’ve got a future.”
“Well, all I’ve got is magic.”

In other places, it’s like a pretentious 20 year old is. I’m all for flowery writing but in moderation. When every other line is so thick, it becomes more grating than anything else.

Magic is oddly incorporated and it’s functionality is not well explained at all. It’s inconsistent with no rational as to why. For example, Christine is rumored to be the town witch and hated for it, as if they all take pleasure in talking shit about the weird girl. But then all of a sudden, Laurel spits out that she’s magical and casting spells of sorts, fighting demons and it’s no big deal. Everyone (except her uncle) accepts it immediately? The characters are one dimensional and flat. Their personalities and motivations can be summed up in one line. The plot moves along painfully slow. It’s covered up by the sheer volume of dialogue and descriptive text but you’re saying a lot of nothing. It was one long filibuster of a book, and at a short 320 pgs, that’s not a good thing.

The bones here are good (see what I did there?) but the author struggled to give any real substance to support them. A for effort. 3 stars.

Thank you to NetGalley for this arc in exchange for an honest review.
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While not the most thrilling adventure I've ever been on, Wake the Bones will be a good read for people who like a dense, spooky atmosphere. I found it difficult to vibe with the main character and her "will I won't I" on and off again feelings for the main love interest. The queer best friend was a nice touch, especially his relationship with the small town they live in, but where I wanted a strong horror fantasy I got a slow burn trickle with nothing more than vaguely spooky vibes.
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Wake the Bones is a deliciously creepy atmospheric fantasy-horror mix that completely consumed me from the first page. It's weird and unlike anything I've ever read, and actually reminded me a lot of The Raven Boys series. I adored how flawed and strongly written these characters were, and it's nearly impossible to describe how much I loved Laurel's character.

Just read it.
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kinda cool, kinda confusing. marketing this as a ya is an interesting choice, characters are in their early 20s and the subject matter veers on NA. The way it ended left me hallow but not in a good way, like the entire book was missing something essential.
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This book is definitely geared toward the higher end of the YA spectrum and I, loved every second of it!! The setting,creepy atmosphere and visceral descriptions made the world jump off the page from the get go. However the characterization fell flat in some parts, the jump between narrator's felt a little jarring and unnecessary amd just didn't feel fully fleshed out, yet still something about the world and our main character laurel made this book so gripping and completely irrestibable to put down. A thrilling debut and I cannot wait to see where the author goes next!
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If I could give 3 and a half stars, I would. This book isn't super terrible, but it's also VERY confusing most of the time. 

Wake the Bones follows a small ragtag group of friends in a small farming town as they try to navigate both the devil that's lurking in the very soil and their growing pains of growing older in such a small space. Laurel is the main character and she must find her inner magic in order to save her friends and apparently the world too from a devil that her mother failed to banish. 

I'm not going to lie, the book's prose is very beautiful with amazing language that definitely paints a good picture. The only problem is, half the time I don't know what that picture is because the language takes over the actual plot. I honestly still don't know what happened during the middle and end of the book, but I will say that the last probably 20% of the book moves very quickly and I was drawn in, it was just a drag getting to that part. The last chapter though? Zero clue what actually happened and it felt more like it was just dropped in without much explanation. Is a character dead? Are they not? ZERO IDEA.

Overall, it is beautiful with the way the author worked in the horror piece to the story, but not something I would pick up again or probably recommend to a friend. Just an okay book.
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After dropping out of college, Laurel is back in the town she previously escaped from and reunited with her friends. The town she grew up in is anything but normal though. Strange things are happening in town and things are only getting stranger. I really enjoyed this book and the characters. It gave me TRC vibes which is a huge compliment coming from me since that is my favorite book series. Wake The Bones is a bit creepier though. I loved the creepy small town horror vibes.
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Omg. First of all, this book was amazing. I was hooked from the very first page. The prose is fantastic. Dark and lush, it' grabbed and wouldn't let go! This story has a very creepy feel, perfect for the southern gothic genre (complete with animal corpses lol). It's a twisted love story filled with magic, small town horror, and the past coming back for seconds. It's slated as YA, but read more upper YA, which is common for Wednesday Books. I love every second of this story and can't wait to read the final version when it release in July! 100% would recommend.
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This book was hard to read. I had to skim so much of it just to get through it all. At the end I felt like I was dragging myself to the finish line. So much of it was confusing; Laurel’s mom, the magic, the devil… all of it was poorly structured and lacked depth.
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Wake the Bones has as wonderfully spooky concept. It starts off genuinely fast-paced with some truly spooky features to it. However, after a while, the thrill seemed to quell and it slowed down for me. 

I really enjoyed the atmosphere the most. This was more of an “it’s not you, it’s me” feeling. I think most others would enjoy this book as for it is certainly unique. I, personally, just wanted to enjoy it more than I actually did. 

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my advanced copy.
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Laurel Early just recently dropped out of college without telling anyone. Has moved back to her family’s farm and is desperately trying to forget the guy she loves. During the time on the farm Laurel is giving it her all to resume her some what normal life of a taxidermist and tobacco hand until the devil from her past arrives. With the soil beneath her feet coming alive and the bones walking, Laurel must use her magic to unravel her moms past and save the life around her. 

I don’t know. I really don’t know what I read and really how I feel about it. All I know is I did not love it. There were parts of the book that just got me. Held me to my seat and made me fly through the pages. Then there were other that dragged. That had no spark, no action, no emotions, just black words across the paper. What I did love was how this was a fantasy story with walking bones, the devil, monsters and still the characters lived normal lives. They dealt with normal problems. The characters developed nicely and went through their own day to day problems and life. And, I’m always a sucker for multiple POVs!
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Wake the Bones is delightfully dark and oozing with atmosphere. It's prose are haunting, heartbreaking, and intensely human. 
 You'll follow Laurel Early as she withdraws from college and returns home to the family farm, a farm that's haunted by a tragic past and an uncertain future. You'll meet a handful of Laurels childhood friends and come to intimatly understand how living in a small southern town has shaped each of them.  
The author masterfully builds a looming feeling of dread that gets heavier and heavier as you turn each page. I felt true otherworldly terror within these pages, terror that was greatly enhanced by the juxtaposition of so many familiar, human moments.
Wake the Bones isn't just one thing. It's part horror, part coming off age story, a look at loss, and a smart and sobering peek into the live of folks living in the"fly over" states. I think this story is one that will connect with many. 
I'm in awe that this is a debut novel! I'll most certainly be picking up whatever this author offers up next!  

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.
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What have we got here? A well paced, atmospheric read with great characters, that’s what!
After escaping the small town, Laurel Early drops out of college and returns home to tobacco farming, taxidermy, and her three close friends - quite an interesting trifecta right there, hooked me from the beginning. There’s a eerie presence on her farm which manifests as dead carcasses, blood, ghosts and walking bone monsters - so, plenty to keep you hooked. The plot develops as Laurel is trying to figure out what is going. It takes us into the past and the circumstances surrounding her mother’s apparent suicide. We explore how the past is shaping the horror that Laurel is currently living. My heart broke when death comes calling, but leapt for joy at a rather unexpected ending. I really liked that ending.
The characters are great. We’ve got Isaac Graves, Laurel’s best friend. He is desperate to escape the small town and his abusive father. He is trying to ignore the pull he has toward Garrett because it would only make it more difficult to leave. We’ve got Garrett whose in love Isaac and makes no secret of it. There’s a potential love interest for Laurel in Ricky, Garrett’s brother. Finally, we have Christine - our resident psychic. She knows what is happening and is the only one that can help Laurel. I found the characters developed well as the story unfolded. 
This is a solid debut novel. Worth the time that I took to read it.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publishing for granting me a copy of the eBook to read and review.
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The book completely terrified me and I loved every minute of it! This book is about small town horror and just kept on surprising me. The author is a masterful storyteller. The characters were so fleshed out, the story so atmospheric. If you love horrow, this book is for you. I can't recommend it enough!
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one of my favourite books of all time. the characters were lovable, the plot interesting, and the writing gorgeous. it’s perfect for those who enjoyed the raven cycle.
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I want to thank #Netgalley, and  #Wednesdaybooks. I loved #WaketheBones!!!! It is such an interesting book. I  preordered it before I even finished reading it. Laurel is a very interesting character. I can't decide if I felt bad for her in the book or not. She is one of those characters that you certainly like but there is an edge to her she's gravelly if that makes any sense. I loved the description of the town of Dry Valley it felt like I was there and in a sense it reminded me of what my hometown used to be like.
     Laurels friends Garrett, Rickey who are brothers and Isaac are always close by to wherever Laurel is. Even though they are all close she isn't sure about truly sharing about her abilities to sense what the animal bones that she makes jewelry with tell her about their deaths. In a small town like Dry Valley where most are born and raised, being different is something to be talked about and not in a good way. Laurel knows this because the town thought of her mother as being cursed and not even dying stopped them from accusing her of the towns bad luck. Laurel has lived with the town calling her the Devils Daughter because of her mother and some of the strange happenings that follow her around. The only other person in town that knows what that's like is Christine who wasn't born in Dry Valley and that alone paints a target on anyone's back, but Christine is different anyways. She is what most would call Psychic although its not a term she really cares for. Her gift is something she tries to ignore if possible but sometimes the Ghosts refuse to be ignored.
        Isaac is ready to leave behind Dry Valley the town being to small and not current enough for a man like him. He spent his summers with Garrett the boy that slowly stole his heart but Isaac refuses to let it bloom. He wants out of the town where everyone talks about him and pities him. He wants away from his father from the nightmare that is his home life. 
      Ricky has been chasing after Laurel for as long as he can remember. In a place like Dry Valley you know pretty early what your life is going to look like who you will end up settling down with. But Laurel has always put up defenses against him, she has plans to get out of this town. Ricky hopes that she will, that she will get out and never come back to this town that is to old fashioned for Laurel and Isaac. 
     Something is coming for Laurel, something that began with her mother. Its stalking the woods and watching her like a predator. Leaving behind love notes made of rotting meat and reassembled bones, carcasses filled with flowers and blood soaking the ground. She and her friends are in trouble whatever is out there is desperate to have Laurel to live inside her bones. Laurel has always considered herself to have some type of magic because she can see the deaths of the bones she collects but is there some way she can use magic to rid her farm of whatever this creature of the woods is?
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Okay, I think I need to stop trying with urban fantasy books for a while. There not my cup of tea, and I need to stop lying that they'll ever be my cup of tea. I don't know what it is with why I don't enjoy urban fantasy. I find the description fascinating and am super excited to read it but then it just doesn't live up to what I pictured in my head. 

With Wake the Bones, we're introduced to Laurel Early, a young woman back from her first year of college, which she has subsequently withdrawn from because she was failing. All she wanted was to resume her old life as a tobacco hand and taxidermist and try not to think about the boy she can't help but love. That's not in the cards because her sleepy little family farm that she's grown up on has awakened *queue spooky music.* Instead, the devil has come to town to court Laurel, like he did her late mother years earlier. Now, Laurel has to unravel her mother's terrifying legacy and tap into her own innate magic before her future and the fate of everyone she loves is in danger. 

To start off with, I thought Laurel was annoying, whiny, and selfish. She has this idea where the three boys in her life are what supposed to drop everything they do and cater to her every need. She treats them and her uncle like she's better then them but also doesn't at the same time. Laurel can be extremely mean but nobody calls her on it either. I just couldn't really care what happened to her. The boys in her life are Isaac, Garrett, and Ricky. 

Isaac is the boy who wants nothing more than to escape the small town they've all grown up in. He's escaping from an abusive father and the fact that he can't be himself (out) while still living in this town. Garrett is in love with Isaac, but he wants to stay in town. Grow old in the place his parents lived, but he knows that this isn't what Isaac wants, so they are two boys forever circling each other. Laurel completely does not understand why Isaac wants to leave and even gets angry at him for wanting to leave, again selfish. 

Ricky is the boy that Laurel doesn't want to love but does. She doesn't want to love him because once she does she knows her life is "over." They'll get married, have kids, and work the farms until they grow old and die. I'm super confused why this upsets her because she's been off to college and it didn't suit her, so she came back home. But if she wants adventure or something more, she could've stayed in Cincinnati and gotten a job. Laurel confused me the whole book. 

The whole "mystery" of the book was pretty meh. I didn't feel like there was a terrifying legacy of Laurel's mom to uncover. Like the devil came for her mom and she fought him off and had the ground protect Laurel, but other than that there's nothing really that unique about Anna. The ending was a bit anti-climatic and overall I was just ready to be done with the book. 

Wake the Bones is one of those books where while you're reading it, you want to keep reading, but as soon as you put it down, it's out of sight out of mind kind of deal. There were some interesting aspects, especially the story line between Garrett and Isaac (when Laurel wasn't there) and Uncle Jay was a great character who I wanted to see more. But overall, it just wasn't anything that special.
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hank you to Netgalley for this ARC. 
This book is a horror/mystery/ thriller magic type, and it was mostly really well done. Most of the characters were well developed and three dimensional, and I liked seeing the different parts of the book from their POVs. It was at times a little bit confusing whos POV a chapter was from, but not super hard to figure out overall. I think the romantic relationships between the characters were sort of the same thing with different circumstances put over them, but I liked reading about them. The whole magic thing was a really cool idea, but it was so vague and I wish it had been explained more. And especially when Christine did magic, it was just confusing. Christine didn’t really have any purpose other than to help Laurel and her group though, so she was kind of just a plot device to get things moving. I wish a lot of things were explained more. Especially the ending. The pacing of this book was pretty slow, and at times I just wanted to put the plot on 2x speed. But, overall I really enjoyed reading this book, and I think it’s a really good debut novel.
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