Wake the Bones

Wednesday Bks. Jul. 2022. 320p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781250790828.
Gr 10 Up–Back home in her small town after a failed year of college, Laurel Early seems to be falling back into farm life with her best friend Isaac and the Mobley boys, Garrett and Ricky. Additionally, her new side hobby of creating bone jewelry is connecting her to the nature of the forest and keeps her mind occupied. But when her family’s past comes back to haunt her, Laurel must face a gruesome creature to protect those she holds most dear. Magic is at play, and the creature demands blood—the question Laurel has yet to figure out is whose. Kilcoyne’s debut takes a small-town setting and twists it into a dark supernatural landscape stalked by an unnatural beast. Lush descriptions of the environment are covered with intricate details of decay and horror, building a tense world for the characters. The macabre monster targeting Laurel is not only a physical terror, but a great illustration of multiple characters’ familial grief as a devil parasite that’s relentlessly consuming life and weighing them down. Influenced by past darkness, Laurel and Isaac’s evolving relationships with each of the Mobley boys brings light to their dim outlooks, reshaping their view on how wide and open the world truly is. All characters are described as white. Sensitivity content warning is included at the beginning for abuse, violence, suicide, and more.
VERDICT A southern gothic horror sure to thrill, and thoroughly creep out, readers.

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