Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Bodies we Wear by Jeyn Roberts

Genre:  YA Paranormal Thriller

Description (taken from Goodreads):
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?

When Faye was 11, her father's dealers took her father's debts out on her.  They forced a highly addictive drug on her and her best friend.  Heam is the new drug out there that stops your body momentarily and gives you a glimpse of the afterlife.  But an overdose has dire consequences.  It can leave you with scars and an addiction that almost no one can kick.  But Faye is going to get over the addiction.  In fact, she's going to hunt down the ones that did this to her.

Treated like a piranha in society, Faye gets into a good school with the help of her guardian.  But being the charity case addict, she has a strict set of rules to follow in order to stay in school.  Because no one believes an addict can live a normal life.  But Gazer, the guardian, thinks she can help Faye and give her the confidence she needs in order to want to live.  But only a miracle can make Faye see something other than the revenge she seeks.  She's tainted by the world's horrors and can only see herself as another horror in this world.

I think this book plays heavily on the emotional scars we hold onto.  And it puts drug-user stereotypes to the extreme.  Based on my own experiences with the unsavory drug world, we do place drug users at the bottom of our societal chain regardless of whether or not they should be there.  And since this is all Faye's known, she sees her own life as worthless.  The only point she can find in life is getting revenge.  And sadly revenge isn't the best thing to live for.  But there are so many good characters in this story that challenge Faye's views.  And I loved those side characters.  I certainly despised Faye, but I loved all of those characters that came out and rooted for her.

This is a story that should make you think twice before you are quick to judge people.  And hopefully it'll make you see the good in others.  It was a good and deep read, but I'm still not sure how I feel about this one.

Thanks goes to Random House Children's Books for providing me a review copy.

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