I loved the gripping, unique voice in Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power (who also wrote Wilder Girls). The story was eccentric and eerie, and one of those odd tales where I wasn’t really quite sure what sort of book it was until near the end, and that made the experience of reading it immersive and delightful.

Here’s a quick synopsis:

“Ever since Margot was born, it’s been just her and her mother. No answers to Margot’s questions about what came before. No history to hold on to. No relative to speak of. Just the two of them, stuck in their run-down apartment, struggling to get along.

But that’s not enough for Margot. She wants family. She wants a past. And she just found the key she needs to get it: A photograph, pointing her to a town called Phalene. Pointing her home. Only, when Margot gets there, it’s not what she bargained for.

Margot’s mother left for a reason. But was it to hide her past? Or was it to protect Margot from what’s still there?

The only thing Margot knows for sure is there’s poison in their family tree, and their roots are dug so deeply into Phalene that now that she’s there, she might never escape.”

You can find links to a Pinterest mood board, and a playlist on Rory Power’s site.


I thoroughly enjoyed the complicated family relationships, blooming friendships, zero romance (other than a mentioned attraction), lesbian representation, and an ever-present sense of mystery and otherworldliness. There’s also grief, and loss, and heartache. It was a solid 4 star read for me, and I’ll be on the lookout for more books from Rory Power in the future.

A big thanks to NetGalley and Random House Children’s for a free eARC of the book.


Book Review | Burn Our Bodies Down

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