I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Cold is in Her Bones by Peternelle van Arsdale
on January 22, 2019
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Format: Hardcover, Audiobook
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon
One girl must uncover secrets of the past to save her friend from a terrible curse in this dark and mesmerizing story of love, revenge, and redemption inspired by the myth of Medusa.
Milla knows two things to be true: Demons are real, and fear will keep her safe.
Milla’s whole world is her family’s farm. She is never allowed to travel to the village and her only friend is her beloved older brother, Niklas. When a bright-eyed girl named Iris comes to stay, Milla hopes her loneliness might finally be coming to an end. But Iris has a secret she’s forbidden to share: The village is cursed by a demon who possesses girls at random, and the townspeople live in terror of who it will come for next.
Now, it seems, the demon has come for Iris. When Iris is captured and imprisoned with other possessed girls, Milla leaves home to rescue her and break the curse forever. Her only company on the journey is a terrible new secret of her own: Milla is changing, too, and may soon be a demon herself.
Suspenseful and vividly imagined, The Cold Is in Her Bones is a novel about the dark, reverberating power of pain, the yearning to be seen and understood, and the fragile optimism of love.
Praise for THE COLD IS IN HER BONES
“A dark and enchanting tale about friendship, pain, revenge, and the power of love, The Cold Is in Her Bones is the perfect read for Greek mythology fans and YA readers alike.” ―Bustle
“Fiercely written and beautifully feminist, The Cold is in Her Bones reminds us of the power of loyalty and love in the face of ignorance and fear. I loved this tale of dangerous girls with wild hair and tangled hearts.” ―Lisa Maxwell, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Magician
“A fresh, eerily compelling tale of betrayal, revenge, and the ties that bind. When van Arsdale paints a world, you can feel the fog against your skin.” ―Elly Blake, New York Times bestselling author of The Frostblood Saga
This was a really cool, atmospheric book that was different from a lot of stuff I’ve read. I am a sucker for books that take myths and fairy tales and weave them into something new and intriguing, so when I found out this was a retelling of the story of Medusa, I was ecstatic.
The book centers on a girl, Milla, who is about as isolated in the world as you can get. She’s always lived on a farm with her family, but spends most of her time alone, doing what she’s told. She wants so badly to please her family and strives to be the good girl they want her to be. She is constantly living in the shadow of her brother and feels like she is never enough. You feel those feelings as they are so palpable, bleeding off the page right into your very soul. But when a new girl, Iris, join the fold, her world blossoms. Iris fits in neatly as the best friend and a future wife for Milla’s brother, so obviously, things start to change in a very wonderful way for her. During this time, Milla learns of a curse that plagues the girls of the village, making them utterly insane. Also, her aunt was the person who placed the curse, so there’s a lot of introspection to be done here. As it turns out, Iris shows signs of a curse and becomes possessed, to the point that she is taken away. For the first time in her life, Milla was given something outside her tiny box of a life and she’s determined to break those walls down to get it back. However, as she strives to help her friend, she beginnings to realize she also might be changing.
This is a slow book, you will meander far and wide, but sometimes that is exactly what a story calls for. I think in a lot of ways this book was like Shallow Grave or Bone Gap, two of my absolute favorite books in this ‘genre’ of magical realism and fantasy mixed with real life. Another book it reminded me of was Daughters Unto Devils. While that is straight up horror, many of the family isolated on a farm moments harkened back to that story. All three books are ones I recommend you pick up after you read this one!
This book may be based on a myth or a fairy tale, but the journey is no fairy tale. It isn’t once upon a time and happily ever after, but rather a bittersweet reality that you can live with. I love that Milla isn’t the bravest, strongest, most beautiful girl, but rather she’s just the one who stands up and says “I won’t take this anymore.” Sometimes we need to see that in our lives.
I feel like at this point, I should mention there are definitely snakes in this book. I mean, it is Medusa after all.
There is a lot of growth in this story and you can definitely classify this as a coming-of-age tale. But, I felt like it was so much more. There’s a lot to unpack in this book, and even though it will take you more time to unpack, I definitely think it is worthy of your time and will mesmerize you from the very beginning.
Tunes from the Author
Here are a few notes from the author herself:
“Two of Us on the Run,” Lucius
“Superstition,” Stevie Wonder
“Heroes,” David Bowie
“Karma Police,” Radiohead
“The Woods,” San Fermin
“Should Have Known Better,” Sufjan Stevens
Here are some songs this book made me think of while I was reading. I hope you enjoy!
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