Someday I’ll wake up and find they’ve built a maze around me, and I will be relieved.
Penny Wilson wanted a baby of her own in the worst way. That’s what I figure, because she was only supposed to watch me for an hour and a half, and obviously she loved me a little too much. She must have hummed a lullaby, fondled each tiny finger and toe, kissed my cheeks and stroked the down on my head, blowing on my hair like she was making a wish on a dandelion gone to seed. I had my teeth but I was too small to swallow the bones, so when my mother came home she found them in a pile on the living room carpet.
The last time my mother had looked at Penny Wilson she’d still had a face…Even when my mother noticed the gore down the front of my OshKosh overalls, even when she registered the blood on my face, she didn’t see it. When she parted my lips and put her forefinger inside – mothers are the bravest creatures, and mine is the bravest of all – she found something hard between my gums. She pulled it out and peered at it. It was the hammer of Penny Wilson’s eardrum.
and that’s what happens on page one.
it is a charming little story of cannibalism and girl power. our girl maren has been a people-eater her whole life. she doesn’t know why, but when she senses love being directed her way, her automatic response is to devour the source. during maren’s childhood, her mother was forced to sacrifice all hope of a stable life and career in order to protect her from the fallout of her unfortunate meals. parents do not like it when your kid eats their kid, so their lives were a series of temporary homes, suitcases, and midnight flights. everything was pared down to the essentials:
We’d never had throw blankets at home – if we got cold we’d just take the comforters off our beds. Throw blankets, like placemats or window ornaments, were not necessary.
but that kind of life can only go on for so long, and the day after maren’s 16th birthday she wakes to find she has been pushed from the nest. her mother is gone, leaving only an envelope of cash and maren’s birth certificate, where she learns her father’s name for the first time.
and what follows is – adventure! she sets out to finally meet her father and along the way, she
eats meets new people, including others with her devouring nature. they are not exactly like her – everyone has their own triggers, methods, and reasons for munching, but it’s a sort of familial bond that is completely new to her.
this is the cheekiest cannibal novel i have ever read, and maren is a hell of a heroine. the book is full of cuddly themes like love, family, and self-discovery, but never forget how dangerous love can be, with people like maren. View Spoiler »I wasn’t jealous. Not really. I just wanted Lee’s attention – if not forever, then at least for the seven and a half minutes it would take for him to polish me off. « Hide Spoiler
and for all the light, there’s plenty of dark. and metaphor. and the melancholy of a childhood lost:
The pillow was cool on my cheek. I understood now why the smell of laundry soap was so comforting: things couldn’t be too hopeless if somebody was still bothering to wash the sheets.
hair rope, unfinished books, souvenirs, drunken cowboys, unrequited lust, road trips, cannibal etiquette, hobo stew, awkward requests, college dorms, carnies, all good things.
My name’s Andy. What’s yours?”
“That’s a nice name. I’ve never heard it before.”
“Yeah,” I said between bites of tuna fish. “Usually it’s Karen.”
“It’s nicer than Karen.”
LIKE HELL IT IS!
but that personal attack aside, this book is one of those books that is just sheer rollicking fun and i want all my ladyfriends to read it please.
i am on the Bones & All street team!!! #BonesandAll tagging st. martin’s press (hahaha come school me, young’uns!) but – jealous??? you should be! i got this awesome bag:
that made me wanna eat people:
and THE BOOK! (now punctured with my teethmarks)
this book is SO MUCH FUN and i am thrilled to be on its team. hashtagtasteslikepeople