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Not Even Bones
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Not Even Bones
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"Twisty, grisly, genre-bending and immersive, Not Even Bones will grab you by the throat and drag you along as it gleefully tramples all of your expectations." —Sara Holland, New York Times...
"Twisty, grisly, genre-bending and immersive, Not Even Bones will grab you by the throat and drag you along as it gleefully tramples all of your expectations." —Sara Holland, New York Times...
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  • "Twisty, grisly, genre-bending and immersive, Not Even Bones will grab you by the throat and drag you along as it gleefully tramples all of your expectations." —Sara Holland, New York Times best-selling author of Everless
    Dexter meets This Savage Song in this dark fantasy about a girl who sells magical body parts on the black market — until she's betrayed.

    Nita doesn't murder supernatural beings and sell their body parts on the internet—her mother does that. Nita just dissects the bodies after they've been "acquired." Until her mom brings home a live specimen and Nita decides she wants out; dissecting a scared teenage boy is a step too far. But when she decides to save her mother's victim, she ends up sold in his place—because Nita herself isn't exactly "human." She has the ability to alter her biology, a talent that is priceless on the black market. Now on the other side of the bars, if she wants to escape, Nita must ask herself if she's willing to become the worst kind of monster.

About the Author-

  • Rebecca Schaeffer was born and raised in the Canadian prairies, but her itchy feet have taken her far from home. You can find her sitting in a café on the other side of the world, writing about villains, antiheroes, and morally ambiguous characters. Not Even Bones is her debut novel. Twitter: @rrschaeffer

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    July 1, 2018
    An adolescent, yet Nietzschean, examination of humanity and horror.Nita is a monster. Literally. She can heal her own wounds and even block her pain receptors. But she and her mother also deal in monsters, species regulated by the International Non-Human Police, selling their body parts on the black market. Her ghoulish mother hunts and kills, while Nita dissects them with a meditative grace, trying to think of herself as innocent. But when Nita's conscience inconveniently prevents her from vivisecting a live specimen, she's kidnapped and taken to the Amazon, caged by people in the same business. Menaced by a zannie (creatures that feed off physical pain) and a ruthless woman, Nita, who is mixed species (with a brown-skinned human father and a nonhuman mother), has to figure out how to escape and whether she has any morals to live by. The vivid setting, Mercado de la Muerte (one of several Death Markets worldwide) in a sweltering South American jungle populated by buyers, sellers, and sold, is matched by a zipping plot interspersed with deliciously horrifying and gory scenes of dismemberment and destruction. Equally intriguing is the constant musing on what makes a monster, how people respond to trauma and control, and how one's choices affirm or deny one's own humanity.A slasher flick spliced with Crime and Punishment, this engrossing debut novel asks complex philosophical questions in a pleasingly hard-to-stomach way. (Fantasy. 15-adult)

    COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    August 1, 2018

    Gr 9 Up-Sixteen-year-old Nita dissects bodies for a living-her mother captures and kills Unnaturals and sells their parts on the black market, and it is Nita's job to harvest the organs. But when her mother brings home a living boy, Nita has reached her breaking point. Helping the boy escape turns out to be her undoing, and Nita, who has been hiding her own abilities, is captured to be sold instead. Now she must survive with people trying to cut off her extremities, getting out the cage she's held in, and escaping from the middle of the Amazon rainforest. Readers who are tired of the same recycled story lines will find something original here. Despite how dark and graphic the book gets-scenes of dissection on living and dead characters occur multiple times throughout-the story is so compelling that readers have to keep going to find out how, or if Nita gets out of this mess. The narrative, while dark and gruesome, is one of survival and betrayal, and will make teens question their own thoughts on humanity and how far they would be willing to go to save themselves. VERDICT Recommended for budding horror fans.-Amanda Toth, Lane Libraries, Fairfield, OH

    Copyright 2018 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    October 8, 2018
    Author Schaeffer debuts with a dark fantasy tale of survival. In Peru, 17-year-old Nita’s mother hunts and kills “unnaturals,” supernatural beings who coexist with humans, and her father sells their body parts online. Nita, herself a self-healing unnatural, has the grim task of dissecting the corpses, though she likes it just fine. After Nita comes up against one hard and fast moral line she won’t cross—slicing pieces from a live specimen, a boy—she defies her cruel mother, who doesn’t take disobedience lightly. This sets off a chain of events that plunges Nita further into the black market world, only this time as a commodity rather than a supplier. Occasionally graphic and frequently featuring unthinkable conflicts, the narrative spotlights the importance of bodily autonomy and offers readers a glimpse into a murderous us-vs.-them mindset. The thrilling plot proves thought-provoking, and it concludes with more questions than answers. Ages 14–up. Agent: Suzie Townsend, New Leaf Literary.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from July 1, 2018
    Grades 10-1 *Starred Review* In Schaeffer's morally complex, edgy debut, supernatural beings are protected by the International Non-Human Police (INHUP), unless they're on the dangerous list, in which case killing is pre-emptive self-defense. Those unnaturals?like zannies, who torture others to consume their pain?are considered monsters that can't survive without killing. For Nita, whose parents sell unnatural body parts on the black market, this belief is important, because it means she's not a sociopath. She enjoys dissecting their bodies, but they're not people. Nita's clean, orderly world is shattered when her mother brings home a live, harmless unnatural for dismemberment. That's too messy for Nita, but when she helps him escape, she's captured herself. Nita is an unnatural, too, suddenly about to experience her victims' lives from the other side of the cage. This riveting thriller is not a reassuring read, but it is a provocative one for those who can handle violence when wielded with intentionality. Schaeffer's antiheroes (Nita and Kovit, her zannie-captor-turned-ally) show empathy and insight as they struggle to define the line between human and monster. It's a testament to Schaeffer's excellent writing that these themes never overtake the characters' stories. A killer ending will guarantee that readers return to see what's next in this planned trilogy.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2018, American Library Association.)

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