Wednesday, October 15, 2014

[Blog Tour] The Bodies We Wear by Jeyn Roberts + Giveaway

Title: The Bodies We Wear
Author: Jeyn Roberts
Genre: Young Adult
Series: The Bodies We Wear #1

Hardcover, 368 pages
Publication: September 23, 2014 by Knopf  BFYR

Source: I received a review copy in exchange for a honest review/blog tour

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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?
I really enjoyed Roberts alternative dark and gritty America, where the man-made drug Heam (Heaven’s Dream) is king. Heam is a cheap and addictive drug that’s readily available; popular because it is said that those who take it is able to glimpse a part of heaven and any beloved that died. But like everything in life there are consequences to taking Heam. There are two outcomes most associated with Heam, the first one is that the user would become so addicted after one try that it eventually leads them to take Heam till they overdose and die. The second outcome is the euphoria of Heam is so great, the user is in awe at how beautiful heaven is that they die and never wakes up. So basically, it’s likely that the users dies either way. The question then is will it be now or later? But in Faye’s case she not only survives but it made her stronger. I thought the world building was very well established, giving the readers a perfect image of Faye and the setting. For example, Faye lives in a place that’s always raining, dark, and dank…pretty much the worst part of town as you can imagine. The setting also fits Faye’s character/personality. She lives in an old rundown church with Gazer living on just the bare essentials. Unlike the kids Faye goes to school with (private school/wealthy families), Faye doesn’t have the luxuries or upbringing like they do making her an automatic outsider. Since everyone looks down on Heam users, Faye can't help but be closed off; believing she has no chance at life or happiness because she bares the Heam scars on her chest. She is full of anger at Russ for forcing her to take Heam, at society for condemning all Heam users (even though it wasn’t Faye’s fault) and the injustice in the city.

My first impression of The Bodies We Wear is that it’d be a tale of revenge; however the synopsis is a bit misleading. While there is plenty talk of revenge, there was very little in terms of action. The Bodies We Wear is more of Faye’s journey and character growth since the day she was saved and rehabilitated by Gazer. Faye is a strong and kick-butt (literally) heroine. Faye acts tough and invincible but underneath her hard exterior she is a still a fragile girl…a girl that wants a normal life with friends to talk to and have fun with. I love seeing Faye’s transformation over the course of the book as she broke down her walls and tried to learn to trust people. It was extremely hard for Faye to fathom a life without seeking vengeance; since she devoted the last six years of her life determine to avenge her friend’s death. Overall, I was happy with Faye’s choice at the end, because I know it wasn’t an easy decision. As a 17-year-old Faye was very mature and competent. Although Faye has a lot of flaws about herself, she wasn’t afraid to learn from her mistakes, and was willing to change for a better life…which is a 180 degree change from the beginning of the story. Faye is brave for everything that she’s been through and more so for the choices she made towards the end of the book.

The pacing of the book was good, and the action scenes were well spaced to keep the story from getting dull. About halfway through the book the author incorporated a paranormal twist to the plot which I did not expect. It was interesting but wasn’t fully explained. Even the character didn’t understand the gist of it. But don’t worry, the paranormal aspect only played a minor role in the overall plot. I read that some readers were confused but if readers read the author’s acknowledgement at the end of the book, it will make more sense on how the story came about and why she incorporated the twist. I hope we’ll get an explanation on the how/why of it in the next book as The Bodies We Wear is the start of a new series.

Overall I liked it. It wasn’t what I expected but I like being surprised. The twist definitely brought something else to the story. The Bodies We Wear isn’t just a Dystopian YA as there are two underlying themes. The first addresses the overall effects of taking drugs and how society views junkies. And the second one focuses on life and death; asking the question where do we go when we die and what would you do/say if someone who died reappeared? I’m looking forward to seeing more of Faye and where the author takes this series. Be sure to check out  the cool extras at the end of the book; such as Faye's training schedule, a playlist and quotes Faye lives by.

Thanks to the wonderful people at Random House, I have a copy of The Bodies We Wear to give away! To enter fill out the Rafflecopter below!


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Jeyn Roberts grew up in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and started writing at an early age, having her first story published when she was 16 in a middle-grade anthology called LET ME TELL YOJeyn Roberts grew up in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and started writing at an early age, having her first story published when she was 16 in a middle-grade anthology called LET ME TELL YOU.

When she was 21, she moved to Vancouver with dreams of being a rock star, graduating from the University of British Columbia with a degree in Writing and Psychology. For the next few years she played in an alternative/punk band called Missing Mile before moving to England where she received her MA from the prestigious Creative Writing graduate course at Bath Spa University. Jeyn is a former singer, songwriter, actress, bicycle courier and tree planter.

An avid traveler, she’s been around the world, most recently, teaching high school in South Korea.

A lover of animals, Jeyn volunteers regularly with helping abandoned and abused animals, especially cats.

Connect with Jeyn!

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