Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power ★★☆☆☆ #BookReview #BookBlog #NetGalley

Primary Genre(s): Mystery, Thriller, Young Adult  
Published: 7 July 2020 by Random House Children’s/Delacorte Press  
Page count: 352 (hardcover)
My Format: eBook/ARC via NetGalley
Cover: Good
Pacing: Okay, slow at times  
Ending: Huh??  
Do I Recommend: No
Commission Link (U.S.): Buy Burn Our Bodies Down

My rating: ★★☆☆☆

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.

My Thoughts
Unfortunately, I found this book to be just ok. Here are my pros and cons for Burn Our Bodies Down:


  1. The synopsis was intriguing enough to make me want to read the book.
  2. The book started out reasonably well and I was very interested to find out why Margot’s mother was keeping her extended family from her.


  1. Margot (too conveniently) found a photograph that identified a family member who lived in a nearby town called Phalene. When Margot got to Phalene the story went off the rails for me. Almost everything that happened after that point got super weird and often confusing.
  2. The story bogged down in the middle and I found it to be repetitive and sometimes absurd.
  3. The ending… huh? I’m sorry but that was a very strange ending.
  4. The book was closer to science fiction than mystery/thriller.

This book had the potential to be seriously creepy. There was a sense of foreboding in the initial story and it was indisputably unconventional! I was hoping I had a great thriller or at least an intriguing family drama on my hands. Unfortunately, I didn’t have either one. The story deviated from potentially creepy and thrilling to repetitive and convoluted. And the ending was extremely bizarre and over-the-top!! I know others have loved this book, but I was disappointed.

Thank you NetGalley and Random House Children’s/Delacorte Press for a free eARC of this book, which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.   

If you would like to read this book and form your own opinion, please consider purchasing through this link: Buy Burn Our Bodies Down. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. Thanks!

Click here for a description of my rating scale.

(image from Goodreads)

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