Review: The Cold is in Her Bones | Ouch. That was Tough.

Review: The Cold is in Her Bones | Ouch. That was Tough.The Cold is in Her Bones by Peternelle van Arsdale
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books on January 22, 2019
Genres: Fantasy
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 288
Barnes & Noble | IndieBound
Goodreads
three-stars

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.

I really wanted to love this book. I tried so hard to love it.

Unfortunately, I almost DNF’d it with only 100 pages left to read.

The Cold is in Her Bones has a lot going for it. The prologue is intriguing and strong. It’s supposed to be a Medusa retelling. The book is about 280 pages and I liked the first 180 pages or so, but I really struggled with those last 100 pages. And the book seemed to really struggle as well. It was as if the author couldn’t really decide how to link the rest of the story together.

I liked the fear she presented with the demons in the beginning. It was great and perplexing. It was chilling. Those first 180 pages were solid and a little freaky, but in a good way. I had an idea of what was going on, but the specifics were kept from the reader for quite a while. That was fine.

I enjoyed Milla’s and Iris’s relationship, as well as Milla and her brother’s. I think this book was really about the relationships we have with each other and how our actions impact those around us.

Don’t get me wrong, there was definitely some interesting stuff in the last third of the book but it just felt like instead of the stakes continuing to rise, they kept resetting. It felt like the antagonist kept halfheartedly changing. It’s as if the book couldn’t choose between being creepy and being a drama, and instead of those two elements weaving together nicely they were competing with each other.

Look, I tried. I really tried.

Milla definitely changed during the book but once the last third of the book got moving again everything got a bit weird. I think it was supposed to be creepy or scary. I mean, she’s confronting a demon. But it wasn’t…

Again, this book had a lot going for it. But…. the events weren’t woven together enough and could have been more unified with a clearer purpose. For the first 180 pages the objective was  clear: get rid of the demon. Then there was this weird meandering in the last third. Eventually, the story halfheartedly returned to the main objective presented in the beginning.

Overall, I wish there had been more to the story. I just expected a lot from a supposed Medusa retelling and I didn’t feel like it lived up to those words.

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