cover image Bones & All

Bones & All

Camille DeAngelis. St. Martin's, $24.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-04650-5

DeAngelis (Mary Modern), who coincidentally went vegan shortly before starting work on this novel, serves up a cannibal story that successfully blends metaphor with the macabre. Maren's 16th birthday seems too good to be true%E2%80%94and sure enough, she awakens the morning after a near-perfect celebration with her mother to find an envelope of cash and a note from her mom: "I love you but I can't do this anymore." Ever since Maren literally devoured her babysitter when she was a little girl, her family has been on the run%E2%80%94Maren doesn't let people get too close to her, but when they do, they're liable to get eaten. The other thing Maren's mother left her is her birth certificate, which includes the name of the father she's never known. Hopeful that she might find acceptance and answers, Maren embarks on a cross-country journey in search of her dad. Along the way she discovers%E2%80%94often under gruesome circumstances%E2%80%94that she is not the only one of her kind, but she is, in a very real way, destined to be alone. This story of a young woman who actually consumes anyone attracted to her provides a strange glimpse into a truly profound depth of loneliness. Maren's story also offers readers plenty to chew on: issues of feminism, family, and the very idea of flesh eating. What's more, it's a genuinely entertaining (though occasionally stomach-turning) story of a young ghoul's coming of age. Delicious fun. (Mar.)