on July 11, 2013 :
I can say that I only got through about half of this book and had to stop. I couldn't get into the story and I think it was because of the attitude of Syd and the sexual predator type of teacher in the story. There are very few books that I will not finish even if I'm not interested but I just couldn't force myself to continue.
All I'm going to say is that you don't have to go by my review as this may be your type of story. If you read it and you think definitely I would love to hear your thoughts.
(reviewed 4 months after purchase)
on July 4, 2013 :
Sydney lost her parents when she was young and has been in foster care for half her life. While she has good foster parents, Quince and Jackie, she is forever in trouble in Michelle I. Brooks’ BONE DRESSING, book 1 of her BONE DRESSING series. Mr. Askew has been gunning for Sydney since she entered high school. She figures he is just an ass but an encounter in the cemetery where her parents are buried leads to the discovery that Mr. Askew is more than meets the eye. How will Sydney outplay him? Can she? Will her actions bring a world of hurt to someone close to her?
BONE DRESSING is the beginning of a Young Adult paranormal series. Much happens here and the world building is done on a need to know basis. I like Sydney. She is a kick-ass broad who must discover the past to fix the present and, possibly, the future. She fights every step of the way when Remy (Beau), Sarah, and TJ appear to her in the cemetery. She refuses their help and Remy is ready to let her go her own way but his little sister Sarah is not so Remy stays. Sydney finds out the hard way what Remy, Sarah, and TJ want with her. These are good characters. I especially like Remy and how Sydney softens around him. Sarah may seem like a child but she has backbone and can reach Sydney in ways others cannot. Sydney’s best friend, Patricia, is an enigmatic character. Just when I thought I knew her, I discover I did not. Mr. Askew, Sydney and Patricia’s teacher, is a villain I loved to hate. He is arrogant and nasty. He also knows the past that Sydney must piece together. How they fit is unclear.
At times the description overtakes the story line but I could picture the scenery so I was looking as the same thing Michelle I. Brooks was. I fell into the story. I questioned everything. Not a lot is revealed as to why things are happening. I understood what was happening but could not figure out why. The end of book one leaves me thirsting for book two. I cannot wait to delve more into this series.
(reviewed 2 years after purchase)
on June 16, 2013 :
This book was really hard for me to get through. It was so over filled with all of these odd and random details that were just too much about everything. I kept waiting for Syd, the main character to get arrested by the book police and have to recall all of these unnecessary details. Seriously, I didn't even have a clue about who the main character was at all until I got to page 6 where I kind of glimpse the fact that the character is a girl and then you never can be sure these days. The entire first chapter was basically Syd sitting on a roof watching a fire at the school. WAY too slow and too much that was not needed. Sydney is mean and hateful all of the time and especially to her foster parents who have taken her in and allowed her to live with them for 7 years. She seriously does not have a reason to be this angry anymore. Grief usually subsides a little and you do come to respect those around you that love you. Also, she falls in love with these boys all weird like. Who risks their life to tell someone they love them while a huge cat is after them? Yeah, right. I just think all of Syd's thought processes are too screwed up and too off the wall to make this book into something that I would want to even look at the rest of the 6 other books. Not for me. I think the writer could have been good, really good, but too focused on each and every tidbit of detail and giving the main character a horrible attitude and awkward love life, not to mention the whole other life she had before this one and all of her odd magical capabilities. I will not be looking for the future books in this series.
(reviewed 59 days after purchase)
on April 25, 2013 :
I'd like to thank the author for a free copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review. I don’t think I can explain my feelings about this book without letting spoilers slip, so please beware!
Unfortunately, unlike the first book I received to review, I really didn’t like this story, and I won’t be reading the next books in the series. Part of the premise wasn’t bad – a 17-year-old girl, Syd, goes back to a previous life and discovers she has an ability to shapeshift into 5 different animals – but there are many flaws that made it a challenge to read.
To start with, the premise I mentioned above was bogged down with so many other storylines trying to demand attention. There’s a sexually harassing, paedophile teacher; issues with her dead parents (which never actually goes anywhere); boy issues (which I’ll discuss later); and probably several other things I genuinely don’t care about.
Then, there’s Sydney. I don’t think I’ve ever finished a book with a main character as unlikeable as her. Now, I understand she misses her parents (who died 7 years previously), but from what the story says, she has been with her foster parents ever since, and they treat her as good parents should, so I don’t understand the amount of anger that spews from her for about 80% of the time she’s appearing as Syd (as opposed to Rachel).
If you’ve read my reviews before, you may have realised that I hate books that completely devolve from reality, especially when it comes to love. Syd mentions at the beginning of the book that she’s had dates with ‘hot’ guys, but that she’s put off as soon as they open their mouths. Then, one day, she’s met by Beau (at the friggin’ cemetery, by her parents’ graves), and despite his stalkerish (and is it just me to think vampiric? It’s never revealed what he is) tendencies, she falls head over heels in love with him. Well, duh. She then has her life threatened by a panther, and decides to take that moment to declare how she feels. I’m not sure about anyone else, but that’s not what I’d do.
When Syd goes back to her previous life, as Rachel, she again is madly in love, this time with a man named Jesse. This section of the book is slightly better written in that Rachel has more vulnerability than Syd, and the events are more exciting and less jumbled. I was intrigued as to how Syd could help Rachel change the events (which was hinted at by Beau), and can’t help feeling that if there had been more of this and a LOT less lead-up, I would have enjoyed the book more. I didn’t like that the end of the book finished on a cliffhanger, with nothing of importance having been ‘tied up’, with only an expectation that the reader would buy the next book in order to carry on.
Then there’s Mr Askew. I won’t waste my breath on this: he is a paedophile that sexually harasses Syd in front of the whole class at one point. Worst student in the world or not, Sydney could get him done – no bargaining. Plus, why have her burning down the school at the start of the book, only to not refer back to what was already mentioned when it happens at the end?!
In general, an annoyance throughout the book was the amount of metaphors and adjectives used for everything. If there’s one word used to describe something, there can be three, appears to be this book’s motto! Metaphors can be amazing, but they were taken too far here. (This blogger here agrees!) Picture this type of language every other page or so:
“I could feel the waves of an overwhelming heartbreak ravaging my body, taking hold as if preparing to replace every part of me with an ache that could never be soothed. Somewhere in the distance I heard agonizing sobbing, sobbing too painful for a mere girl to endure.”
Yeah. So, it’s safe to say I won’t be recommending this one.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
on April 24, 2013 :
First I want to thank the author for a free copy of this in exchange for an honest review. I really tried to like this story because it was so original like nothing else I had ever read but I had a hard time finishing it. It was ridiculously long in some places and most of the book was choppy and I was confused about what was going on.
The plot was original and interesting. This book is about a girl named Sydney who is angry at the world. One night while walking in a cemetery she runs into Beau, Sarah, and T.J. their pet panther. Then everything for her changes as she goes on a journey to find the essence of her very soul through walking in the shoes of her past lives. I did love the concept and idea of this story. It just wasn't executed very well. It has potential and I think with a lot of editing it could do well but it was just so choppy that I couldn't get lost in the story. Not only that but there were some pretty big inconsistencies that I just could not let go which also made it hard to get into the plot. I did love the part of this book where she travels in her past life but that was about the only part I liked.
The main character had so many parts where she had long drawn out monologues about the same damn thing over and over again I just got so beyond annoyed I would have to put the book down because her whining got to me. She also was just plain rude to everyone. She interrupted everyone, never let them say anything. She was confrontational about everything. She was bad mannered and bad tempered and just all around very unlovable character. I couldn't stand her. Beau's character was nice and charming but he jumped from hot to cold so quickly for seemingly no reason that his character completely confused me.
Also the villain in this was forgettable. I completely forgot about Sydney and him battling it out when he wasn't actually on the page. His motives for being evil were not revealed even a tiny bit and so he just seemed to like to cause harm because he could and was shallow and unimportant.
Overall this book is a good idea but it needs major editing and fixing.
(reviewed 21 days after purchase)
on April 4, 2013 :
So I really wanted to like this book and the end was just enough of a redemption for me to be able to give it 2 stars instead of one. Let me start off with what I didn't like. Sydney, I just really didn't like Sydney for most of the book. I didn't feel a connection with her at all, I thought she was a spoiled selfish brat with anger management issues. I understand that Syd has had a hard life but her behavior was so over the top I didn't identify with her at all. Also, I can tell the author worked really hard to be descriptive and for the most part that was fine. It got to a point though that there was too much description and internal processing and not enough of what was going on around her. It really confused me because one moment she's in one place thinking and moaning and griping about everything and then the next she's somewhere differently. I didn't feel like I was journeying with Syd. Also, everything happened too fast. She meets Beau and 5 seconds later is professing her undying love. I don't mind the instant connection but I do mind the pouring out of heart and soul 2 seconds after meeting someone. For a character who was apparently all about self-preservation she did a really bad job of it. Plus, I HATE INTERRUPTERS and Syd is one big long interruption. She interrupts everyone, I wanted to smack her like 12 times and be like could you let other people talk please? I'm in your head, I get what you're thinking let the other person just talk! Plus the whole Rachel and Jesse, Jesse is dead, but then not dead. I was literally so confused. The end is what redeemed this book for me though. The end cleared up, I don't know if something started to click but the end started to suck me in. Sydney got nicer, and more protective and wasn't constantly yelling at people. She did take care of Henry and that was really nice because I spent the first part of the book wondering why I should like this girl. I don't know that I'd recommend this book but I would be willing to read the second to see if the improvements at the end continue on. I really wanted to like this book and so I'm sad I didn't enjoy it more
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)
on Jan. 20, 2013 :
A very descriptive writing that I’m not really fond of. Dialogues however were a delight to read once I got to them. Our protagonist is a very sassy and strong headed teenager with a lot of issues and a load of sarcasm. As much as I loved her sarcasm I really didn’t care about what she was saying. I mean who the hell professes her love and attraction to a complete stranger in a graveyard when she’s about to be attacked by a panther? You just took out all the romantic suspense and everything Syd does or says from now on that is in contrary to that we and the other characters know she’s just putting on an act. Frankly I was ready to quit reading this book at that moment but I had to write a review so I forced myself to continue. I must say the idea for this book is good it’s just the writing that doesn’t do it for me. We’re not getting far with information. It’s lost there in the sea of sarcasm and repetitive dialogue. What I mean with repetitive dialogue is not that the words are repeated but the whole idea of holding a conversation. Everything that is said, Syd makes sarcastic remarks that lead nowhere in particular. It makes for a fun read when in moderation but this was a little too much for me. If all the unnecessary words were left out, we would be left with a third of the novel.
(reviewed 6 days after purchase)
W. Freedreamer Tinkanesh
on Sep. 7, 2012 :
It is the story of an almost-18-year-old teenager named Syd.
Syd is strong-willed, stubborn, and fiercely loyal to her best friend.
Adopted as a child, she likes to frequently visit her dead parents in the local cemetery, preferably in the middle of the night.
On one of her visits, after another troublesome day at school, she meets the mysterious Beau, his little sister Sarah, and their pet TJ (a black panther). They’re here to help her find clues and solve a karmic problem she’s been carrying through lives and time.
Narrated by Syd herself, ‘Bone Dressing’ is written with passion and reads with the familiarity of your own diary……. When you were a teenager.
I think I’ll have to read the next instalment of a young adult paranormal series. I really would like to know WHAT Syd is…….
(reviewed 90 days after purchase)
on June 23, 2012 :
Bone Dressing could easily be slotted into the Young Adult reading section. And indeed I would suggest that teens (teen girls in particular) would enjoy it very much. But would also submit that adults should not be deterred from reading it.
The book takes some time exploring the emotional and physical world of the main character, Sydney (Syd for short). There is much detail about her home life, school, best friend and her emotional reactions to all of this. Whilst reading the book this can feel like an unnecessary long and detailed introduction, however in the later stages and at the climax of the novel you realise just how important this background detail is, and how it has fashioned the narrative and its outcomes.
Any teenager would, I suspect, have little problem in identifying with Syd's emotional turmoil. Certainly as an adult I found myself, sometimes uncomfortably, reminded of my own past. This means that to read the book you need to approach it with the right mindset, do not go into it expecting a tale of happy teen years, however neither is it a story of despair, but rather of unexpected strength and the breaking down of emotional defences resulting in acceptance of who you really are.
The pace of the book picks up rapidly about 40% in, and from then on the book takes the reader with it on a roller coaster ride of imagination, emotion and experience. Certainly if you do not have the capacity to immerse yourself in a story and accept different experiences then this book may not be for you. But if you are able to let yourself be swept along with a character and identify with them you will not be disappointed. I put this book down with about 1/4 still to go, honestly intending to complete reading the next day. however I came back after I had finished my duties and found myself picking it up again and finishing the book before I even realised what I was doing!
Well worth the effort of reading.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on Feb. 18, 2012 :
I devoured "Bone Dressing" in two days, I couldn´t put it down until know how it ended.
Syd is an unique character. She has suffered a LOT, her life is full of darkness, but she remains rebellious and strong. And she has something that defines her: her amazing sense of humour, that is what gives her strenght in her darkest and hardest moments. Her inner thoughts and her unstopable "word-storming" when she´s nervous had me laughing out loud.
And Beau...what an enigmatic and charismatic character! At first I thought he´ll be just another plain "hot" YA guy, but he´s so rich and amazingly complex. He is the perfect complement for Syd´s character, he´s her equal in every situation, humour and words. And even when Beau seems to control the situation, he´s sensitive enough to be overwhelmed by his feelings for Syd.
I specially loved the "past life" story. It´s SO well written it brought tears to my eyes. The author masters how to create another worlds and how to take you there with the magic of her words.
If you want to read an amazing and original story, if you want to laugh, to love, to desperate and cry...then Bone Dressing is for you. You won´t be dissapointed.
(reviewed 3 days after purchase)
on Nov. 26, 2011 :
E-book received from author for review (4 1/2 stars)
When the author sent me a request to review her book, I did what I usually do. Read the book description a few times – it sounded eerie and intriguing. For someone who hasn’t read YA (Young Adult) in many a year, I’ve read 3 in the last few months! To enjoy reading a book such as Bone Dressing, you really should be open minded. It’s not just a YA, it’s a Dark YA Paranormal Fantasy. Big difference. I read it in one one day (in between a series we are busy with which I don’t normally like to do) and quite honestly, I really, really enjoyed it. I sound a bit surprised and that’s because I was. Although it sounded like something just up my alley, you never know especially when it’s a book by a new author. I’m glad I was given the opportunity to read this one.
We meet Sydney Roberdeau, who can’t wait to turn 18, like most teenagers, and finally be free. She’s lost her parents and is living with her foster family. Syd is a complex girl in more ways than one. She’s constantly in trouble, spends her life being grounded and is hell bent on causing uphill – on a daily basis. She just can’t help it although she has moments where she tries really hard not to stir the pot – those are few and far between though. Some may not like her, but I took to her like a duck to water – she just clicked with me and not because I was ever rebellious, far from it although stubbornness may have something to do with it! Syd is rebellious but not purposefully nasty. There’s a difference, at least to me. Her snarkiness is to die for and had me laughing out loud numerous times throughout the book. Yes, I know it’s a dark paranormal fantasy but that doesn’t mean the characters can’t be funny! Syd spends more than half her free time at the cemetery, hanging around dead people and visiting her parents – Plot 1327-B, Home. This is where she feels alive and weirdly at peace – it fills her with a certain calm. On one of these evenings, she meets, Beau, Sarah and T.J. and is quite unimpressed with the intrusion. She tries really hard, in her sarcastic/funny way to get rid of them but Syd has met her match though, as Beau is not one to ride shotgun and gives as good as he gets. They have appeared for a purpose and proceed to enlighten Syd as to why they are there. You see, they will be her guides and protectors and her mission is to make right what she did wrong in past lives. Oh, AND all that is required is her soul. It’s needed to reanimate corpses hence the name Bone Dressing. T.J. who by the way is a big black panther – will inhale the soul out of her present body and place it in her previous life’s body - for a time. Once her task is complete, she will come back to who she is now. WHAT? Can her world be any more screwed up? She can barely keep her nose clean or her head above water in this one, let alone try and “fix” what went wrong in previous ones. But, she’s running out of time as there are some who don’t want her to accomplish any of this and they will do what’s necessary to stop her.
And so, without revealing any spoilers, the story continues with Syd realising that although she’s only just met Beau, it feels like she’s known him her whole life. He seems to calm her and for some reason, they are good for one another. Although this book may seem confusing to some, funnily enough, I found that it flowed beautifully and was easy to follow. But then, if a book is not being enjoyed, it might make it that much more difficult to connect with it and it’s characters. As I was interested right from the beginning – I read it in no time. This being the first book of seven, I can just imagine what Ms. Brooks has in store for Syd and her “gang” if Bone Dressing is anything to go by! One thing I do have to mention though is that, although I enjoyed this book immensely, there is a substantial amount of narrative and I only point this out as I personally prefer more interaction between the characters. Hopefully in the next installment, there is somewhat a bit more one on one rather than too much internal thought. Don’t get me wrong, although the narrative is substantial, it is still very well written. Michelle Brooks has a wonderful way with words.
My rating for this book is a delightful 4 ½ stars! Very well done. I look forward to #2.
(reviewed 4 days after purchase)
on Nov. 26, 2011 :
As happens often recently, I am sat at my laptop without knowing exactly what I intend to say in my review. This seems to happen more and more often because I am reading some awesome books. This time is no exception.
This time I was left feeling empty and full at the same time, happy yet sad.
I can honestly say that the characters were some of the most enigmatic I have discovered of late. BONE DRESSING was captivating from the moment the words began and the only thing that was bad about this book was the fact it had to end.
I was about halfway through this book when I stumbled across someone's 1 star rating of it and I was curious what they thought was so wrong about it.
Upon reading that review I honestly didn't know what they were talking about. It felt like they had read a totally different book to me. The things I liked about it were exactly the things this person had hated.
All I could say was, oh well, it's a shame for them that they couldn't see what I saw.
BONE DRESSING is a story about 17 year old girl called Syd. Sydney Annalise Bovay Roberdeau. And boy is she one angry young woman.
In the beginning, just about everything makes her mad. She doesn't seem to have any way of channelling that anger, she just lets it rise to the surface and explode.
I must say, this actually had me laughing out loud. I think Syd is AWESOME. She's feisty, she's mouthy, she flouts the authority of her foster parents. She pulls no punches and tells things exactly as they are.
Quince and Jackie are her foster parents and they have had about enough with Syd always rebelling, sneaking out when she's supposed to be in her room. But as I said, Syd isn't much for authority.
It's really Quince who's harder on her. Jackie is soft at the edges and I think she would let Syd get away with more were it not for Quince.
They may be her foster parents, but they love her and only want what's best for her. Even if that means grounding her for a month and banning her from her school prom, after yet another of Syd's escapades.
Needless to say, Syd sneaks out of the house.
She finds that her feet lead her to the cemetery of their own accord.
They lead her right up to Plot 1327-B. The plot of Lily-Bovay Roberdeau and Jeremiah Remy Roberdeau. Syd's parents. This is the plot she calls 'Home'.
Whilst sitting at her parents plot, a deep male voice asks her what brings her to the cemetery on such a stormy night.
It makes Syd just about jump out of her skin. She had assumed she was alone, talking to her parents to ease her troubles.
The voice turns out to be coming from a guy with shoulder length, straight, dark hair, slick and glistening in the moonlight and the rain from the storm. His name is Jean-Remy Beauchamps St Claire.
He is also beautiful, not that Syd would tell him that.
They strike up a conversation and he tells her he prefers to be called Remy. But Syd struggles with this because it was her fathers name.
(I won't tell you what takes place between them, but I can say Syd is her usual feisty self - argumentative, temperamental, maybe a touch self-depricating)
Then, along comes his sister. Sarah. A sweet young girl who looks to be about 8 years old. She steps out when Syd and Remy are talking, causing Syd to swear - which let's face it isn't unusual for Syd, but is not considered polite in front of one so young.
Sarah La Rosa Genevieve St Claire, as she introduces herself, has bright blue eyes that seem to shine with an inner strength. A strength usually found in a woman beyond Sarah's years.
As usual though, Syd can't keep herself from arguing with someone for 5 minutes. And though she doesn't know Remy or anything about him, she still finds grounds to argue on.
She is shouting and swearing at him, having to apologise to Sarah for her manners, when out of the trees comes a huge glossy black furred cat. A full grown black panther to be precise. It has it's eyes set on Syd. Now what is she supposed to do?
Well, she tells Remy how gorgeous she thinks he is for a start. Confronted with her certain death at the hands, or rather paws, of a panther, she feels she might as well tell him. She won't live beyond this moment to regret what spills out anyway.
Except that she does live. The panther doesn't attack any of them.
Whilst thankful that it hasn't killed her, Syd sure wishes she hadn't spilled her guts to the gorgeous Remy.
As it turns out, the panther is a travelling companion of the brother-sister duo. Her name is TJ and she doesn't like the way Syd was arguing with Remy. TJ is very protective of him and thought that Syd was attacking him.
Turns out that Syd needs to keep a civil tongue in her head. Easier said than done. But if she doesn't, she'll have to incur the wrath of TJ. Still, that doesn't stop our Syd from mouthing off. Boy this girl knows how to push boundaries. Almost like it's an art form.
I can't say too much more without giving the whole game away, I always worry that my reviews might be classed as too 'spoilery'.
All I can say now is how I felt about this book.
Like I said before, BONE DRESSING was captivating from the start. Whether I was laughing at Syd's anger rearing it's head, or at her nearly wetting her pants when confronted by Bagheera - as she calls TJ - there were certainly some laugh out loud moments.
The writing style of Michelle Brooks is unlike others I have come across in the genre. She has a unique voice and I have to say, I love it.
The only bad thing about this book was the fact it had to end. The end left me instantly craving more. In a way, I'm glad I read this book when I did, but in a way, I wish I'd been able to wait until the next book was released. That way I would have been able to get my next fix sooner.
As it is, I along with everyone else, must wait (im)patiently until the next book comes along.
There are some awesome characters to be found within the pages of this book. I not only fell in love with the ticking time bomb that we call Syd, but Remy and Sarah too. We didn't get to find out much about their past, and I hope to find out more in book 2. Their lives are entwined in such a way, and I hope that this leads to more fascinating discoveries.
It has already been a bit of a rollercoaster ride, and I don't see that ceasing to be the case any time soon.
I really can't say too much about the story, but there are more beautiful characters to be discovered than just these 3.
Syd finds she must go back to her previous lives to discover more about herself. If she doesn't, there will be things she is not yet ready and able to face. Things that may be the end of her.
In BONE DRESSING, she goes back and discovers her life when she was Rachel - intrinsically linked and deeply in love with Jesse.
We discover much about the love they had for each other and the life they lived together. Without spoiling it too much, all I can really tell you is that these were 2 beautiful characters. You could tell that they were made for each other.
The way Michelle writes these scenes, it seems as though she herself may have experienced a love as deep rooted and all consuming as the love of Rachel and Jesse, or she has dreamed of love like it often.
The way in which her words paint the picture of a love so pure and beautiful, touched my heart in a way that is tough to forget.
Not all was smiles and laughter along the way for all involved though. There was a point at which I was shocked to the core and sat there for a good 5 minutes re-reading the same paragraph because my heart didn't want to let the words sink in. I am not ashamed to admit, I cried for about the next 15 minutes before regaining my composure.
It truly takes something rich and wonderful to touch me they way BONE DRESSING has. I must own this book in paperback, because much as I love my kindle and my e-books, I do like to own my favourites in hardcopy.
This is a book that I will definitely recommend to all my friends, and indeed to all readers that want something a little bit different and special on their shelf.
I am ever thankful that Michelle asked me to review this book.
Some people appreciate art for it's beauty. Well I appreciate a good book and a good author in exactly the same way.
So, thank you Michelle. I hope I don't have to wait too long for the next installment in this incredible journey.
(reviewed 38 days after purchase)
on Nov. 24, 2011 :
Bone Dressing is a fantastic mind trip. Michelle I. Brooks’ writing is totally amazing. The way Brooks took me into the dark mind of this seventeen-year-old girl was creepy awesome. I felt like I was holding my breath reading Bone Dressing, and just when I thought Brooks would let me come up for air, she wouldn't let me do it no . . . no. Not yet. Brooks did give me a lot of fun in Bone Dressing. Along with the dark side, I found myself laughing. I love sarcasm, and Sydney’s character was full of it. Syd’s mouth just wouldn't stop. You think okay, that’s all she can possibly have. But no, Syd just kept it rolling out. I loved it. Michelle Brooks has definitely created a fantastically creepy novel with Syd, whose mind delves into the dark side, and who takes on the sadistic evil of the bone dressing world she lives in.
Syd is one bad-ass girl. She hasn’t had a pretty life and it’s not going to get any prettier when she meets Beau, Sarah, and T.J. Matter-of-fact, it just becomes a whole lot darker. But she starts to understand who she is (or was) and her fight in this dark, sadistic world of hers. That fight will involve a very evil, sick person who has taken Syd's life and everything she loves. Beau will become her balance, and I can't wait to see how all this comes together with Syd and Beau in the next books.
Beau is made for Syd. He can take all Syd's sarcasm and keep on standing, and even dish a little of it back.
I love Beau's character. He's cocky, yet strong. Syd can lean on him, and he’s definitely strong enough to hold her. But it’s Beau's eyes that pull you deep into him. Beau still has a little bit of a mystery to him, and I'm going to have to wait find out all his deep, dark secrets in the next books, but I have the feeling I'm going to love every one of them.
Bone Dressing is one dark and intriguing look into the mind of Syd's wickedly evil world and her fight for her own life and the ones she loves. I highly recommend Bone Dressing as one awesome, sadistic, and addictive read.
(reviewed 26 days after purchase)
on Nov. 9, 2011 :
Syd is a complex teenager. She’s had a crappy childhood and tends to get into trouble at school and with her put-upon foster parents. She likes to curse something fierce and is a loyal and a great friend to her best pal Patricia.
From the opening sentence the reader is sucked into Syd’s overloaded mind. Warning! There is a lot going on in there and you will need to pay constant attention to keep up with her rapid fire thoughts, but it’s worth it. Syd is headstrong, grouchy and loves hanging out at cemeteries and she is a big fan or rain and storms, all things I can relate to. (The cemetery part was back in my own teenage years just to point this out).
Enter the alluring Beau, the young Sarah and their pet panther and the paranormal aspect starts to kick in. I don’t want to give away the plot but suffice to say that these 3 aid Syd in going back (we’re talking way back) into her past to set things right.
I did find Syd’s ramblings confusing at times & somewhat frustrating but her fiery personality hooked me and I kept reading. As well as the supernatural elements, Brooks touches on more serious issues such as misuse of authority and sexual harassment and abuse. Syd exudes a tough-cookie attitude (I like to see this in female characters) and was a pleasure to follow, and I will most definitely be reading the next part in the Bone Dressing series.
(reviewed 20 days after purchase)
on Nov. 5, 2011 :
There’s a lot of good things here, great characters, imagination and a different story, but it’s way overwritten and the story gets confused amongst all the words. ‘Less is more’ is a phrase coined for a good reason. We don’t need the same thing said in several different ways.
The wonderful snarky sarcasm of the main character gets tiring and there is too much internal dialogue. We have pages of description for how gorgeous the love interest is, how much they love each other and how terrible she feels when the nasty thing happens when a couple of paragraphs would do. Such writing becomes melodramatic, and can make the reader loose connection with the character. I began to skim large sections but I still wanted to read to the end which shows what a good story it is.
Many people have written great reviews of this book and it has a lot to recommend it for die hard romance readers who like a lot of angst & descriptions of how sexy someone is. I would read more of this author if I can be assured that her next book won’t have the same faults. She just needs to tighten up the writing. If excessive words don’t bother you, then for the price give it a go.
(reviewed 25 days after purchase)
on Sep. 7, 2011 :
First off, I absolutly loved the character Syd. I loved her snarky, sarcastic, tough-girl attitude. A few times I thought 'Oh wow, she sounds like me!" I felt bad for her in that she lost her parents at a young age and feels like she doesn't really belong, especially since she is still a teenager and is trying to find herself. No one seems to understand her, including her teachers, her foster parents, and most of the other students in her school, except for her longtime BF Patricia. Trouble seems to find Syd where ever she goes. Having never let herself really mourn the loss of her parents, she finds comfort in the local cemetery where they are buried. There she unexpectantly meets Beau, Sarah, and TJ, who will spin her life even more out of control and add more confusion to her already crazy life.
There seems to be so much going on in this story, a couple times I had a bit of trouble keeping track of where Syd was, or should I say who Syd was. There also seemed to be a lot of detail about what Syd was thinking. I would of loved more dialog between the characters. As I read further into the story, I was completely caught off guard with the story line. It is so much more than the book description. I really, really, really like this story line and the plot. I feel that there is a great potential with the next six books. I am hoping more information comes out about certain characters, including Beau, Sarah, and especially TJ, as I have a lot of unanswered questions and how they all fit into Syd and her past lives. Overall, I am anxious to read book two and would definitely recommend this read!
(reviewed 17 days after purchase)
on Aug. 27, 2011 :
Well ok here I go with my last summer review; I found yet again another fabulous author on twitter, Michelle Brooks, and her book Bone Dressing. WOW! yes, Bone Dressing with a name like that what can you expect?
Certainly a modern thriller.
Bone Dressing is indeed dark in nature, sarcastic in essence and intriguing in spirit. It contains the main elements of a YA plot, the troubled girl, the dashing hot (and perhaps supernatural) guy and a few mysteries down the way.
Its dialogues are incredibly well written which makes you get “inside” the story, but not necessarily understand its characters; you get to savour the main character’s inner anger, yet I don’t quite get why Syd, the not-so-common-damsel-in-distress, is so angry! She definitely has issues and she is not scared of showing them; Syd has some genuinely masculine traits in her and some rather doubtful inclinations at times.
The plot is filled with interesting twists that keep you on your toes, and althought its bitter sweet it leaves you with a rather nice aftertaste.
This book, not for the faint hearted. I recommend Bone Dressing for those seeking their inner darker side, those who believe in past lives and of course for those who like YA reading. (its not a genre reserved for young adults, you know)
Anyway grab a book and get reading!!
Lets “Fall into Autumn” and get some books aligned for the new season.
(reviewed 10 days after purchase)
on July 14, 2011 :
I really enjoyed reading this book. It had all the things I love in a book except maybe a decisive happy ending but that’s not really giving anything away so don’t get mad! It has romance, a completely hot guy that’s technically available, spooks, romance, cliff hangers, really bad guys, romance, and lots of mysterious goings on. I liked reading it from beginning to end.
For me, I’d have left the relationship stuff out. I get why it was necessary but I really wanted to just read the great story without having to think about what was like back when I was a teen going through that crap.
A definite read list book. A lot of fun and a couple of really cool twists kept me on my toes and interested through the whole thing. Can’t wait to read more.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on June 28, 2011 :
As I sit here, pondering exactly how to write this review, I feel a little overwhelmed. This book, Bone Dressing, took me completely by surprise. I'm terrified that I won't give this epic, bountiful book it's just due with me review. I have so much I want to say about Bone Dressing, but I strive for "spoiler free" reviews. Nevertheless, I must try.
First off, I LOVED Syd Roberdeau. Michelle Brooks throws you inside this character's head from the get-go and it's "away we go". Luckily, inside Syd's head is an awesome place to be. Her inner dialogue is sometimes sad, but also insanely funny. Syd is a wise-beyond-her-years, seventeen year old who has been forced by life to grow up too soon. She has a mouth like a sailor, a hair trigger temper, and is strong and confident.
Soon into the book, we are introduced to Beau, Sarah and TJ. Who/What are Beau, Sarah and TJ? That, I can not tell you, but I will tell you that each one is a terrific addition to the cast of characters. Sarah is a little sweetheart who often keeps the peace between Beau and Syd. TJ is, well...TJ. And Beau? I took an instant liking to Beau, as does Syd. Beau is a funny, intense, mysterious and surprisingly caring towards Syd. He is a smart alec with a bit of swagger.
Syd and Beau have an instant chemistry. They often reminded me of magnets. The pull between them often seems beyond their control. Syd must finally find the strength to remove the walls surrounding her heart, or Beau will leave. As she tries to find this strength, we are left with an emotionally wrought, heart-breaking scene. This moment brought me to tears right along with Syd. When the moment comes that the two may finally kiss, Brooks wrote the perfect scene. The words come out sensual without being remotely cheesy. The anticipation is torturous. This was one of the best "will they or won't they kiss" moments I have ever read. I was literally holding my breath and talking to the book in my hand! What binds Syd and Beau is more than a typical relationship. Beau seems to be Syd's salvation. Or, maybe, at the very least, he is there to facilitate Syd while she tries to save herself. He is the calm in the storm of her life/lives, able to say exactly what she needs to hear:
"Just breathe, Syd. And let it be. It's all good. Stop trying to control the day and just live it."
So, I know until now I've only talked about the main characters. But about halfway through Bone Dressing, this book turned entirely on it's head. I had my own A Christmas Story moment. I actually said "Ohhhh, fuuuudge!" Just like poor Ralphie. My husband thought I was insane. I just shooed him away, and re-calibrated my brain. This turn in events, to me, was brilliant and unexpected. I just wanted to slap myself that I didn't see it coming. I love books that are able to surprise me and don't have huge, flashing signs that signal a change coming.
Bone Dressing is the first book in what I expect to be a truly epic, seven book series. I can honestly say that I have NO idea what will happen next. There are quite literally hundreds of different roads Syd, Beau and company can take. Michelle Brooks has written engaging characters with what I consider a brilliant, distinctive Southern voice. Bone Dressing moved me in many ways I'm not sure I can give name to. I feel lucky that I had the opportunity to read and review this beautiful book.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on June 17, 2011 :
Syd has a lot of inner-conflict to defeat before she can take on the villain after her, and Michelle Brooks has it down in its very best poetic take.
This is a darker take on YA that you may find to be a welcome change from the norm. If you are or have ever been a teen who didn't have it easy, this is the perfect book for you. If you're still hugging all your stuffed animals however, you might find Syd's character a bit more tricky to connect with.
Fate is going to help Syd out, only it won't be in a way she wants. It will be in a much more challenging way--by throwing her into her past life, so she might have a better chance at getting her present-one figured out.
Finding love will help set her on the right path, and the discovery of her secret talent. But that won't shift her perspective to include any pink bunny rabbits.
Up against the villain in here, that will prove to be a good thing.
(reviewed the day of purchase)