Bone Dressing

Rated 3.42/5 based on 19 reviews
The Dark that’s been chasing Syd for lifetimes has finally caught up with her. Now, Syd must face her worst fears, her deepest desires, in order to fix mistakes she made in previous lives. Dressing in the bodies of those selves, bone dressing, this is Syd’s last life, her last chance, to set things right. What will she risk for the life of the man she doesn’t remember, the man she loves? More
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About Michelle Brooks

A baby girl first known as Brian ... teenage runaway at sixteen ... mother of three fantastic, occasionally frustrating teenagers ... PhD in Human Genetics ... Fairy Godmother ... dancer ... Texan ... author of the Bone Dressing series of Dark MatureYA Paranormal Romance novels ... Michelle is all of these ... and so much more ...

Learn more about Michelle Brooks


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Reviews of Bone Dressing by Michelle Brooks

Tanya Johnson reviewed 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)
Sheila Gallagher reviewed 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)
Crystal Tadlock reviewed 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)
Kayleigh Meade reviewed 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)
Elise Loring reviewed 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)
Kasey Parrish reviewed 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)
NatashaMay reviewed 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 reviewed 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)
Helen White reviewed 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)
Mrs Jejung reviewed 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)

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