book review your blood my bones

Your Blood, My Bones by Kelly Andrew: Book Review

📖 GenreHorror, Romance, Fantasy
📃 Number of Pages395 pages
🪴 Average Goodreads Rating4.00⭐
🌻 My Rating5 ⭐ (a million stars)

What’s Your Blood, My Bones About?

Your Blood, My Bones by Kelly Andrew is a horror romance about Wyatt who goes back to her family home after her father’s death ready to burn it all, and instead finds her childhood best friend Peter shackled in the basement. There are monsters lurking around the property, family secrets to uncover, and childhood memories to unpack, all while the gap between our world and another is tearing apart. 

I have never been so pleasantly surprised by a book like I have been with this one. Look, I’ll admit it: I judge a book by its cover, even when I don’t mean to — and I did not like this one. But I decided to try it out because Rachel from Rachel from Reads With Rachel loved it so much and based on her videos, I think we have similar tastes, at least when it comes to fantasy. 

I went into it tentatively, unsure — but Your Blood, My Bones grabbed me by the throat and didn’t let go until it spat me out completely changed. I didn’t finish this book. It finished me. I tear up when I think about it. My thoughts on it are pretty much squee/wail/gush. Incoherent, I know. I’m a scream trapped in a girl. And yes, that’s a direct (mis)quote from the book. 

Usually, I get my books on Kindle, read them and then I’m done with them. I rarely feel the need for a physical copy. But in this case, I want to own Your Blood, My Bones. I want to put it on my shelf and look at it and underline every single line, and hug it often. I need it to also hug me back, because come on, that hurt. 

And you know what? That cover grew on me. 

Now, with the gush fest out of the way (somewhat), I think I should give you a few coherent reasons why you should go and read this book right now, and then join me in crying about it later. 

Your Blood, My Bones is a joy to read — and not for the reason I expected it to be. If you know anything about me, you’ll know that I’m not much of a prose person. Sure, I can appreciate a nice description of a setting or the nature, or whatever, but I very rarely care. Most of the time, I imagine whatever I want because I don’t have the patience to let the author paint the picture for me. I only need broad strokes — time of day, are we inside or outside, general vibes of the place. My focus is on the dialogue, the story, the relationships. 

But in this case, I luxuriated in Kelly Andrew’s descriptions. She wove such an intricate world in Willow Heath that it was hard to ignore — and the setting she created, the aesthetics and vibes of it were so powerful and beautiful that I just couldn’t look away. The words she chose were delightful, the way she chose to string them together illuminating. 

She trudged through the waist-high grass—past the guest homes buried in swallowwort—heading for the northernmost acreage of the heath, where the fatwood grove grew dead and dense. Several grazing deer flitted off soundlessly at her approach, the white flag of their departure the only sign they’d been there at all.

I would hire this author to follow me around and describe things to me. And that’s not an exaggeration. 

Reading this book felt like watching a movie, only so much better. Everything played together so well to create its eerie atmosphere, beautiful and terrifying at the same time. 

The characters were another pleasant surprise. Wyatt, Peter, and James felt like real people, as fantastical as the plot was. And this makes everything that happens to them hurt double as much (that ending — don’t cry, don’t cry). 

He could have told her she was dead wrong — that he’d studied her for so long, for so many years, that he knew her like a sailor knew the sea. That he felt the shifts in her moods the way a lightkeeper’s knees ached before a storm.

They weren’t foolish for plot’s sake and they didn’t fall into any tropes. They’re (very loosely) based on Peter Pan, Wendy and Captain Hook, but I honestly wasn’t able to tell until I started snooping through Goodreads. Throughout the book, there were little hints and easter eggs, which, now that I think about it, were quite obvious. 

This, I feel, only goes to show how unique this story is. In a way, it reminded me of my favorite fantasy novels, like Spinning Silver or Nettle and Bone, with how original it was.

Somehow, you’ll get to viscerally feel what these characters felt, you’ll get to understand their childhood without it even taking up too much page time. And their childhood — oh, I was hit with so much nostalgia. It reminded me so much of my own, the adventures I had with my friends, outside and uncontainable. 

He read her too easily, and she hated it. Hated how he held all her secrets so neatly in the palm of his hand, and all she had of his was a smattering of photographs and a stolen button, enough deception to drown in.

This book is heartbreaking on so many levels. I won’t spoil anything because why should I be alone in my suffering — but this book is inherently melancholy and nostalgic, with so many beautiful lines that describe so many different things that are hard to put into words. 

And the romance — such a sweet slow burn, with so much tension and tenderness that it’s palpable. There’s a lot of emotional baggage in there, and all of it gets unpacked and it’s delicious. There’s no spice (nor did I expect or want it), but it wasn’t necessary in any way because the tension, the intensity of their feelings is so much better than that. 

Because he was sitting beside her, whole and hale, and now that she was back, no part of him was missing.

Along with the romance, I loved the friendship between Peter, Wyatt, and James. It was really well-written and you can feel how much they love each other, and especially how much Peter values both of them. Despite the romance being somewhat of a focus here, James never felt like a third wheel or a needless distraction, but an extremely important part of their trio.

The fantasy elements were just right too. I love soft magic systems — the unexplained, unknown, but present. I don’t like that most magic systems nowadays are very thoroughly explained with consequences and rules and whatnot. Magic being loose and wild is half the fun. 

The primordial creatures lurking around Willow Heath were horrifying but fun to read about. I’ve never read this type of horror, but I think I might start looking for it more. It’s thoroughly creepy and thrilling. 

Dully, she wondered if this was what heartbreak felt like—looking into the eyes of someone she’d spent her whole life memorizing and finding nothing recognizable left over in their depths.

And while Your Blood, My Bones is a standalone, it is set in the same world as the author’s other book, The Whispering Dark. Some characters from that book appear in this one too, but not in any way that would require you to read the previous one. Though I plan on it. Just as soon as I recover. 

In even better news, Kelly Andrew is publishing another book (in the same universe), and it comes out next spring (2025) and I cannot wait to read it. It’s called I Am Made of Death and follows a selectively mute (and mysterious) ballerina and the interpreter hired to follow her. Which sounds perfect, in my opinion. To say that Kelly Andrew is now my auto-buy author would be an understatement. 

Do you need more convincing to read Your Blood, My Bones? Well — there’s a cult! A clever goat named Mama! Fungi and polaroids, immortals and monsters, extremely creepy mimics, and so much more. Go read it, and thank me (or hate me) later! 

“I don’t think there’s a word,” James said slowly, “for what the three of us were to one another back then.”

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