Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Review and Giveaway of Bone Dressing, by Michelle I. Brooks

Bone Dressing
Time is running out … the Dark that's been chasing Syd for many lifetimes has finally caught up with her …
Sydney Roberdeau lost her parents as a young girl. Waiting for her life to start and the freedom that will come with her eighteenth birthday, Syd spends much of her time haunting the local cemetery. It is there, stretched out among the dead, that she feels most alive, most at home. Until one rainy night when Beau, Sarah and T.J. crash her ghostly sanctuary, appearing out of nowhere, turning her already inside-out world one degree past upside down.
Syd must now revisit past lives, dressing in the bodies of her previous selves … bone dressing. Her only chance to outrun the evil breathing down her neck is to face her own worst nightmares and her strongest desires. But if she can’t stay out of trouble in this life, how can she possibly fix mistakes from past lives? And just how many lives has she lived, loved and lost? What is Syd exactly, and what will she risk for the life of a man she doesn’t remember, the man she spent a lifetime with, the man she loves? Everything … including her very own life?
Bone Dressing, the first in a series of seven books, will carry Syd and Beau on an adventure that transcends life itself. (From GoodReads)
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. You'll understand what I mean after you read the book. 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.
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*I was given this book by the author, who asked for an honest review*

I've decided to do an ebook giveaway (via Amazon)of Bone Dressing. The author, Michelle I. Brooks, is adding to more ebooks (via Smashwords) to the giveaway. To enter, just fill out the form below. This giveaway will run from June 28, 2011- July 5, 2011.  This giveaway is international.


  1. Wow, fantastic review :) Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, you made me want to read this book so much! I'd love to read it!

  2. Evie,
    Bone Dressing is definitely a book you don't want to miss. Hopefully you've entered the giveaway!

  3. Chelsea,
    Thank you! Its a book completely unlike any others out there.


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