People say when you take Heam, your body momentarily dies and you catch a glimpse of heaven. Faye was only eleven when dealers forced Heam on her and her best friend, Christian. But Faye didn’t glimpse heaven—she saw hell. And Christian died.
Now Faye spends her days hiding her secret from the kids at school, and her nights training to take revenge on the men who destroyed her life and murdered her best friend. But life never goes the way we think it will. When a mysterious young man named Chael appears, Faye’s plan suddenly gets a lot more complicated. Chael seems to know everything about her, including her past. But too many secrets start tearing her world apart: trouble at school, with the police, and with the people she thought might be her friends. Even Gazer, her guardian, fears she’s become too obsessed with vengeance. Love and death. Will Faye overcome her desires, or will her quest for revenge consume her?
Initially I totally expected this novel to be about serial killers based on the cover design and the title. I was a little disappointed by that, but I quickly got over that when I realized that the story was much more interesting and complex.
The Bodies We Wear is set in a time period where there is the ultimate drug problem with Heam. It is something that is stronger than any drug that we would know, as it is a fictional drug, but that is also able to kill you on your first dose or make you so addicted that the users typically die within weeks of having their first hit. Of course there is a small population that is somewhat immune to the drug, but there isn’t really an explanation for this and it is skimmed over in the novel.
The main character, Faye, was a victim of a crime that involved her becoming addicted to Heam, her heart stopping, and her best friend dying. She was saved, but her body was marked by vicious scars that radiate from her heart and reach up to her neck and down to her naval. This is the ultimate prejudice in the world of The Bodies We Wear. These addicts are cast out of their families and their homes, etc. Not going to lie, this totally tugged at my heartstrings. I think that Roberts did a really good job of depicting the familial relationships that weren’t necessarily between actual family members, but between the family we choose—friends.
I think the book could have been just as powerful without the romance being added into the story, and I didn’t particularly enjoy the ambiguity of the factors surrounding Chael’s existence. I won’t go into too much detail on that due to the spoilery conditions that it could cause. I do think that Faye and Chael’s relationship was a very dependent on one another’s existence. And I found that to be a little bit eye-roll worthy.
Overall, I still really enjoyed it despite the flaws.