Going into this book, I thought it would be the perfect pick for this time of year - a kind of spooky, dark story about a gravedigger and dead that come back to life. And while this book was those things, it just wasn't as amazing as I wanted it to be. I was especially disappointed since I really enjoyed the author's previous book, The Hearts We Sold.

Hello everyone!

I am back with another book review, The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones. Thanks so much to Hachette Books Canada for sending me an ARC of this book for an honest review, as always, all opinions are my own.

This book follows seventeen-year-old Ryn, a gravedigger who is just trying to keep her siblings together and her bills paid. After her father's disappearance and her mother's subsequent death, Ryn has had to hold down the fort, making sure the dead stay dead. The bone houses - those beings who are dead but somehow still manage to wander the forest - keep her on her toes, but they never come into the village. That is, until one day, when Ellis, an apprentice mapmaker finds his way to the village. After his arrival, the bone houses become more invasive and with no other choice, Ryn and Ellis go off into the forest, following the old tales of the bone houses in order to stop them before they destroy the village.

In terms of the plot of this book, I was on board from the beginning. I thought the story was fairly unique and I immediately liked Ryn's personality. I could also sense a bit of a romance building between her and Ellis and if you know me, you'll know that besides an enemies-to-lovers trope, I'm also a sucker for a good slow burn. To be honest, the plot and the promise of a would-they? romance kept me reading, even when I wasn't sure I was as invested in the writing itself.

This book is told in three parts, although really parts one and three are quite short, leaving part two to take up the bulk of the story. The writing itself was alright but I found myself having to push to keep reading. Things were a litter slower-paced than I normally liked, and by the end of part one, I wasn't sure if I would keep reading. While I am glad that I did, I wouldn't be surprised to hear that some readers can't push through. This was one of those ones where the plot was just enough to keep me going.

In terms of the mythology and story basis for this book, I really commend Lloyd-Jones for getting the whole backstory in the book without bogging it down too much. Especially because this is a standalone, I was worried that it would be too myth-heavy to keep me interested or not have enough and I would be confused. In the end, I think it was just the right amount woven throughout the story quite skillfully.

Overall, this was a good book but there were a couple issues I had that kept me from loving it.