Title: The Bones Beneath My Skin
Author: TJ Klune
Length: 386 Pages
At a Glance: This book was incredible. I loved Artemis and Alex and Nate. Klune created something special here, and I hope you’ll all go out and grab it!
Reviewed By: Jules
Blurb: In the spring of 1995, Nate Cartwright has lost everything: his parents are dead, his older brother wants nothing to do with him, and he’s been fired from his job as a journalist in Washington DC. With nothing left to lose, he returns to his family’s summer cabin outside the small mountain town of Roseland, Oregon to try and find some sense of direction.The cabin should be empty.It’s not.Inside is a man named Alex. And with him is an extraordinary little girl who calls herself Artemis Darth Vader.Artemis, who isn’t exactly as she appears.Soon it becomes clear that Nate must make a choice: let himself drown in the memories of his past, or fight for a future he never thought possible.Because the girl is special. And forces are descending upon them who want nothing more than to control her.
Review: Almost exactly three years ago, I read my first TJ Klune book. That book was How To Be A Normal Person, a book Klune himself has said he’s extremely proud of and is still his favorite of all his work. Since then Klune has hit a few other exciting professional milestones, including this week’s release of his first self-published book, The Bones Beneath My Skin. This book is a bit of a departure from other books he’s written, particularly his comedies, and it’s not really a typical romance, if you’re expecting that. But it is a love story. There’s the love story between Alex and Nate, of course, but the real love story in this book is between Alex and the little girl called Artemis Darth Vader, or Art for short. The familial love between Alex and Art is the heart of the book.
As with all other TJ Klune books, the characters in Bones are unforgettable. Nathaniel Cartwright is a journalist from D.C. who has recently lost his job and his family but inherited his family’s cabin in Oregon, where he was planning to clear his head for a few months. However, that was before he got to the cabin and unexpectedly found that two people, a man and a little girl, were already there. Alex Weir is a gruff, lonely ex-soldier who has tasked himself with being the protector of Artemis Darth Vader, the most unique and unbelievable girl Nate has ever met. Alex sees Nate as a threat, and treats him as such, even though Art keeps insisting that Nate isn’t going to hurt them or betray them. I was immediately taken in by Artemis and charmed by her and Alex’s relationship, even though when we first meet them they are squatting in Nate’s cabin and constantly pointing a gun at him. But, Nate finds himself unable to turn Alex and Artemis in, even though he absolutely feels compelled to do so, and before he knows what’s happened, he’s wrapped up with them as they all run for their lives.
I’m sure I’ve used close to this exact line before in other reviews for Klune’s books, but it’s worth repeating: I am completely in awe of his world-building talent and his ability to craft a story that is one hundred percent engaging from cover to cover, and he pulls out all the stops in this one. There is action (sooo much action), and intrigue, and sex, and humor (though not nearly as much as usual, even in his more serious books), as well as sentiment, love, and other things I can’t discuss but will blow your mind. The thing that will blow your mind the most, though, is Artemis Darth Vader. She is so singularly unique and incredible, I can’t even properly describe how awesome she is. She will undoubtedly be most readers’ favorite thing about this book.
There were also a couple of other characters on the good guy side that I must mention. First, there was Ruth, Nate’s colleague in D.C. She was a FANTASTIC addition and should have her own book. Ha! I kid, I kid… But, she was completely awesome, and I adored her. And, then, there was Big Eddie. People who have read Klune’s Into This River I Drown will appreciate Big Eddie’s cameo the most, but everyone will enjoy him. I was definitely beyond happy that he got worked into this story; it was so wonderful to see him. 😊
I think that’s about it, guys. I can’t say much more without spoiling something. This book was incredible. I loved Artemis and Alex and Nate. Klune created something special here, and I hope you’ll all go out and grab it!
You can buy The Bones Beneath My Skin here:
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