Title: The Cold Is in Her Bones
Author: Peternelle van Arsdale
Release Date: January 22, 2019
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books (Simon & Schuster imprint)
Milla knows two things to be true: Demons are real, and fear will keep her safe. Milla's whole world is her family's farm. She is never allowed to travel to the village and her only friend is her beloved older brother, Niklas. When a bright-eyed girl named Iris comes to stay, Milla hopes her loneliness might finally be coming to an end. But Iris has a secret she's forbidden to share: the village is cursed by a demon who possesses girls at random, and the townspeople live in terror of who it will come for next. Now, it seems, the demon has come for Iris. When Iris is captured and imprisoned with other possessed girls, Milla leaves home to rescue her and break the curse forever. Her only company on the journey is a terrible new secret of her own: Milla is changing, too, and may soon be a demon herself.
The Cold Is in Her Bones is a tale about girls who never feel like enough, who never feel smart enough or pretty enough or resourceful enough, and what happens when they take the chance to be themselves.
Milla is a girl who just is. There's nothing overly special about her. She lives with her parents and brother on their farm, she does her chores and does what she's told. But it's never enough for her mother, who always seems to scold Milla for not being more than who she is. Her older brother Niklas is seen as perfect, but Milla loves him so her anger towards him never lasts. When a new girl, Iris, comes to the farm, Milla is ecstatic. Finally, a girl her age she can be friends with. But Iris comes with secrets, secrets that have Milla reconsidering the life she's lived, the things her mother pushes on her. Secrets that start a change in Milla.
This book is all about Milla becoming a fully realized young woman. When she leaves to find Iris, to free her, to discover the truth behind the demon and the voices, she's finally given the chance to just be herself. Away from her mother, away from her picking and her scolding and her expectations. This is for those girls who don't feel like enough, because they are enough the way they already are. Sometimes you don't get the words from your parents that you were always hoping you'd here. Sometimes you have to leave the place you once called home in order to find the place you were meant to be. Sometimes family is made up of people you followed and saved along the way, or people who took you in and supported you for a time. It's a curious fairy tale-esque of a story, a tale of regret and hope and finding yourself.
(I received an e-galley of this title to review from Simon & Schuster Canada through NetGalley.)