White Bodies was genuinely creepy, but didn’t really reach the thriller factor for me. This was a novel that I couldn’t wait to dive into because the premise was promising, but it fell a bit flat. Between the writing style and the protagonist, Callie, I had difficulty getting engrossed into the story and didn’t reach for it when I wanted to read. Callie is an unsettling character from the beginning–she catalogs her sister’s life, and at an early age started to eat belonging’s of her sister (hair, teeth, urine) to feel connected and closer to her–and while I understand it was a part of her portrayal, there was something about her personality and reading from her point-of-view that just made me so uncomfortable. Now rated this 2 stars, I thought it was okay, and come the second half, it was intriguing and I had to find out what happened, but it wasn’t a book I would want to pick up again so it’s in between a 2 and 3 star rating for me.
When Callie is introduced to her twin’s seemingly perfect new boyfriend, Felix, it quickly becomes apparent to Callie that her sister is being destroyed physically and mentally– and under Felix’s control and psychological hold. Things spiral out of control when Callie joins an internet support group for victims of abuse and their friends. Soon after, one of her acquaintances is killed by an abusive man, and then suddenly Felix dies.
It’s a slow build-up with more description and Callie’s thoughts rather than dialogue. In the first half, chapters alternated every so often to give a glimpse into the world when Callie and Tilda were kids, and what their unusual relationship was like as twins who are complete opposites. I thought that it brought insight and interesting backstory into the present and their characters. The second half was well paced and a page-turner! I found that I was picking it up more often to read compared to the beginning of the story since it was further along and developed. White Bodies is disturbing with tension and shock value, but I didn’t enjoy this as much as I expected. It most definitely will creep you out, and the ending brought an unexpected twist, but I wouldn’t necessarily pick this up to reread again.
Felix and Tilda seem like the perfect couple: young and in love, a financier and a beautiful up-and-coming starlet. But behind their flawless facade, not everything is as it seems.
Callie, Tilda’s unassuming twin, has watched her sister visibly shrink under Felix’s domineering love. She has looked on silently as Tilda stopped working, nearly stopped eating, and turned into a neat freak, with mugs wrapped in Saran Wrap and suspicious syringes hidden in the bathroom trash. She knows about Felix’s uncontrollable rages, and has seen the bruises on the white skin of her sister’s arms.
Worried about the psychological hold that Felix seems to have over Tilda, Callie joins an Internet support group for victims of abuse and their friends. However, things spiral out of control and she starts to doubt her own judgment when one of her new acquaintances is killed by an abusive man. And then suddenly Felix dies–or was he murdered?
Hardcover, 256 pages
September 19th 2017 by Touchstone
I received a copy in exchange for an unbiased review from the publisher. All opinions are my own.