All The Little Bones is identified as a dark, young adult romance with a criminal twist. The summary of the book is as follows:
A teenage trapeze artist and an apprentice strongman on the run from a terrible crime... Seventeen year old Sorsha Neary's life is changed in one night when she defends herself behind the vans of her family circus troupe. Now Sorsha and apprentice strongman Colm Mackay are travelling south, to evade the fallout and escape the long arm of the law. All they have in their favour is talent, an old promise, and the slim acquaintance with the crew members and performers of their new home, Klatsch's Carnival. But the question for Sorsha and Colm isn't if the police will catch up with them, but when...
This is the second book I have read by the author, the first being White Night (which I have briefly reviewed before, review is on the homepage of my blog). When I first saw that Marney was releasing another book, I knew that I had to get my hands on it as I thoroughly enjoyed her other book.
When I heard circuses and dark, mystical romance, I knew All The Little Bones was going to interest me.
All The Little Bones is relatively short in comparison to other young adult novels, sitting at 264 pages. Despite this, it does not lack in anything at all. When you first begin the novel, you are immersed into a setting which gave me lots of beachy vibes. While the setting is not disclosed, I came to the conclusion that it is possibly set in Australia due to the descriptions we are given of place. These descriptions are vivid and give you the ability to imagine you are there with the characters. This continues when the two protagonists arrive at their destination circus and are introduced to the rest of the troupe.
I would like to note that I adore books that are set in circuses. The circus is often always associated as a place for fun and entertainment, not only does this book look at those aspects, but also delves into some of the negatives as well. The crammed cabins, the tough routines that the circus performers have to learn in short periods of time and the tiredness that overcomes them after all of the experiences that they endure.
The characters made this book for me. Sorsha and Colm were a match made in heaven. I loved seeing their relationship grow throughout the book and how they dealt with the troubles that they faced in between. Despite the challenges that she faced, Sorsha always made an effort to help Colm as much as she could and vice versa. I thoroughly enjoyed the strengths in their relationship and how Marney had the ability to develop it so quickly, without making it meaningless. I sympathized so much with Sorsha when she was attempting to get Colm a job too. She was willing to do anything she could to make sure that he was looked after because of all he had done to assist her.
I also liked how the secondary characters were integrated into the text. Often secondary or minor characters are not given much of a chance to develop, but it was great to see the other circus performers play a critical role throughout the plot. Each of them had their own complex personalities and while they did not have as much time to develop as the main characters, they were still easy to distinguish.
What drew me into the book, most of all, was the aura of mystery. While we were aware that there was a traumatic event which forced Sorsha and Colm to leave the north, it is not until we have read most of the book that we find out what occurred. The snippets of dialogue throughout the text provides the reader with a possible insight into what occurred and I found these touches added further depth to the plot.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed All The Little Bones. While I wish it was a little longer in length (don't we wish all books were), I am excited to read the next installment soon! It is a novel which is like nothing I have ever read before, the circus, the romance and the mystery filled plot ticks all the right boxes.
I rated this book: 4 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐
All The Little Bones (Circus Hearts 1) is currently available for purchase as an e-book on the Amazon Store and will be released as a paperback in December