Book Review: Starving Ghosts in Every Thread
Wow, what a story! Beautifully written with disturbing imagery and a protagonist I really sympathized with. It has tropes of body horror, guilt, and trauma but they are presented in a very interesting and unique way. Like I can’t stop thinking about this girl whose sentient slivers of skin are constantly trying to escape off her body. It’s horrifying yet captivating at the same time.
SUMMARY: Teddy has a secret. She’s so consumed with guilt that it compels her body to literally unravel unless she feeds off the emotions of others. Teddy’s parasitic condition is usually tempered easily and is invisible to most, unless she feeds from them. However, her insatiable hunger has already begun to threaten her safety. Trapped in her tiny Connecticut hometown thanks to a careless mistake which cost her a prestigious scholarship, Teddy grieves her father’s death and cares for her neurotic mother, Mercy, who is convinced scorpion venom is the only remedy for her own peculiar skin ailment linked to her daughter’s sadness. Once an aspiring songwriter, Teddy now merely alternates between shifts at the local market and visits to the house of her eccentric neighbor, Mr. Ridley, for fresh scorpions to bring to her mother. It’s during one of her routine visits to Mr. Ridley’s subterranean grotto of exotic animals that Teddy meets an unusual young girl named Kiiara. Immediately enamored with one another, Teddy soon discovers that Kiiara is hiding a gruesome secret, too – a secret that will threaten to undo everything Teddy has ever known and loved, and violently touch all those who cross their path with disaster.
It’s such an engaging premise, but beyond that it’s also interesting story of identity, secrecy, and human connection with twists and turns I did not expect. My only real complaint is that I wanted more! More about these characters, more insight into Teddy’s condition, and more about what’s going on with her mother. But at 86 pages it’s a debut that is certainly worth your time, and I’m very excited to see what comes next from this author!
Thank you to author @ejlarocca for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review!