The Bones Beneath My Skin (Belen’s Review)

Title: The Bones Beneath My Skin
Author: T.J. Klune
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: October 26th 2018
Genre(s): Science Fiction/Fantasy, Romance
Page Count: 375 pages
Reviewed by: Belen
Heat Level: 2.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5


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.

The Bones Beneath My Skin had the potential to go awry at several points, but instead TJ Klune always kept the narrative steady: in its message, pacing, and obvious love of the characters.

“This is stupid. Like, this is the stupidest thing that’s ever happened to me. I can’t even begin to express how stupid this all is. You have to realize that, right? How ridiculous this sounds?”
“You’ll get past it,” Alex said. “I was where you are at one point. I thought the exact same things you’re thinking right now. Even more, probably.”

There’s some humor (it’s hard to imagine a TJ Klune book without some humor), some action, and two men hardened by grief working towards a greater goal.

But mostly…there’s love here. The love of found family, and a love that grows between two people brought together through the most awesome of circumstances. The romance is quiet, and only a handful of moments, but it makes sense in a way that trying to make it bigger would have been a mistake that TJ Klune handily avoids.

Yeah. He understood heartbreak, all right. It was all dust and stars.

As for Artemis Darth Vader…a little girl who is far more than she seems, who is being hunted by those who would use or attempt to destroy her, she was a pleasure to read.

It’s almost impossible to understand. None of us could get that. Not until they felt a heart beating in a chest like I have. Not until I felt the bones beneath my skin. We’re not alike. Not really. We’re separated by time and space. And yet, somehow, we’re all made of dust and stars. I think we’d forgotten that. And I don’t know if you ever knew that to begin with. How can you be alone when we’re all the same?”

Told in Nathaniel Cartwright’s single, third person POV, The Bones Beneath My Skin is science fiction with twists of action, a thread of romance, and a compelling plot.

You have the power for such destruction within you. And such joy. It’s a dichotomy that shouldn’t exist, and yet here it is. Within you. Within all of you.” She leaned forward and kissed his forehead. Each cheek. The tip of his nose. “I’m glad we found you. I’m glad he has you. Remember that when you look up at the stars.”

I can hardly wait for this to be released on audio! Recommended.

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Galley copy of The Bones Beneath My Skin provided by the author in exchange of an honest review.


I am an unapologetic book addict/lover. I'm happiest when reading and I spend most of my time with my Kindle, which is never far from my hand. I love to be told a good story! I mostly read fiction: Romance, Erotica, Young Adult, New Adult, Paranormal (shifters? Yes, please!), a little BDSM when I'm in the mood, and I love a good ménage story. I DEFINITELY PREFER A HFN/HEA! My biggest no-no's are cheating, miscommunication / misunderstanding plots, unnecessary angst, and cliffhangers.

A sampling of my "Favorite M/M" stories:

Carry the Ocean The Half of Us Red Dirt Heart Adulting 101 Tied Up In Knots
Shelter the Sea Manties in a Twist David, Renewed Ethan who Loved Carter Perfect Imperfections
Wolfsong Fight the Tide How to Walk Like A Man The Lightning-Struck Heart Forging the Future