The Cold Is in Her Bones (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

This is the only other book on the list for which I didn’t like the cover. It’s got a face on it, and while it’s a bit more artistically done than a photograph, and there are fascinating details hidden in the grass, it’s still not entirely pleasing to me.

The book itself is a haunting tale of friendship and betrayal. It fearlessly explores the vicious fierceness that lives buried in all dangerous women. If you liked Madeline Miller’s CIRCE, I highly recommend this. And, to be fair, the cover has grown on me. It’s probably due to two redeeming factors; the pearlescent finish and the texture of the cover. It’s a perfect matte that feels wonderful in your hands. Next time you’re in the store, pick it up and take a look!

— From Laura G Judges Ten Books by Their Covers


“A dark and enchanting tale.” —Bustle
“Fiercely written and beautifully feminist.” —Lisa Maxwell, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Magician

One girl must uncover secrets of the past to save her friend from a terrible curse in this “dark, angry fairy tale” (BCCB, starred review) filled with love, revenge, and redemption that is inspired by the myth of Medusa.

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.

Suspenseful and vividly imagined, The Cold Is in Her Bones is a novel about the dark, reverberating power of pain, the yearning to be seen and understood, and the fragile optimism of love.

About the Author

Peternelle van Arsdale is a book editor, essay and short story writer, and the author of The Beast Is an Animal and The Cold Is in Her Bones. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she is at work on her third novel. Visit her at

Praise For…

"A dark and enchanting tale about friendship, pain, revenge, and the power of love, The Cold Is in Her Bones is the perfect read for Greek mythology fans and YA readers alike."
— Bustle

“Fiercely written and beautifully feminist, The Cold is in Her Bones reminds us of the power of loyalty and love in the face of ignorance and fear. I loved this tale of dangerous girls with wild hair and tangled hearts.”
— Lisa Maxwell, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Magician

“A fresh, eerily compelling tale of betrayal, revenge, and the ties that bind. When van Arsdale paints a world, you can feel the fog against your skin.”
— Elly Blake, New York Times bestselling author of The Frostblood Saga

"Written with compassion for the deplorable situation of girls in a strange world, The Cold is In Her Bones is very relevant and not so strange for young readers, who must contend with demons all the time in today's reality."
— Jack Zipes, author of The Irresistible Fairy Tale

"A dark, magic-infused story lit by bravery and hope."
— Booklist

"A cautionary tale that warns against ignorance and shines a spotlight on feminism." 
— School Library Journal

"Lush with detail and symbolism and filled with strong characters who defy basic labels, the tale brings into sharp relief the experiences of the disenfranchised, the angry, and the powerless. Van Arsdale unrolls an artfully constructed series of events that will engage, frighten, and delight."
— Publishers Weekly

* "A dark, angry fairy tale."

"Unsettling and thought-provoking, this powerful novel confronts the stifling expectations placed on young women, the toxicity of patriarchal systems and internalized misogyny, and the damage caused by transgenerational trauma; in its exploration of the revolutionary power of women’s anger and the strength of sisterhood, it offers hope and beauty as well." 
— Horn Book
Product Details
ISBN: 9781481488440
ISBN-10: 1481488449
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication Date: January 22nd, 2019
Pages: 288
Language: English