Book Review: DETRITUS IN LOVE by Mercedes M. Yardley and John Boden

Here we go again…

I’m here to talk about another story that gave me all the feels. I’ve been stuck in a serious reading rut, and figured that some comfort reads might help. As I scanned my TBR stacks for unread books by favorite authors, I came across this gem of a novella.

If you’ve read work from both authors, then you know that they both excel at this: creating stories which marry the macabre and drab parts of life to those that are beautiful and wondrous. When it comes to books, music, and film, there are few things I find more enticing than a piece of art deliciously dark and haunting, yet soft around the edges. I liken the feeling to being in an abandoned building—there’s something beautiful about the chaos and ruin, and maybe a bit of light creeping among the shadows. 

Every piece of fiction I’ve read so far from Boden and Yardley fits this mold. I was not at all surprised to discover that the authors’ voices blended well throughout this story. I adored the figurative language used and found myself reading numerous sentences two or three times in a row to savor the beauty of the words. There are so many quotable lines that beg to be read again, and the sensory experience is strong. I couldn’t always tell who was writing, but I did find several mentions of band t shirts that I’m sure were the work of Boden, and each instance made me smile. The characters are a standout feature in this story. Whenever I find myself empathizing with the protagonist within mere pages, I know I’ve found something special. But it’s not just Det’s story that resonates—I found something to love about his best friend and his love interest as well. The dark characters in this story, both human and supernatural, also left a permanent mark on my mind.  

This novella is a short read at under 60 pages, but it packs an emotional punch. If you love a story that will creep you out, possibly break your heart, and leave you with an unsettling book hangover, pick up a copy of Detritus in Love. 


John Boden became a favorite from the moment I first read his words. I’d been saving JEDI SUMMER for some time, because I hate to run out of work from my favorite authors. When I saw that there will be an upcoming new edition of this novella, I decided not to wait any longer. I wanted to take my time and savor these words, but instead I blasted through the book in a short time, because it’s THAT good.

There’s no shortage of coming-of-age stories, especially in the horror genre, but not all stories have those special qualities that lead to a fast favorite. The truly special stories in this niche transport the reader to a magical place. You know the one I’m talking about—it’s that safe space filled with warmth and nostalgia, and the longing for the happy parts of childhood that flew by in a blur. The right story can wrap you in a warm embrace and also slap you with a bit of heartbreak just as you let your guard down. My favorite coming-of-age stories take me to that place, and I can say with certainty that this story is one of them.

You’ve heard me talk about books I want to hug, and this one has officially been added to the list. My favorite authors write with unmatched authenticity. You can tell when a lot of heart has seeped into the story, and this rings true for everything I’ve read from John Boden, especially JEDI SUMMER. John is a true master with words, and in this story, takes the reader through a range of emotions. I laughed, smiled, and teared up while reading this one. Boden’s prose contains some of the most memorable and magical words I’ve ever read, and I always feel that his books are begging to be read aloud for full effect. For me, some of the best moments in this book are when he’s describing relationships, loss,  and the many little moments that we take for granted or wish to speed up when we’re young.

I’m not sure I can say anything more than what’s already been said about this book. It’s a gem and ranks high on my coming-of-age favorites list. I’m sure I’m not the first to tell you that John Boden’s talent is a treasure, and I won’t be the last. Do yourselves a favor and fill your shelves with everything he’s written, and then leave a little extra space for what’s to come.

5/5 Stars