ARC Review: Animal by Lisa Taddeo

Good Morning All,

Hope you’re all having a good week. I know it’s only Tuesday but it’s dragging for me a little. We had a super busy weekend and I think Monday may have brought a bit of anti-climax with it. Hopefully it picks up throughout the rest of the week and I can lift my spirits with some good reading.

Book πŸ“–

Thank you to @lisadtaddeo and @BloomsburyBooks for this advanced audio copy of Animal in return for an honest review. Animal is due to be published on 24th June 2021 and you can get a copy here.

Description πŸ”–

I don’t think I’ve ever done this before, but I’m going to do a complete lift and shift of the official blurb for this book;

Meet Joan.

I drove myself out of New York City where a man shot himself in front of me. He was a gluttonous man and when his blood came out it looked like the blood of a pig. That’s a cruel thing to think, I know. He did it in a restaurant where I was having dinner with another man, another married man. Do you see how this is going? But I wasn’t always that way. I am depraved. I hope you like me.

General Thoughts πŸ€”

I truly struggled with this book. I kind of got it, but didn’t get it. I kind of liked it but didn’t like it. To be honest, I’m still really not sure how I feel about the whole book and I’ve given myself 24 hours after completing it to really think about it.

I think I understand the intent of this book but I’m not entirely sure that the way in which the story is delivered to all of us as readers fulfils that intent. There are some shocking and explicit stories told via Joan and I’m fine with that; I’m not a prude and I don’t squirm easily, but I’m not convinced that all of them were appropriate. In fact, I thought that there was quite a large chunk of unnecessary and useless prose included in the book that I don’t think added much; if anything.

Usually, I can stand strong in my feelings about a book and I’m not uncomfortable in sharing those, however I feel like there may be something that I’m missing with this one. I don’t know how I feel about it but I think I’m supposed to feel something.

Characters πŸ‘«πŸ‘­πŸ‘¬

Joan is obviously a very troubled character and has been through more in her lifetime than most of us will ever go through. The emotion was removed from her character and everything was told factually and was quite flat. This meant it was hard to empathise (I’m not saying I couldn’t, but it was hard) though I have a feeling that this was done intentionally.

Writing Style ✍️

When I think hard about it, I think this is where I struggled the most with this book. The story felt scatty to me and a bit thrown together. I often sat thinking “what is going on here now? I’m lost!”. After the first quarter, this confusion meant I kind of switched off and it is 100% on me that I stopped putting the effort into trying to engage with the book.

Conclusion & Scoring πŸŽ–οΈ

I’ve been left confused and a little bit deflated by this book. I think I understand what it was trying to achieve but for me personally, it didn’t quite get there. There are some fantastic and raving reviews for this book and the author so I wouldn’t like to deter anyone from giving it a try as I feel that it’s very much a personal experience. I’m sure that this book will see a lot of success, it just didn’t hit the spot for me.


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