Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Tremain's Book Corner: "When We Were Animals" by: Joshua Gaylord

When We Were Animals
Place Hold
Author: Joshua Gaylord
Reviewed By: Tremain Jackson, South Branch Manager
Personal Rating: 2 Stars

Book Summary: When Lumen Fowler looks back on her childhood, she wouldn't have guessed she would become a kind suburban wife, a devoted mother.  In fact, she never thought she would escape her small and peculiar hometown.  This book is Lumen's confessional: as a well-behaved and over-achieving teen, she fell beneath the sway of the community's darkest, strangest secret.  For one year, beginning at puberty, every resident "breaches" during the full moon.  On these nights, adolescents run wild, destroying everything in their path.  Lumen resists.  Promising her father she will never breach, she investigates the mystery of her community's traditions and the stories erased from the town record.  But the more we learn about the town's past, the more we realize that Lumen's memories are harboring secrets of their own.

Personal Reivew: I've got one word for this book...WHAT?  What in the world did I just read?  It's rare that I'll rate a book under three stars, but this one was warranted.  It could have gone as low as somewhere in the 1's; however, it was well-written, just not as interesting as the hordes of people were telling me it was.

What you have is a woman reminiscing about how when she was a child, the people in her community would turn into primordial goons for three days on a full moon when they hit puberty.  Touted as being dark and gothic, it might have gone down that route if the kids were not able to turn back after three days and the townsfolk had to "do something" about it, but that wasn't the case.

I just don't understand what I missed in this story, because it must have been something.  What I found somewhat redeemable was that the descriptions of the tirades of the "animals:" in the story were a bit dark, but that paled in comparison to how ineffective the premise actually was in the context of the entire story, especially when the protagonist never even breached in the process.

Perhaps this novel may have done better if written for a YA audience, but I realize I'm in the minority because this book has been receiving great reviews...I just don't see it myself.  Perhaps I'm wrong, and if you want to read it for yourself, look out for a copy of this book at your Abilene Public Library.  But as a spoiler, which doesn't hurt the ending, I will say there is a scene that deals with rape that was simply awful...just awful.

No comments:

Post a Comment