Wednesday 23 June 2021

Animal by Lisa Taddeo | Blog Tour Book Review

[AD/Gifted - I received a proof copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]

Animal by Lisa Taddeo - 4/5

"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."

I was instantly intrigued by this book after seeing  "I am depraved. I hope you like me" all over the marketing. I am not one to shy away from a book with a tough topic; My Dark Vanessa was my favourite book of 2020 after all!

Animal follows 36-year-old Joan who witnesses her boss's suicide in the middle of a restaurant. Joan had been having an affair with him and he killed himself in front of her and her date, who was also a married man. We get a bit of an idea of the type of woman that Joan is at this point.

She leaves New York and moves to California to seek out celebrity yoga instructor Alice. It is unknown to us who Alice is and why Joan is eager to meet her but it all unfolds as you read on. We also do not know who Joan is addressing in her narrative which again, becomes clear as you read.

Joan is not a character that you are supposed to love. We get flashbacks to her childhood and flashbacks to all the dalliances that she has had with men. She is very hypersexualised and has experienced trauma at an early age. She has thoughts that are uncomfortable to read. Things like death don't seem to affect her, she has seen enough. I must also add trigger warnings for rape and miscarriage.

This is a sharp and gritty book that explores Joan's life and how everything that has happened to her has impacted her. She classes herself as depraved but I personally feel like she is very complex and she is the way that she is because of what she has experienced. 

Animal is shocking and uncomfortable at times but you cannot deny that Taddeo is a fantastic author who really makes you feel the book. I think this will be a great one to discuss at book clubs. 

A massive thank you to Midas PR for having me on the blog tour. You can find the Twitter handles for all of the other bloggers that are taking part in the graphic below.

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