Reviews

Unlikely Animals by Annie Hartnett

jennixann's review

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emotional lighthearted medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0


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gukguk's review

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emotional hopeful reflective sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.75

kristensreadingnook's review

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3.0

I was really looking forward to this one based on reviews by trusted sources, but this was just ok for me.

trudy4088d's review

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adventurous challenging emotional funny hopeful lighthearted reflective fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0


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weirdmoth's review against another edition

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emotional funny hopeful medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.0

penrodkatie's review

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emotional funny medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0


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heather425's review

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5.0

I loved Rabbit Cake by Annie Hartnett and was thrilled to receive the ARC of Unlikely Animals. It follows Emma as she returns home to New Hampshire after being in California for several years. Emma was born with The Charm - the ability to heal people by touch. It was never strong enough to heal major illnesses, but it seemed to help people. Now she's returning home to her ill father and she knows her family expects her to try the Charm on him. But Emma knows she's lost it and doesn't want to disappoint them.

There are a lot of great characters in Unlikely Animals. As with any small town there are a lot of eccentric people. I loved getting to know so many of them throughout the story. I do not want to give anything away about the plot. It is a story to be discovered by the reader. If you love stories set in small towns, character driven, and everyone marches to their own beat this book is for you.

Thank you to Netgalley for the ARC!

unphair's review

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emotional funny hopeful inspiring reflective sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.25

suvata's review against another edition

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5.0

#MMD Pick for March 2023

#StoryGraph: fiction contemporary literary magical realism emotional reflective medium-paced
368 pages • first pub 2022

Please note, I am a big fan of magical realism and dark humor. If you like that kind of book this one will please you.

Publisher’s blurb:
A lost young woman returns to small-town New Hampshire under the strangest of circumstances in this one-of-a-kind novel of life, death, and whatever comes after.

From the acclaimed author of Rabbit Cake.

It was a source of entertainment at Maple Street Cemetery. Both funny and sad, the kind of story we like best.

Natural-born healer Emma Starling once had big plans for her life, but she’s lost her way. A med school dropout, she’s come back to small-town Everton, New Hampshire to care for her father, dying from a mysterious brain disease. Clive Starling has been hallucinating small animals, as well as visions of the ghost of a long-dead naturalist, Ernest Harold Baynes, once known for letting wild animals live in his house. This ghost has been giving Clive some ideas on how to spend his final days.

Emma arrives home knowing she must face her dad’s illness, her mom’s judgement, and her younger brother’s recent stint in rehab, but she’s unprepared to find that her former best friend from high school is missing, with no one bothering to look for her. The police say they don’t spend much time looking for drug addicts. Emma’s dad is the only one convinced the young woman might still be alive, and Emma is hopeful he could be right. Someone should look for her, at least. Emma isn't really trying to be a hero—but somehow she and her father set in motion just the kind of miracle the town needs.

Set against the backdrop of a small town in the throes of a very real opioid crisis, Unlikely Animals is a tragicomic novel about familial expectations, imperfect friendships, and the possibility of resurrecting that which had been thought irrevocably lost.

npolston's review

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3.0

a very solid 3.5 stars. beautifully told with touches of lightness and humor throughout that kept it so interesting and tender.