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My Progress:

12 / 30 books. 40% done!

2024 Literary Escapes Challenge

- Alabama (1)
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My Progress:

28 / 51 states. 55% done!

2024 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

My Progress:

23 / 50 books. 46% done!

2024 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

23 / 50 books. 46% done!

Booklist Queen's 2024 Reading Challenge

My Progress:

48 / 50 books. 96% done!

2024 52 Club Reading Challenge

My Progress:

40 / 52 books. 77% done!

2024 Build Your Library Reading Challenge

My Progress:

27 / 40 books. 68% done!

2024 Pioneer Book Reading Challenge

15 / 40 books. 38% done!

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My Progress:

10 / 25 books. 40% done!

2024 Medical Examiner's Mystery Reading Challenge

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My Progress

12 / 26.2 miles. 46% done!

Mount TBR Reading Challenge

My Progress

26 / 100 books. 26% done!

2024 Pick Your Poison Reading Challenge

My Progress:

64 / 104 books. 62% done!

Around the Year in 52 Books Reading Challenge

My Progress

43 / 52 books. 83% done!

Disney Animated Movies Reading Challenge

My Progress

69 / 165 books. 42% done!
Saturday, April 11, 2020

YA Grief Novel Odd, Depressing

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Ever since the death of his wife, Rafe Torres has been disintegrating.  Inconsolable, he drinks too much, gambles too much, owes too much and parents too little.  His four daughters have had it with picking up the pieces after their dad's many mess-ups.  Desperate for escape, they try running away, only to be caught by a despondent Rafe who promises to do better.  Not long after the sisters' botched escape, Ana plunges to her death while sneaking out her bedroom window.  Her death drives Rafe deeper into despair, leaving Iridian, Jessica, and Rosa to fend for themselves. 

A year after Ana dies, the three Torres girls are living a chaotic, feral existence in a house that feels both empty and oppressive with the weight of their grief.  Seventeen-year-old Iridian is biding her time working a part-time job and dating Ana's abusive ex-boyfriend.  Iridian—a 16-year-old dreamer—reads incessantly and pours her heart out in her journal.  An old soul, 13-year-old Rosa roams the city at night, talking to birds and searching for an escaped zoo animal.  Their separate orbits collide when each of them notices strange things happening inside their home.  They hear Ana's laughter whispering through the halls, see her handwriting appearing on the walls, and smell a familiar scent lingering in the air.  Could it be Ana's ghost trying to convey a message to her sisters?  What is it she's trying to tell them?  As the girls puzzle out the clues together, they finally feel a smidgeon of hope that might just show them the way out of the deep, dark well of their grief.

I'm not sure what to say about Tigers, Not Daughters by Samantha Mabry except that it's a strange, strange novel.  With its odd combination of realistic fiction, magical realism, and horror, it seems a little confused about its own identity.  Although Tigers, Not Daughters is a quick read, the story doesn't offer much in the way of plot.  Made up of vignettes told from each sister's perspective, it never feels very cohesive.  In addition, the vibe of this novel is unrelentingly sad, depressing, angry, and just ... weird.  Its depiction of the overwhelming and sometimes destructive nature of grief is on point, but the rest of the story didn't really come together for me.  I wasn't sorry to see it end.

(Readalikes:  Hm, I can't really think of a comparable title.  You?)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for strong language, violence, sexual content, and disturbing subject matter

To the FTC, with love:  I received a finished copy of Tigers, Not Daughters from the generous folks at Algonquin in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you!
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