Animal by Lisa Taddeo

A powerful, shocking and brutal look at how past experiences shape your life!

I was kindly gifted this to take part in the Tandem Collective readalong.

Animal by Lisa Taddeo
336 Pages
Published 24th June 2021

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.


Rating: 3 out of 5.

I was torn with this book at how to rate it and it has taken me a while to gather my thoughts on it all.

I’m not one to shy away from hard hitting books with some very tough subjects and Animal is just that, it’s full to the brim with subjects that many might find distressing and the author really doesn’t hold back at times.

Half of me loved the book for this. It pushed boundaries, shocked you and was one of those books which I had to put down at points to ‘cleanse’ my mind. Whilst many would say its too much, I think in this case and the specific story regarding Joan and her being ‘depraved’ it is completely needed. Without some of the terrible things that happen to her and some of the very descriptive, sometimes harrowing scenes, I just don’t think you would get just how damaged, troubled and depraved this character is.

Essentially the story follows Joan’s life as the reader begins to unravel just what Joan has experienced not just now but when she was younger too. None of it is pretty, lots of unpleasant things happen and there were many times where I thought it surely can’t get any worse than this…..but it did.

As mentioned I was torn at how to rate this. I understand how the author was trying to portray how events in your life can take you on a completely different journey and the questions raised over whether the character was ‘wicked’ or was she like this due to what has happened. However, I personally felt it at times it was just a little too much and I understand some parts need to be included to explore a particular subject, but there were a couple of moments that I felt were there purely to see how far the depravity could go.

Overall this is a very raw, shocking and disturbing book which explores many tough subjects such as sexual assault and miscarriage. This book will divide opinions and cause plenty of discussion.

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