When We Were Animals

When We Were Animals A small quiet Midwestern town which is unremarkable save for one fact when the teenagers reach a certain age they run wild When Lumen Fowler looks back on her childhood she wouldn t have guessed s

  • Title: When We Were Animals
  • Author: Joshua Gaylord
  • ISBN: 9780316297905
  • Page: 183
  • Format: Paperback
  • A small, quiet Midwestern town, which is unremarkable save for one fact when the teenagers reach a certain age, they run wild.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 When We Were Animals is Lumen s confessioA small, quiet Midwestern town, which is unremarkable save for one fact when the teenagers reach a certain age, they run wild.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 When We Were Animals is Lumen s confessional as a well behaved and over achieving teenager, she fell beneath the sway of her 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 we learn about the town s past, the we realize that Lumen s memories are harboring secrets of their own.A gothic coming of age tale for modern times, When We Were Animals is a dark, provocative journey into the American heartland.

    One thought on “When We Were Animals”

    1. something terrible happened. i had a copy of this book in which i had folded over so many pages - scenes i wanted to revisit and passages i wanted to share when it came time to write this review. and then it was taken from me, never to be seen again. i got my hands on another copy, but it is all pristine and unfolded, and all the things i wanted to remember to quote or reference are lost to the world forever. #nerdworldproblems*all i can say is that this is one of the best and most original comi [...]

    2. 4.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum bibliosanctum/2015/07/21/aAfter hearing about this book from so many people, I just knew I had to experience it for myself. And now that I’ve read it, When We Were Animals may well be the most interesting book to hit my shelves this year. I’m still finding it difficult to categorize this unconventional coming-of-age tale, which combines elements from a variety of genres including mystery, paranormal and horror.Most of the story is told in retrospect, as pr [...]

    3. The problem with audiobooks is that you can't highlight the beautiful passages, and when you're finished, you can't easily go back and read and re-read your favourite parts. So it's a bit of a shame I listened to When We Were Animals rather than read a physical copy (as I do with 98% of my books), because this book is stuffed to the brim with melancholy, poignant, bittersweet moments. And it was wonderful.I wouldn't call this one a surprise, exactly, because I'd seen a few glowing reviews and I [...]

    4. I love coming of age stories. I will gladly read the minutiae of a character's adolescence and their reflections on life and all that. I love relating to the characters, which happens a lot, since they are often awkward loners.I also hate coming of age stories. They're painful in the way real life is painful. You like someone who doesn't know you exist, or doesn't like you back. You accidentally do really awkward things in front of people. People laugh at you. You die internally. The characters [...]

    5. One of the best and most original coming of age stories I have ever read. A combination of beautiful prose and horrifying situations. I'll be thinking about this one for awhile.

    6. When We Were Animals is getting a lot of high praise, and it’s all true. Every bit of it.And then there was me.The writing in When We Were Animals is fantastic. I must read all the things by Joshua Gaylord. I’m happy to hear Alden Bell is a pseudonym for Joshua Gaylord because I have a copy of The Reapers are the Angels and I will be tearing into that soon.I was hooked by When We Were Animals right away. Lumen grew up in a very strange town, and I loved the alternating timelines between her [...]

    7. I'm reduced to one word descriptors. Lyrical, haunting, sexy, disturbing, dark, and oddly beautiful and dangerous. A smart and challenging anti-coming of age story that doesn't gloss over the damage we cause to ourselves and to who we love in the process of finding out who we are. I like to imagine that Lumen hangs out with Shirley Jackson's Merricat. Does this qualify as a review? Ah, who cares. Read the book.

    8. ‘We live our lives by measures of weeks, months, years, but the creatures we truly are, those are exposed in fractions of moments.’Lumen Fowler recounts her childhood growing up in a small town in the Midwest that is anything but ordinary. Children in this town, once they hit puberty, they go through what is called “breaching” where they let go of all social constraints and literally run wild and naked in the streets at night when the moon is full. Lumen is a bit of a late bloomer and be [...]

    9. This book was a bit of a surprise. It's predominantly about a young girl and her experience taking part in her small town's 'breaching' ritual, in which all the teenagers strip naked and run around the town like animals, fighting for dominance, and well, fornicating like rabbits under the full moonThat might sound like a bit of a gimmick story, but I have to say the writing was excellent and it really sold the concept to me. The many references to the moon on the blurb led me to believe I was ge [...]

    10. For most of When We Were Animals, Joshua Gaylord pulls off the trick of writing a hybrid werewolf and coming-of-age-novel that is clever, subtle and utterly compelling. Not since Joss Whedon used a werewolf in Buffy the Vampire Slayer has the supernatural being used to comment on the transformation and confusing time of being a teenager been so well done. When the children in her small town hit a certain age, they begin to undergo a type of transformation. Three nights a month, then become wild, [...]

    11. 3 1/2 starsOn the surface this book is a YA story that takes on a strange phenomena, something the sleepy Midwestern town keeps secret from outsiders. Starting at puberty, all the town’s teenagers “breach” during the nights of the full moon. They rip their clothes off; destroy themselves and property; have indiscriminate sex with each other, only to wake up bloody and bruised the next morning. What really happens during the nights of the full moon? Why do the parents and town allow this to [...]

    12. This is the best book I've read this year. Which is saying something because, according to my count, I've read 72 others.Lumen Fowler recounts her adolescence spent in a small town with a strange custom -- at a certain age, the teenagers run naked and wild through the streets during each full moon in a tradition known locally as "breaching." I was first interested in this book because it was on a lot of "most anticipated" lists and because it seemed to offer thriller-like elements, of which I a [...]

    13. I know I’m in the minority here with my dislike of this book. It has some fantastic reviews and 4 point something rating, but it was just not for me.I felt Lumen’s voice was stilted and she’s an odd and lost character. I felt nothing for her and since I wasn’t invested in her at all I got bored. Really bored. I didn’t find he story particularly mysterious, or shocking, just weird. Didn’t do it for me.

    14. I was forewarned, way before I started this book, that it would test all the beliefs that we take as a given.I was forewarned, so I though that I was ready; That I could handle it all.But that was a big joke.This book did push way pass the limits we deem as acceptable and then it pushed some more.Not only did it laugh at the silly limits we place but it made me question them.I though about Darwin and his theory about our connection with animals.Ever since Darwin brought around the theory of evol [...]

    15. 4 1/2 stars *****The nitty-gritty: An allegorical story about one teen’s journey toward adulthood, and all the unusual challenges she and her friends must overcome.And it makes me wonder if one day I might be able to rediscover fully the child version of myself, before things fouled themselves up, when I was a little girl with commendable manners, when my father and I were two against the world, when my striving for goodness was so natural it was like leaves falling from trees everywhere aroun [...]

    16. It is a strange old world when a book that is about teenagers running literally wild is the most beautifully written novel you have read in a long time. But that is how "When we were Animals" was for me.It drew me in like magic - Lumen is a beacon, her story strange and full of wonder, a coming of age tale set in a small town somewhere that could be anywhere but where puberty happens differently. And yet in a lot of ways it happens just as it does everywhere elseDuring the full moon cycles in th [...]

    17. Looking back on her life from a conventional middle age, Lumen Fowler remembers her teen years in a small American community where teens don't just "run wild" at night metaphorically, they literally run wild for the three nights of the full moon while adults and young children stay locked in their houses, naked and committing acts of sex, violence, and other primal urges.Narrator Lumen is a late bloomer and a good girl, small but with a fierce intelligence, living with her widowed father in a re [...]

    18. My So-Called Review Wow, this book! Not sure how to accurately describe my feelings about this one. Kinda felt like being punched in the gut, having my insides ripped out and then being left there, reeling from the shock of it all. When We Were Animals is raw, dark and surprising real. It’s so beautifully written and I’ll do my best to describe it without giving anything away. Our MC, Lumen, lives in a small, isolated town where teenagers experience something called “breaching” once they [...]

    19. Review from Tenacious Reader: tenaciousreader/2015/0When We Were Animals is a beautifully chilling story about humans and the animals within us. I absolutely love the prose and Gaylord’s way with words. He takes you right into the town and into the mind of our protagonist, Lumen. Lumen Fowler grew up in a small town with a peculiar nature. For three nights of each full moon teenagers “breach”, which means they run wild through the night and succumb to a carnal and predatory nature. They be [...]

    20. Wow. I really had to wait and process this book before I wrote this review. I even had a dream about it. I'm sure that sounds weird, but my dreams have always meant a lot to me; when I dream about something I've read or watched, it means it definitely left an impression on me.The synopsis drew me in, and I was not disappointed. Once kids in Lumen's hometown become teens, they become animals. Not literally, but almost. During the full moon, they run the streets, naked, fighting, hissing, having s [...]

    21. Author Joshua Gaylord presents teenagers in all their naked vulnerability, their newly unleashed rage, their need to belong even as they struggle for independence. This dark story follows Lumen and her peers in a small town as they scratch and claw their way to adulthood. Looking back on this time in her life through adult eyes, Lumen, now called Ann, says, " You can't save everything. You can't save every little thing." I think she really means you can't save everyone. You can't save everyone. [...]

    22. ***UPDATE***I originally rated this 4 stars, but since reading it I keep thinking back to it, to the beauty of the writing and the feelings in invoked. I bumping it to 5 stars. I mean, it's on my favorites list for a reason, right? I know what love is. Love is angrier than this. It's harsher. It's tasting the world on your tongue and digging your claws deep into the underbelly of life. I know exactly what love is. It's sometimes leaning over your husband while he sleeps, while he conjures in his [...]

    23. So this book is about a town where teenagers "breach" during the full moon, shedding their clothes and running wild through the town, fighting and f***ing, while adults and children hide behind locked doors. And it somehow manages to be boring. Oh, no, I get that it's all metaphorical for actual coming-of-age transformations, but it was still boring.The main character, Lumen, even telling her story from years later, is melodramatic, angsty, and just boring. I skimmed some sections. I kept waitin [...]

    24. I downloaded this on a whim because it has a gorgeous cover, a female protagonist, and—I think I’ve written about this before, somewhere—a coming-of-age story that uses monstrousness and violence as a metaphor for that difficult process. However, there ended up being a little bit too much going on here, at least for me, and one reveal in particular took me all the way out of the story (it happens toward the end; I bet you’ll know it when you see it). In this town, teenagers “breach,” [...]

    25. This is perhaps one of the most beautifully written books I have ever read. It is prosaic and lyrical and poetic. It is perfectly strange and compelling - teenagers that breach every night and give in to natural human urges of violence. I couldn't put this book down. I was so curious about where the book was heading and so infatuated with the incredible writing. A powerful story with an even more powerful voice. Truly remarkable.

    26. In a small town in America the teenagers run wild every full moon for three days while their parents, and everyone else locks themselves inside, safe. For three nights the teenagers “breach” and run and fight and fuck. Why it only happens here no one really knows, but in this town this has always happened. After a time the teenagers grow up and leave all that behind, allowing those following after to run wild themselves.Luman has always been different to the other girls in her class. She is [...]

    27. A bang-up premise can lead to a letdown, and that’s exactly how I felt about When We Were Animals. The setup is so original, I couldn’t resist it: in a small Midwestern town, teenagers “breach” at the full moon—they run wild all night and come home naked and bruised in the morning, their memories of the night’s debauchery fuzzy and muted. The adults in town view breaching as a rite of passage; on full moon nights, they get home well before sunset and lock their front doors, while out [...]

    28. We start with one pure and concentrated version of ourselves, then we modify and mold, we layer defense over pretense over convention.3.5 stars. This is a very different YA book, much darker, more introspective and beautifully written. The author brilliantly describes the thoughts of a teenager, how this is a time of extreme self-centredness. We also get to live through the change from innocent child to mature adult - Lumen, the main character, struggles with this transition. Something I feel a [...]

    29. It has been a LONG time since I have read a book that I actively did not like, but then there are books like When We Were Animals. I wish I was the kind of reviewer who could clearly and concisely describe what precise elements she did not like in meaningful ways, but a brief list will have to do.A) This novel is clearly misogynist in its treatment, description and utilization of women. Moreover, there was not a SINGLE description of girlhood, female adolescence, or womanhood that felt remotely [...]

    30. I can definitely see why so many people might love this book. It's raw and biting, and it speaks to the depravity of man and the frictions of adolescence both allegorically and poignantly. I recognize the beautiful writing and the impressive eloquence, but there was so much about it that left me feeling disturbed, dirty, and emotionally vacant. I read it vigilantly, not just because it was a quick and interesting read, but because I mostly didn't want to spend one more second with it than I abso [...]

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *