Friday 21 June 2024

EARTHLINGS by Sayaka Murata

EarthlingsEarthlings by Sayaka Murata
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've had this on my Paperwhite for a while and decided it was time to check it out.

Natsuki's best friend is a hedgehog plushie called Piyyut, who happens to come from the planet Popinpobopia. She doesn't get along with her family and definitely doesn't fit in, but she's convinced they're always right. The only person she gets along with is her cousin, Yuu, who she sees every summer until an incident that changes everything...

O.M.F.G. Wow. Okay. Yikes.

I found the story concept very interesting and honestly didn't know what to expect. I mean, I did kinda know about some of the trigger warnings beforehand, but not much about what happens in the book.

A LOT of it is totally shocking. And the surprises just kept coming all the way to the end of the book. Seriously. Just when I was sure about where this was going... another shock is thrown in. 😳

So much of what happens to Natsuki is really screwed-up. And quite sad. I kept getting angry while reading because all she wanted to do was behave the way adults told her she should behave, and is instead abused by people that should be looking out for her. She's also constantly judged by adults. That's right, the asshole adults in this book keep judging kids. WTF?!

The bottom line is: I really enjoyed EARTHLINGS. A lot. The writing style is lovely. The story is SO OUT THERE. The eccentricities of this tale really grabbed me. As did the social commentary of how forced conformity warps impressionable minds, and how abuse (all kinds) can fragment a mind. Not to mention what dictating how every cog should live their life fucks with your brain.

Lastly, I need to include a list of CWs: childhood trauma, sexual, mental, emotional & physical abuse, incest, gaslighting, threats, murder, delusions... I could keep going but I'll stop there, and deliberately left out one big thing because it ventures into spoiler territory.

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