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Reviewed by:
  • Some Kind of Animal by Maria Romasco-Moore
  • Kate Quealy-Gainer, Assistant Editor

Romasco-Moore, Maria Some Kind of Animal. Delacorte, 2020 [384p] Library ed. ISBN 9781984893550 $21.99 Trade ed. ISBN 9781984893543 $18.99 E-book ed. ISBN 9781984893567 $10.99 Reviewed from galleys R Gr. 7-10

Most people in Jolene's small town know her as the daughter of a teen mom who made some bad choices and likely ended up dead. What they don't know is that Jo is a twin, and while she's been raised by her aunt in town, her sister Lee has been running wild in the forest, surviving in ways Jo could only guess When Lee attacks a boy, Jo is accused of the assault, and she figures she can either turn her sister in or run away to the wilderness with her. Jo won't betray Lee, but as they delve further into the forest, Jo discovers Lee may have already betrayed her by keeping secrets about their mother and her fate. A compelling mix of thriller and survival story, this also offers a pointed indictment of society's tendency to pin down the bodies of girls, both figuratively and literally, making them objects of desire or scorn but rarely agents of independence. Jo's mother was trapped by an unwanted pregnancy and an abusive boyfriend, and her legacy traps Jo with everyone's expectation that she'll run wild, but Lee is truly femaleness gone feral, existing outside of any strictures that deem her unfit or untamed. There's a direct, solid nature to Jo's narration, and her love and desperate desire to protect her sister is keenly felt as she risks her life and those of others to keep Lee from harm. A swift pace and a few surprises keep the pages turning to an ending that promises the girls freedom and a fresh start. [End Page 494]



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p. 494
Launched on MUSE
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