Book Reviews · Books


earthlings Earthlings
by Sayaka Murata

Released: 29th September 2020 (UK)
Keywords: Adult, Contemporary, Japan, Sexual assault, Incest

As a child, Natsuki doesn’t fit into her family. Her parents favor her sister, and her best friend is a plush toy hedgehog named Piyyut who has explained to her that he has come from the planet Popinpobopia on a special quest to help her save the Earth. Each summer, Natsuki counts down the days until her family drives into the mountains of Nagano to visit her grandparents in their wooden house in the forest, a place that couldn’t be more different from her grey commuter town. One summer, her cousin Yuu confides to Natsuki that he is an extraterrestrial and that every night he searches the sky for the spaceship that might take him back to his home planet. Natsuki wonders if she might be an alien too. Back in her city home, Natsuki is scolded or ignored and even preyed upon by a young teacher at her cram school. As she grows up in a hostile, violent world, she consoles herself with memories of her time with Yuu and discovers a surprisingly potent inner power. Natsuki seems forced to fit into a society she deems a “baby factory” but even as a married woman she wonders if there is more to this world than the mundane reality everyone else seems to accept. The answers are out there, and Natsuki has the power to find them.
Dreamlike, sometimes shocking, and always strange and wonderful,Earthlings asks what it means to be happy in a stifling world, and cements Sayaka Murata’s status as a master chronicler of the outsider experience and our own uncanny universe.

I recieved an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

It’s been about a week since I finished reading this and I still can’t put in to words how I feel about it. After reading The Convenience Store Woman which was pretty heartwarming, I was expecting more of the same and was caught completely off guard by this book. It follows the main character from the age of about 11 up to mid thirties and focuses heavily on her life trauma and how she copes with living in a world she feels that she doesn’t belong in.

This book covers a lot of heavy topics so there are trigger warnings for pretty much everything so please be aware that this is not an easy read. I really enjoy the author’s writing and found it hard to put this book down even though the subject matter was pretty dark, the story was totally gripping.

Overall I would say I really enjoyed this for what it was and I would recommend if you enjoy stories that arn’t the norm and deal with heavy topics.

My rating: 4.5/5 stars

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