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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Peaslee

Spoiler-Free Book Review: Now We Are Animals by R.P. Nathan

Now We Are Animals by R.P. Nathan is a YA dystopian in which a breed of "superior" aliens has taken over Earth and relegated humans to farm animal status. It's an epistolary novel, told in a set of concurrent journal entries, written by Carabel "Cara" Caffarelli. Cara is "lucky," in that instead of being confined to a farm, she's kept as a pet by a juvenile alien named Aggie.

This is one of the better YA dystopian novels I've read. Cara is a multifaceted, believable character. Even as she's forced to live in subjugation, her thoughts are not entirely consumed by her situation: she has crushes and regrets and hopes. It was easy to imagine myself in her place.

I really did not want to put the book down! Although at times I did feel like the pre-Aggie flashbacks went on too long, on the whole I was absolutely propelled through this book by an urge to know what would happen next.

In the author's note, R.P. Nathan writes, "I don't believe books should tell you what to think, but they should get you to think." Well, this book sure as hell got me thinking. It's not in any way preachy, but I'll never look at farms the same way again.

NWAA is the first (and so far only) book in a series, so there are some unanswered questions, but it also tells a complete story on its own. This is the first novel I've read by Nathan, and I would be interested in checking out more.

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