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3.07  ·  Rating details ·  843 ratings  ·  153 reviews
A bold debut novel for those who loved Emma Cline's The Girls and Rachel Kushner's The Flamethrowers--a story of love, lust, and the spaces in between, from a "captivating" (NYTBR) new voice in fiction.

It is 1950, and nine-year-old Willa's sheltered childhood is about to come to an end when her two new stepbrothers arrive at her family's summer home in British Columbia. As
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published September 5th 2017 by Hamish Hamilton
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Average rating 3.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  843 ratings  ·  153 reviews

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Elyse  Walters
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I need more time to whip this review together....I'll be back -- to continue it..... (going hiking first) ...
but want to get a few thoughts out now --while they are fresh:
BE WARNED -- This book is not for everyone.
Once I got past the most uncomfortable scene near the beginning --
I found myself reading sentences- and re-reading them --studying them -- in the way I might a painting -- or be enchanted by a tree in nature- - or bite into a delicious flavorful meal.
Very unique and brilliant writing!
Apr 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Don’t let the summery, slightly sexy cover of this book fool you. It’s neither as bright nor as carefree as the cover art, what with its bathing suit-clad girls and blue sky, would have you imagine.

In fact, the tale bound between the pages confines is unsettling, slightly odd.. and a tad bit incestuous.

It's essentially a story of abuse and power dynamics. The protagonist is a prepubescent girl feeling her first stirrings of attraction for her 11-year-old stepbrother, who’s taken up residence in
Emily B
Dec 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
I couldn’t stop reading this once I started. Yes I guess it was weird and uncomfortable to read at times but no more so than other popular books.

Each character was interesting. Although we never learn that much about any of them besides what they are doing in the moment.

What let the book down was the ending, mainly the last 20%. I felt like the novel was building up to something more meaningful and relevant than what actually happened. It describes an ‘incident’ which wasn’t very impactful at
Dannii Elle
Sep 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was... bizarre. I was riveted but it was also entirely disturbed, and I'm still not sure how I exactly feel about it.

This chronicles the life of Willa. The summer of 1950 sees her burgeoning with a new understanding of the world and a new perspective of her body. She constantly compares herself to her long-legged older sister and finds herself imitating her sexual yet unstable mother. No longer secure in her own body and unsure of her place in her eclectic family, Willa's childhood fleets b
“People say teenagers think they're immortal, and I agree with that. But I think there's a difference between thinking you're immortal and knowing you can survive. Thinking you're immortal leads to arrogance, thinking you deserve the best. Surviving means having the worst thrown at you and being able to continue on despite that. It means striving for what you want most, even when it seems our of your reach, even when everything is working against you.”

----Francesca Zappia

Eliza Robertson, a Ca
Brooke — brooklynnnnereads
Sep 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs
First, let me just say: this book is weird. That isn't necessarily a bad thing but I think that is the one thing every reader should know before going into this because it has some weird stuff, some gruesome stuff, and some pretty horrific stuff.

With that being said, I also feel like this book is comparable to some of Canada's greatest authors like Miriam Toews and Margaret Atwood. There are many great Canadian authors but those two immediately came to my mind when reading due to the similariti
While Demi-Gods is a gloriously dreamy and atmospheric read, teeming with nostalgia, it is also strange and at times, very dark.

I adored everything about the writing, but I'm not sure how I felt about the story and its characters. It's one of those coming-of-age, sexual awakening stories that teeters between weird and whimsical. It reminded me of The End of Everything by Megan Abbott, but I liked this book better.

Willa is growing up in the 50s and develops a strange, obsessive, abusive, and se
Lucy Banks
Aug 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

Sexually charged, mildly disturbing... a lethargic, eerie examination of teen life.

Occasionally, you come across a book that's more about capturing a 'feeling' rather than telling a story. >Demi-Gods is definitely a novel of that ilk; quite captivating,, emotive, but ultimately, there's not much of a plot.

The story follows Willa and her older sister Joan, initially at the cusp of puberty; and their mother, Eugene (t
Laurie • The Baking Bookworm
Oookay. This is going to go down as one of the most bizarre and uncomfortable books I've ever read. I struggled a lot with Demi-Gods and never felt invested in the slow-moving plot or any of the characters' lives. I did not care one whit for these people. Not a one.

The focus of the book seemed to be the strange and sexually charged scenes which felt like they were added for shock value to give the book that edgy feel that people will talk about. All that did was left me with an uncomfortable, i
Briar's Reviews
Demi-Gods by Eliza Robertson is a magnificent, little gem of a book that will read like a tale you would have picked up in English class.

Seriously, Eliza's writing feels like it should be in a hall of fame somewhere. The way she crafted the story was marvelous and I'm thoroughly impressed by her skill. And this was only a debut?! Imagine how much better she's going to get.

But, despite it being this masterpiece of a book, it was honestly not for me. I didn't enjoy this book one bit. I wanted to D
Sep 18, 2017 rated it did not like it
Saying that this book is weird is an understatement. I just don't understand it.

I won it in a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review.
Jaclyn Crupi
Jan 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
The disturbing narrative of Willa and her sexualised and abusive relationship with Patrick definitely doesn’t match this jacket. Where this book faltered for me is in its tension-building. The structure is simple: the six times these two characters meet. You know something awful will happen each time and yet Robertson doesn’t effectively build tension and discomfort. So this had potential but it never got to the heights it claimed (The Flamethrowers and The Girls comparisons are way off).
Kayla Ramoutar
Oct 12, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: giveaways
Demi-Gods is a coming of age novel starring Willa. At the beginning of the novel she's nine years old and it's 1950, and her family - mom, older sister, younger brother - is settling down at the beach house for the summer. This is where she meets her step-brothers for the first time. Let me say that they're not technically her step-brothers because her mom and their dad aren't married, but they're still considered a family as the boys call Willa's mom Aunt Dolly. Patrick is two years older than ...more
Dec 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
I won’t argue, there were parts of Eliza Robertson’s debut novel, Demi-Gods, that bordered on gratuitous. It’s important to mention that because some readers will abandon the book after they encounter a particular scene in the first chapter. Not me. I was hooked from page one, intrigued by the complex relationships and charmed by Robertson’s writing.

It’s 1950 and the lives of nine-year-old Willa and twelve-year-old Joan are transformed when their mother, a cocktail-swilling divorcee, invites her
Pickle Farmer
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wonderfully dark and rich and kinkily erotic. I don't know if I've ever read a book that focused as much on women looking at men, in the way that men usually look at women. Ambitious and admirable. It reminded me of Elena Ferrante mixed with Mary Gaitskill. ...more
Pavitra (For The Love of Fictional Worlds)
Disclaimer: A huge thanks to Bloomsbury India for providing me with a review copy of this book. The thoughts, opinions and feelings expressed in this review, are however, my own! 

Okay; I am gonna do my best to actually be unbiased in my review; even with all the feelings this book induced in me. On the face of it; this book looks to be a short read, but it took me a week to get through it! 

It was the premise of the book that had me requesting to review; a coming of age book in an era that ha
Follow my blog for more posts: hjbookblog
Disclaimer: I recieved a review copy of the book from Bloomsbury India. That doesn't effect my review. All thoughts are my own.

Demi – Gods, is a coming-of-age novel majorly set in the 50s and 60s. It is the debut novel of the author Eliza Robertson and it has a gorgeous cover. Precisely, these are the only two things I liked about the novel.

Demi – Gods is dark, disturbing and sexually >charged, but not in a good way. Rather in kind of a gross and disgust

Anukriti Malik
The story begins in 1950’s. Willa along with her family – her mother , elder sister Joan and younger brother are settled in a beach house during the summer season. Her mother has a new beau and this is where she meets her step-brothers Patrick and Kenneth (technically not since her mother isn’t married to this new beau yet and Patrick later in the book refers Willa’s mother as “Aunt”) . Joan eventually ends up with Kenneth who is a few years older than her and Willa gets attracted to Patrick.

Apr 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
This sucked me right in. The prose is simultaneously gorgeous and overwrought and managed to land in a sweet spot that kept me reading compulsively. Demi-Gods is framed as a series of recollections from main character Willa, each of which center around her strange sexually charged relationship with her stepbrother Patrick, as she comes of age in in the 50s and 60s. Their interactions are uncomfortable and sometimes perverse. I had such a sense of dread as I was reading, a tightness in my chest. ...more
Aug 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
I was especially interested to read this book, because I love books set in the 50s. It didn't dissapoint, at all. It was well-written, and it was one of those books that was really hard to put down. I kept saying "just one more chapter" at night, before bed, and then I'd end up reading more and not getting enough sleep! It was just...addicting. It was a nice and slow place, too, the book. And I loved the idea and premise of the book - a woman trying to make her way in the world at a point in tim ...more
Catherine Coles
Sep 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Primarily set in 1950s Victoria, this is a dreamy, somewhat perverse coming-of-age novel with some serious The Virgin Suicides vibes. It follows a pre-teen girl and her bizarre relationship with her creepy sort-of step brother. Beautiful writing + uncomfortable content = interesting reading!

demi-gods book
Jan 26, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 3-stars, 2021
This was honestly fine but read like a first draft. The potencial was there but it felt underdeveloped and kind of weak, like she knew what she was trying to say but couldn't be bothered to put an effort into it. ...more
Jan 28, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
really distant writing which i love (think normal people by sally rooney) but wont be for everyone
miss.mesmerized mesmerized
Summertime in the early 1950s. Willa and her older sister Joan would like to have a relaxing time at their summer home together with their mom. But the mother has a new lover, Eugene, and to the girls‘ surprise, Eugene has invited his two sons to spend the summer with them. Kenneth and Patrick are slightly older than the girls immediately attract their attention. No, they definitely are not like brothers and sisters, Joan and Kenneth quickly fall for each other. For Willa and Patrick things are ...more
Sohinee Reads & Reviews (Bookarlo)
Demi – Gods is a coming of age novel written by Eliza Robertson. This book is lyrical in its prose and skims over one of the touchy topics, that is, exploring one’s sexual feelings and the realisation that you’re capable of feeling it too. This discovery is often obtained on the onset of puberty/during adolescence; it confuses you and at the same time you are curious to know more. At times, a person might feel guilty because there is always a taboo associated to sex. In Demi – Gods, the narrativ ...more
Oct 22, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, october-2017
Eliza Robertson's debut novel, Demi-Gods, certainly piqued my interest when I spotted it on Netgalley. I love both coming of age stories and familial sagas, and this had both in spades. Whilst interesting to read, and certainly surprising at times, Demi-Gods is rather odd. I found it compelling enough from beginning to end, but there was a curious detachment present, and I do not feel as though I really got to know any of the characters overly well. Elements of the novel seemed rather implausibl ...more
Disturbing and riveting, charming and erotic, addicting and strange.
Andrea MacPherson
Dec 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Dark. Gothic. Complicated. Unsettling. I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about the novel
Jessica Reads & Rambles
What a book to end the year on.
Victoria Ellis
Demi-Gods follows nine-year-old Willa's experiences with her older stepbrother throughout a handful of summers beginning in the 1950s as she grows up. This was a really strange book, but not so much in a good way. It's exceedingly short so that at the beginning the reading is just dumped into the story. The stepbrother, Patrick, isn't given a proper introduction so we have no context for his and Willa's relationship before it starts getting so strange and twisted. I was so looking forward to a t ...more
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Eliza Robertson's 2014 debut collection, Wallflowers, was shortlisted for the East Anglia Book Award, the Danuta Gleed Short Story Prize, and selected as a New York Times Editor's Choice. Her critically acclaimed first novel, Demi-Gods, was a Globe & Mail and National Post book of the year and the winner of the 2018 Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize. She studied creative writing at the University of ...more

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