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3.09  ·  Rating details ·  600 ratings  ·  123 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 April 10th 2018 by Bloomsbury Publishing
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3.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  600 ratings  ·  123 reviews

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Elyse Walters
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Sep 18, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
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).
Dec 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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.
Apr 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Kayla Ramoutar
Oct 12, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways, owned
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
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 had
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 disg

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.

Aug 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a book to end the year on.
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: october-2017, kindle
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  ·  review of another edition
Dark. Gothic. Complicated. Unsettling. I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about the novel
Julie Callaghan
It must have been hard to be female in the 1950s, especially for adult women, but also for girls, growing up - both constricted and restricted by such defined roles of womanhood. I didn't much like the female characters in this book, though perhaps they do capture something about women's circumscribed choices of that time. The "love story" between young Willa, the central character, and Patrick, her step brother, is masochistic. He has the upper hand in this for most of the time, and when she tu ...more
3.5 stars. An intriguing but very strange read.
Ameema Saeed
I'm an Indigo Employee, and I received an advanced reading copy of this book, from Indigo Books & Music, in exchange for my honest feedback.

This was really weird, and really sexually charged... both of which could have been fine, but in this case, made this book unenjoyable. It made me deeply uncomfortable - and not in a good/thought provoking way, but in a way where I could only think "why did people like this?!".

It felt very literary - and maybe Eliza Robertson is a really great writer, b
Roman Clodia
An oddly opaque book that is strong on atmosphere and location but which could be more incisive about the story it's trying to tell. There seems to be something about female adolescence, sexuality and power-play that feeds the strange complicity between Willa and Patrick and the disturbing games they play, intermittently, across an 11-year period, but it never quite comes into focus clearly.

Some of the writing is jarringly self-conscious in a horribly 'creative writing class' way: 'their bodies
Jul 10, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
Definitely weird, definitely unique. I won this book through goodreads giveaways and finished it quickly in three sittings. The best thing about this book was that it reminded me of nothing else I've ever read. The characters are all very different and quirky and you never know where the story it taking you at any point. The one thing that really bothered me was the (purposeful) lack of quotation marks around dialogue. It took me a while to adjust and decipher what was narrative and when charact ...more
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Eliza K. Robertson studied creative writing and political science at the University of Victoria and graduated with a MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia in 2012, where she is currently pursuing a PhD in Creative and Critical Writing. Eliza was a joint winner of the 2013 Commonwealth Short Story Prize and has been longlisted twice for the prestigious Writers' Trust / McClellan ...more
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“The funny thing about shadows is they absorb each other. You can't see where one ends and another begins.” 0 likes
“When I realized that warmth, even love, could be instinctive, not a decision that shifted from one day to the next, based on mood or motivations, I didn't want to be like Mom anymore.” 0 likes
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