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Strange Creatures

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4.11  ·  Rating details ·  38 ratings  ·  20 reviews
A riveting, unexpected, and beautiful contemporary novel about a girl whose brother mysteriously disappears, the family and friends he leaves behind, and the stories—real and imagined—that they tell themselves to fill the empty space.

From the moment that Annie was born, she and her older brother, Jamie, were inseparable. Alike in almost every way, they promised to always t
...more
Hardcover, 544 pages
Published June 1st 2021 by Balzer + Bray
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Phoebe Hi Wayong, this story features an #ownvoices tale of growing up in a Jewish/interfaith family. The three POV characters are all queer identified; howe…moreHi Wayong, this story features an #ownvoices tale of growing up in a Jewish/interfaith family. The three POV characters are all queer identified; however, I would say that this story is closer to slipstream or literary with genre elements than fantasy or science fiction. I'd recommend it for older YA readers.(less)

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Average rating 4.11  · 
Rating details
 ·  38 ratings  ·  20 reviews


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Phoebe
This book is mine. I lived it. Shrinking into myself in high school, doodling in the notebook margins, not telling anyone the secrets I was living, dreaming of an escape.



This book is mine. I wrote it. Starting with the imaginary kingdom we built in the woods in ninth grade, when we were too old to build such things--much less speak of them aloud.



This book is mine. I gave it to myself. When I thought everything was lost, especially books, I stayed up all night with my daughter sleeping next to m
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Iris
Jun 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I can't stop thinking about it, it was perfection. Strange Creatures is an expansive novel of struggles with mental health, queer love (sapphic desire), and adolescent trauma. It was everything I didn't know I needed as a queer nonbinary reader, it was poetic catharsis. Be careful, you might find yourself crying on the floor.

Strange Creatures is a coming-of-age story dedicated to all those that feel forgotten. Siblings Annie and Jamie are thick as thieves, as they create a Terabithian world in
...more
Sakina Carter
This is going to be a hard one for me to review.

First if this is categorized as YA, this is not a YA book. Second, this is not a fantasy book, while it has some fantasy elements, it is also not a fantasy book, it is a contemporary book and a dark one at that.

This book is told from three different perspectives, Annie, James/Jamie and Vidya.

Jamie and Annie are brother and sister born exactly one year apart. Jamie is not like typical boys, he likes to write fantasy stories, poetry and read, he is n
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Alaina
Jun 02, 2021 rated it it was ok
1.5/5

Strange Creatures follows a pair of siblings who have drifted apart over the years. Whilst Jamie, the older brother, seems to have moved on from the boy he was and the childhood him and his sister shared, Annie seems to still be very attached to the past and has hope that Jamie will one day return to how he used to be. However, things take a turn for the worse when one day Jamie mysteriously disappears, seeming to have run away without a word.

I'm not really sure what I expected going into t
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Vee
Jun 11, 2021 rated it liked it
[ARC Provided by Harper360, my review is unbiased]
Wordpress Blog | Twitter

I was really hoping this book could be what I've been looking for after I finished The Light Between Worlds, a book that was about children who went to a fantasy kingdom, but when they came home everything changed, and one of them went missing. However unlike Light, Strange Creatures is purely a contemporary story.

The problem I had with it being a contemporary when I was hoping for more fantasy elements, was the length. At
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Librow0rm  Christine
May 06, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2021-may
Harper 360 / Harper Collins gifted me an arc of Strange Creatures by Phoebe North and this is my totally honest and unbiased review.

On first starting this book, it felt like I was diving into another fantasy. This time based in the world of Gumlea ruled by a wicked king to whom tithes must be paid by the feral children, ongoing battles are fought against mermaids and other fantastical creatures, and against whom the Emperata Annit and the nameless boy fight.

However, before I’m totally sucked int
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Carina Olsen
Jun 15, 2021 rated it liked it
I don't even know where to begin with this book. I requested it along with several other ARCs from the publisher, yet I had not really read anything about it. Just thought it looked cute. Then this was the only book I got. And I saw how huge it was. And contemporary. So I got scared that I would not like this at all.

But I was wrong. Because this book was pretty amazing most of the time. Heartbreaking and evil a lot of the time too. And a few things I did not like at all. I'm giving it three star
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Toby Murphy
Mar 28, 2021 rated it really liked it
I’m going to need to think about this book. There was a lot going on and North covers a lot. My initial reaction was the voice of the characters didn’t seem to always fit. While the book is a little lengthy, it certain paces itself well, especially one that’s more about characters.
Angel
Jun 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing
So beautiful and amazing!!! This is a must-read for any lover of YA fiction!!!
Emily Wolfe
Jun 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Strange Creatures is hand-delivered for all current and former “weird kids” who have ever escaped to the magic of fictional worlds. I loved this book and wrote a full review of it for theyoungfolks.com. ...more
여리고
Jun 29, 2019 marked it as to-read
This sounds almost like Here There Are Monsters but I still like to give this a chance.
Her Bookish Obsession
Overall I think this book had a nice idea, but the execution of it wasn't the best...

TW: violence, rape, abuse, kidnapping, abduction, assault, neglect(?)

Strange Creatures is a coming-of-age story dedicated to all those that feel forgotten. Siblings Annie and Jamie are thick as thieves, as they create a Terabithian world in the woods behind their house, named Gumlea. This world is an escape from society and the gendered expectations that come with coming of age. Gumlea is a place of witches, pir
...more
Jeffrey
Annie is the central character in North’s newest book, Strange Creatures. We get a few perspective changes and Annie isn’t our narrator throughout, but this feels like Annie’s book (as it becomes evident that it should). We grow up with her and her brother Jamie a bit as we read, and we become intimately familiar with the imaginary land of Gumlea they dream up as children. The two have the kind of bond fiction writers like to attribute to twins (though they aren’t twins) and it feels more earned ...more
Megan
May 12, 2021 added it
Shelves: 2021-reads, dnf-2021
Thank you to Harper360YA for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

From the moment that Annie was born, she and her older brother, Jamie, were inseparable. Alike in almost every way, they promised to always take care of each other while facing the challenges of growing up different in suburban America. And when life became too much for them, they created their own space in the woods behind their house: a fantasy world of their own making, where no one else could find th
...more
amanda wade
May 10, 2021 rated it it was ok
From the moment that Annie was born, she and her older brother, Jamie, were inseparable. Alike in almost every way, they promised to always take care of each other while facing the challenges of growing up different in suburban America. And when life became too much for them, they created their own space in the woods behind their house: a fantasy world, called Gumlea, where no one else could find them.

And it was enough, for a while. But then came middle school, when Jamie grew dark and distant.
...more
Stacy40pages
May 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
Strange Creatures by Phoebe North. Thanks to @balzerandbray for the gifted copy ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Annie and her older brother, Jaime, are very close. They tell each other stories and live within their fantasy land in the woods behind their house. As Jaime gets older, Annie finds him more distant. Until one day, he goes missing. Annie is convinced he is trapped in their fantasy land and it’s up to her to get him.

This was a very unique read; you have never read something quite like this! I am
not a fantasy
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Alissa
Jun 03, 2021 marked it as did-not-finish
I initially marked this "To Read" because I got a Bridge to Terabithia vibe from the synopsis. Maybe with a touch of The Museum of Us mixed in. All this was good. Made me excited for the book.

But the more I read, the more this, instead, started to feel a little too much like Too Far, a book I prefer to forget about because it made me extremely uncomfortable in some very, very negative ways. Even gave me a nightmare or two. *shudder*

Had I NOT read the later book, I may have been able to read and
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CR
May 21, 2021 rated it really liked it
Strange creatures is right! This book was strange and I am not really sure what to say about it. I loved the haunting and heartbreaking story. It was beautifully written and the myth and the bonds of the characters was wonderful. Family, love, sorrow, and more await the reader of this story.
Rani
May 07, 2021 rated it liked it
Won in a goodreads giveaway. It had a nice story but I wasn't a fan of the split narrative. ...more
Kirsty ~ Paper Hearts Ink
May 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Review to come.



Thank you to Harper Teen for the gifted book in exchange for an honest review.
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Phoebe North, a graduate of the University of Florida’s MFA program in poetry, is the critically acclaimed author of Starglass and Starbreak. A new novel will be forthcoming from HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray in 2021.

North was a finalist in 2018 with the Sustainable Arts Foundation. Other short fiction, critical work, and poetry has appeared or is forthcoming with Analog, Daily Science Fiction, Flas
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