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Lottie collects dead creatures and lovingly cares for them, hoping to preserve them, to save them from disintegration. Her father understands—Lottie has a scientific mind, he thinks. Her aunt wants it to stop, and she goes to cruel lengths to make sure it does. And her mother? Lottie’s mother died long ago. And Lottie is searching for a way to be close to her. The Art of Ta Lottie collects dead creatures and lovingly cares for them, hoping to preserve them, to save them from disintegration. Her father understands—Lottie has a scientific mind, he thinks. Her aunt wants it to stop, and she goes to cruel lengths to make sure it does. And her mother? Lottie’s mother died long ago. And Lottie is searching for a way to be close to her. The Art of Taxidermy is a heartbreaking verse novel exploring love and death, grief and beauty, and the ways we try to make sense of it all.


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Lottie collects dead creatures and lovingly cares for them, hoping to preserve them, to save them from disintegration. Her father understands—Lottie has a scientific mind, he thinks. Her aunt wants it to stop, and she goes to cruel lengths to make sure it does. And her mother? Lottie’s mother died long ago. And Lottie is searching for a way to be close to her. The Art of Ta Lottie collects dead creatures and lovingly cares for them, hoping to preserve them, to save them from disintegration. Her father understands—Lottie has a scientific mind, he thinks. Her aunt wants it to stop, and she goes to cruel lengths to make sure it does. And her mother? Lottie’s mother died long ago. And Lottie is searching for a way to be close to her. The Art of Taxidermy is a heartbreaking verse novel exploring love and death, grief and beauty, and the ways we try to make sense of it all.

30 review for The Art of Taxidermy

  1. 5 out of 5

    MischaS_

    ***Advance Review Copy generously provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I'm not even going to lie here; I picked up this book only because I loved the cover. I had no idea what it was about. Or what genre it was. So, what a surprise it was for me when I opened the book and verses were staring back at me, which was a bit shocking because I tried to stay away from modern poetry. However, after finishing, I would say that it was more of prose written in verse. But that's besid ***Advance Review Copy generously provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I'm not even going to lie here; I picked up this book only because I loved the cover. I had no idea what it was about. Or what genre it was. So, what a surprise it was for me when I opened the book and verses were staring back at me, which was a bit shocking because I tried to stay away from modern poetry. However, after finishing, I would say that it was more of prose written in verse. But that's beside the point. It was almost fascinating, at first having no idea what's going on and then slowly, the story started to unravel in front of my eyes. The taxidermy line, Lottie's mother, who is Annie, the life of German immigrants in Australia and more. I have a hard time deciding what to really say about this one. I would not say that I really enjoyed this book to the point I would go back to it, but at the same time it was very fascinating, and I'm still a bit marvelling at what I read. And as some of you may know, I'm not a fan of modern poetry, but with this book, I even considered liking the poetry part of it! Yeah, and the cover is really pretty if I forgot to mention that.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Maja - BibliophiliaDK ✨

    AMAZING, HOW SO MUCH CAN BE CONVEYED WITH SO FEW WORDS Full confession first - I actually had no idea this would be a verse novel when I started it. I have never read a novel written in verse before, so it took a little while to get into it. But once I did, I actually found myself enjoying the lyrical writing. I was fascinated by the topic of grief and coping with loss but, sadly, the repetitive plot dragged the book down in my opinion. Still worth the read though! "Her name was always spo AMAZING, HOW SO MUCH CAN BE CONVEYED WITH SO FEW WORDS Full confession first - I actually had no idea this would be a verse novel when I started it. I have never read a novel written in verse before, so it took a little while to get into it. But once I did, I actually found myself enjoying the lyrical writing. I was fascinated by the topic of grief and coping with loss but, sadly, the repetitive plot dragged the book down in my opinion. Still worth the read though! "Her name was always spoken in a whisper - Adrianna, Adrianna. Long vowels, rolling in waves of pain through air." THE THINGS I LIKED Topic: Many books handle the topic 'grief'. But few books handle it in such a multilayered way as this one. The MC Lottie, who is around 11-12 years old at the start of this book, has lost her mother and sister. To cope with this loss, Lottie becomes fascinated by the reanimation of dead animals through taxidermy. But her grief is not the only one in this book - there is also the quiet grief of her father, the memory-ladden grief of her grandmother and the grief-turned-fierce-protection of her aunt Hilda. Beautifully handled. Verse: Like I said, verse novels is not something I have a whole lot of experience with, but I was truly impressed by how much meaning could be conveyed with so few words. Now, I, of course, can't say if this is the case with all verse novels, but in any case, it was impressive. Writing: Death, taxidermy and grief are quite morbid topics, but the author here managed to make them almost beautiful with her poetic and lyrical writing. However, if you are squeamish about graphic descriptions of dead animals in various stages of decay, I would stay clear of this book if I were you. Fair warning. WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE Repetition: Sadly, this book seemed to repeat itself; Lottie finds a dead animal and brings it home. Aunt Hilda destroys it. And repeat. Over and over. The inability of the story to renew itself was a blow for me and made it a little boring. On the plus side though, it is short, so even with the repetitiveness it is quickly finished. ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review FOLLOW MY BLOG FOR MORE BOOK GOODNESS

  3. 4 out of 5

    destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]

    The Art of Taxidermy has a lot going for it: beautiful writing, excellent crafting, and a look at grief that is nothing short of raw. Lottie's mother has passed, and Lottie has taken up an interest in science and death; specifically, she is captivated by dead animals and taxidermy. Her father indulges her, appreciates her scientific mind, and it's entirely possible that it's an interest she would have taken up with or without the grief she's experienced, but something about the obsessive nature The Art of Taxidermy has a lot going for it: beautiful writing, excellent crafting, and a look at grief that is nothing short of raw. Lottie's mother has passed, and Lottie has taken up an interest in science and death; specifically, she is captivated by dead animals and taxidermy. Her father indulges her, appreciates her scientific mind, and it's entirely possible that it's an interest she would have taken up with or without the grief she's experienced, but something about the obsessive nature of her thoughts leads me to think there's an implication of something fractured in the way she views the world without her mother in it. There's also a bit of chat about indigenous people, with a side character, Lottie's friend, being an Aboriginal boy. I didn't actually realize this book was set in Australia at first, and I've never read a book featuring an Aboriginal character, so I really appreciated that as an addition. The drawback to the entire book, though, and what made it impossible for me to give this more than 3.5 stars, is that I was bored. It sounds like the sort of story that should be innately interesting if only due to its gruesome nature (and it is gruesome, friends! Steer clear of this one if you're bothered by descriptions of dead animals), yet honestly, so little happens, and what does happen feels repetitive and somehow shallow. These are sad topics, yet I found it nearly impossible to feel anything about them, and I think that may be because Lottie is unfazed by anything that doesn't involve taxidermy. This will be a great book for a lot of people, but sadly, I wasn't one of them. Thank you so much to the publisher for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Esther

    Thanks to Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I usually avoid poetry books, and I didn't even know this was a poetry book. I just requested it on Netgalley because the cover and blurb seemed attractive. I'm so glad that I got to read this book, because it was beautiful, small and big at the same time. Sad, but beautiful, yes. A longer review can be found at BiteIntoBooks Small, yet big. Cryptic, yet easy to understand. A book that made me believe tha Thanks to Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I usually avoid poetry books, and I didn't even know this was a poetry book. I just requested it on Netgalley because the cover and blurb seemed attractive. I'm so glad that I got to read this book, because it was beautiful, small and big at the same time. Sad, but beautiful, yes. A longer review can be found at BiteIntoBooks Small, yet big. Cryptic, yet easy to understand. A book that made me believe that maybe I can love poetry. A small book with a big story, big emotions and revelations. Definitely worth your time, even if you're not sure you will like poetry!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Max

    This is a very beautiful novel. It's a story about a young girl struggling with death and a fascination for taxidermy. The writing is very poetic and flowing, and makes for easy reading. This is a quick read, but will leave you thinking about it. The book has pretty illustrations that add to the story. A small warning for if you have trouble with detailed descriptions of dead animals, it's not too intense in my opinion but if you're squeamish easily, this might not be a book for you. Thanks to the This is a very beautiful novel. It's a story about a young girl struggling with death and a fascination for taxidermy. The writing is very poetic and flowing, and makes for easy reading. This is a quick read, but will leave you thinking about it. The book has pretty illustrations that add to the story. A small warning for if you have trouble with detailed descriptions of dead animals, it's not too intense in my opinion but if you're squeamish easily, this might not be a book for you. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an ARC!

  6. 4 out of 5

    ✨Brithanie Faith✨

    4/5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ARC provided by Netgalley and Text Publishing in exchange for an honest review! The Art Of Taxidermy by Sharon Kernot is the story of a young girls fascination with death that begins after the passing of her mother! Told in verse, this novel explores grief, and how we deal with death after the fact as we try our best to make sense of things moving forward! This was such a beautifully written novel that packs a pretty hefty punch! I'm generally not someone who gravitates towards st 4/5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ARC provided by Netgalley and Text Publishing in exchange for an honest review! The Art Of Taxidermy by Sharon Kernot is the story of a young girls fascination with death that begins after the passing of her mother! Told in verse, this novel explores grief, and how we deal with death after the fact as we try our best to make sense of things moving forward! This was such a beautifully written novel that packs a pretty hefty punch! I'm generally not someone who gravitates towards stories told in verse, but I couldn't imagine this written any other way! Everyone deals with grief in their own way, and this was a prime example of that! If you've ever experienced the loss of a loved one, I think you'll find yourself relating to Lottie and her family, and maybe even finding comfort in the knowledge that it's okay to take time to grieve in your own way (even if others seem to have difficulty understanding what you're going through). The expected publication for The Art Of Taxidermy is the 13th of August, 2019! I'm looking forward to getting my hands on a physical copy of this when the time comes!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Text Publishing

    ‘In lyrical language, Kernot draws a comparison between the Australian bush and death: both are beautiful and desolate at once.’ Readings ‘Kernot’s writing is imbued with life and grace and moments of infectious joy.’ SA Weekend ‘Kernot has created an intriguing tale of mystery and the imagination with a haunting ambience that the ghost of Edgar Allan Poe would recognise and admire…this is a delightful story about grief transformed and the urge to resurrect and to re-create.’ Saturday Paper ‘This ‘In lyrical language, Kernot draws a comparison between the Australian bush and death: both are beautiful and desolate at once.’ Readings ‘Kernot’s writing is imbued with life and grace and moments of infectious joy.’ SA Weekend ‘Kernot has created an intriguing tale of mystery and the imagination with a haunting ambience that the ghost of Edgar Allan Poe would recognise and admire…this is a delightful story about grief transformed and the urge to resurrect and to re-create.’ Saturday Paper ‘This book is beautifully written…while the novel is about grief, it is also about the importance of remembering and keeping the memory of loved ones alive.’ Magpies Magazine ‘The work couples the swift, clipped charm of a verse novel and the unpredictable beauty of the Australian landscape in a captivating manner that showcases an author entirely comfortable with her form…Lingers in the mind for weeks afterwards.’ Tulpa Magazine ‘[An] exquisite lyrical verse novel…[A] sharply evocative tale.’ West Weekend ‘Completely mesmerising, fresh and unexpected.’ Diana Sweeney, winner of 2013 Text Prize ‘An intense exploration of grief.’ Steven Herrick

  8. 4 out of 5

    Marianne

    “The corellas were grazing with a scatter of galahs. We sat on a fallen log and watched them squabble and tussle, beat their wings and waddle like hook-nosed old men with their arms tucked behind their backs.” The Art of Taxidermy is the second novel by Australian author, Sharon Kernot. Eleven-year-old Charlotte has just developed a fascination with dead creatures. She can see their beauty, and wants to keep her collection in her room. Her father, Wolfgang is understanding, but Aunt Hilda is disgusted: “The corellas were grazing with a scatter of galahs. We sat on a fallen log and watched them squabble and tussle, beat their wings and waddle like hook-nosed old men with their arms tucked behind their backs.” The Art of Taxidermy is the second novel by Australian author, Sharon Kernot. Eleven-year-old Charlotte has just developed a fascination with dead creatures. She can see their beauty, and wants to keep her collection in her room. Her father, Wolfgang is understanding, but Aunt Hilda is disgusted: she thinks Lottie should be interested in things girlish, not ghoulish. Annie is her constant companion, helps her find specimens, and always has sound advice for her. While her new school friend, Jeffrey doesn’t share her absorption in these creatures, he and Lottie are both different enough from the others to stick together. Kernot chooses an unusual medium to tell Lottie’s tale: verse. It’s not the rhyming verse of Vikram Seth’s Golden Gate, it’s free verse, and it’s beautiful: “Today the trees are full of flowers and parrots. Rainbow, musk and little lorikeets hang from branches like gaudy clowns, squawking and chattering as they strip the flowering gums, leaving yellow pools and blood-red shadows beneath.” As Lottie collects and tries to preserve her finds, the tragedies that have befallen her family are gradually revealed. It’s a story that touches on death and grieving and funerals and the internment of Germans during World War Two and the stolen generation, and she wraps it all in evocative descriptive verse. But it’s not all doom and gloom; there’s much beauty and even a bit of humour when a misunderstanding that sees Aunt Hilda furnishing a certain sensitive product, which Lottie immediately puts to an excellent alternative use. And despite Aunt Hilda or, more accurately, because of Wolfgang, Lottie gets to try taxidermy for real. Hers are the last words in this marvellous novel: “The revival and re-creation of something that has expired is an honour and a gift.”

  9. 5 out of 5

    Zitong Ren

    Provided by the State Library Victoria as part of the Inky Awards. I wanted to like this book more than I did, and this was my second experience ever with a verse-novel, especially after I quite enjoyed the first one. The concept is also real interesting and challenges a lot of things with modern day society, it really does, though I can’t help think that this book was simply really boring. It took me five days to read this little thing, and while I had stuff on, I can generally finish a book lik Provided by the State Library Victoria as part of the Inky Awards. I wanted to like this book more than I did, and this was my second experience ever with a verse-novel, especially after I quite enjoyed the first one. The concept is also real interesting and challenges a lot of things with modern day society, it really does, though I can’t help think that this book was simply really boring. It took me five days to read this little thing, and while I had stuff on, I can generally finish a book like this is no more than two days, if not one. Every time, I was reluctant to pick it up again and while it is a very quick read, it does not really amount to much. It follows a girl called Lottie who is in love with Taxidermy which the art/process of stuffing dead animals, though Aunt Hilda, who she lives with hugely disproves and makes Lottie’s father to make her stop it to little avail. The book is set somewhere in Australia sometime after the Second World War. Lottie had a sister who is quiet a prominent character who died when she was six, so she acted kind of like spiritual support in a sense, constantly in the background. There is an aboriginal boy(hey, diversity!) called Jeffrey which can be called the love interest, though Lottie only turns thirteen this book and is just starting puberty and they go as far as a gentle kiss and that is it. What is good is that the book does bring up a lot of controversial things, challenging gender and race. Lottie and her family are German, and both of her parents and grandparents, who are called Oma and Opa were locked up in prison when the war was going on. Her mother would die giving birth due to poor conditions. Later on, when Lottie takes photos to school, she and her family who are wearing German uniforms are called the like of Nazi’s, a Kraut, and Jew Killer’s, when her family escaped German because they did not like the Nazi regime. Lottie herself wants to be a Taxidermist, and absolutely loves Taxidermy despite all attempts to stop her by her Aunt, which includes destroying all of creations at one time. Her aunt tries to make her to be a nurse, or teacher, something that supposedly suits a ‘female’, yet all she wants to do is to work at the Museum on Taxidermy. It is interesting as she has no wish to have a job that stereotypical seems to be what a woman does, which is great, as I am a strong believer in that anyone should be able to do whatever they want in their lives, and that a person’s background, race or gender should not effect that. Despite all the great things about the book, it was still so very, very boring. As stated, it should not have taken me five days to read such a small book, and yet it did. It took me the same amount of time to read World Without End, which makes it sort of ridiculous. Not a whole lot happened and many of the conversations feel the same. Lottie stuffs a creature, Aunt Hilda complains, tries to make her sew something, and repeat. There wasn’t a lot of chemistry and the book, which is beautifully written in verse made me feel empty, instead of loving or emphatic, which I found was a real shame. While there are a few nice things about it, the book was far to boring for it to have received a higher rating. I would not exactly recommend this book, though it does have lots of very interesting themes that challenges modern day society. 6/10

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Stoolfire

    I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The Art of Taxidermy by Sharon Kernot is a novel in verse that explores death and grief as well as how we deal with it all. Novels in verse aren't normally my go-to style, but this is absolutely worthy reading. Due to the style, it can go very quickly if you don't slow down to savor it. Kernot's writing is wonderfully lyrical and rhythmical, yet somewhat spare. It can be a bit repetitive at times though. I wouldn't say the book is I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The Art of Taxidermy by Sharon Kernot is a novel in verse that explores death and grief as well as how we deal with it all. Novels in verse aren't normally my go-to style, but this is absolutely worthy reading. Due to the style, it can go very quickly if you don't slow down to savor it. Kernot's writing is wonderfully lyrical and rhythmical, yet somewhat spare. It can be a bit repetitive at times though. I wouldn't say the book is exactly exciting, but overall the author handles the topic at hand very well and she writes beautifully. I may need to explore more of Sharon Kernot's writing in the future.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lolly K Dandeneau

    via my blog: https://bookstalkerblog.wordpress.com/ 'She carried everything lightly, as only the dead and innocent can.' In The Art of Taxidermy, we meet young Lottie whose passion for ‘revising’ dead creatures has her Aunt Hilda horrified, more so that her father Wolfgang encourages her by buying her glass aquariums to ‘contain the fusty fug of death’ within. To his mind, she isn’t the freak Aunt Hilda believes her to be, she just has a scientific bend of mind, it’s ‘in her genes’. No sir! Girls via my blog: https://bookstalkerblog.wordpress.com/ 'She carried everything lightly, as only the dead and innocent can.' In The Art of Taxidermy, we meet young Lottie whose passion for ‘revising’ dead creatures has her Aunt Hilda horrified, more so that her father Wolfgang encourages her by buying her glass aquariums to ‘contain the fusty fug of death’ within. To his mind, she isn’t the freak Aunt Hilda believes her to be, she just has a scientific bend of mind, it’s ‘in her genes’. No sir! Girls she play with dolls, not skeletal remains of reptiles and birds, sheep… not be enthralled by the stink of death! It is the states of decay Lottie is captivated by, the possibility of resurrection, of keeping a creature in it’s natural state forever unlike her mother Adrianna, whose death has hung around like a shadow. Through her grief, a passion for taxidermy is being born but Hilda thinks it’s a sickness, a disturbance in the child’s nature. Written in a beautiful lyrical style, nature dominates the pages more than death as Lottie weaves her way to the creak, observes nature searching for specimens. “But the day was teeming with life”, we explore the Australian land overhead as birds take flight or upon the ground muck through the mud and fungi. Then there is Jeffrey, made of skin rich like the earth and quiet grace, companion to Lottie’s peculiar hobby. A boy with Aboriginal origins, a boy who has blossomed in her dark heart. What is a girl to do with the face of death but try and preserve it? She herself a flightless bird with Aunt Hilda trying to make her a ‘normal’ girl, doing everything she can to end her taxidermy dreams. Snippets of ‘mother memories’ creeping into her heart like soft dreams, Oma’s omens and superstitions, an inheritance of despair and always, ‘the air is heavy with ghosts.’ As Lottie finds her purpose, she must too confront her grief over the loss of her mother and learn her German family history, the reasons her family were treated like criminals. Will she be able to convince Aunt Hilda that she isn’t an unnatural girl, that she isn’t a bloodthirsty murderer of creatures with a macabre hobby? Do we embrace our yearnings or let shame force us to discard the very things that make our heart beat with meaning? Intentions are funny creatures themselves, as we see with Aunt Hilda pushing her ‘ideal’ of womanhood upon Lottie. The road to hell is paved with good intentions and all that. A beautiful tale out of Australia, uniquely written. The subject is heavy and yet the lyrical prose is uplifting, I felt I could hear bird-call and smell the ‘fug’ of decay. For those who love narrative poetry, this is a YA novel but I think adults will enjoy it too. Publication Date: August 23, 2019 Text Publishing Company

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tamsien West (Babbling Books)

    The Art of Taxidermy is an Australian YA verse novel about grief & love. This style was a first for me, but after a few pages I found myself swept away by the rhythm of the story. The focus is on a young girl dealing with the loss of her mother, but there is also mention of internment camps in Australia for German, Italian and Japanese families during WWII and the Stolen Generation. A fascinating, and beautiful read filled with sadness and hope. The Art of Taxidermy is an Australian YA verse novel about grief & love. This style was a first for me, but after a few pages I found myself swept away by the rhythm of the story. The focus is on a young girl dealing with the loss of her mother, but there is also mention of internment camps in Australia for German, Italian and Japanese families during WWII and the Stolen Generation. A fascinating, and beautiful read filled with sadness and hope.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sheena ☆ Oh, the Sheenanigans!

    “The Art of Taxidermy” left me pleasantly surprised and would definitely say it’s not for everyone specially if you’re not typically taken with verse novels (that is a type of narrative poetry in which a novel-length narrative is told through the medium of poetry rather than prose.) It was a unique and refreshing tale that told a tale about coping with loss and the grieving process, and would highly recommended to readers who aren’t afraid to step out their comfort zone. “The Art of Taxidermy” left me pleasantly surprised and would definitely say it’s not for everyone specially if you’re not typically taken with verse novels (that is a type of narrative poetry in which a novel-length narrative is told through the medium of poetry rather than prose.) It was a unique and refreshing tale that told a tale about coping with loss and the grieving process, and would highly recommended to readers who aren’t afraid to step out their comfort zone.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Queen Cronut

    A lyrical and moving novel told in verse about a young girl's fascination with death as she copes with the loss of her mother. Charlotte, or Lottie, has a passion for dead creatures as she sees their unique beauty and wants to preserve them in a collection. While her father, Wolfgang, supports his daughter's interest, her aunt Hilda is appalled and would like to see her niece into more girlish not ghoulish hobbies. I liked that this novel explored the gender roles of women at the time and how ce A lyrical and moving novel told in verse about a young girl's fascination with death as she copes with the loss of her mother. Charlotte, or Lottie, has a passion for dead creatures as she sees their unique beauty and wants to preserve them in a collection. While her father, Wolfgang, supports his daughter's interest, her aunt Hilda is appalled and would like to see her niece into more girlish not ghoulish hobbies. I liked that this novel explored the gender roles of women at the time and how certain jobs were not socially accepted for a "proper lady." Meanwhile, Lottie is also finding ways to come to terms with her mother's death and expresses it through the art of taxidermy. I liked the juxtaposition between the grotesque descriptions of animals to the natural beauty of wildlife. Through taxidermy, Lottie can restore beauty in a world surrounded by rot and decay. And I appreciated that this book did not romanticize death and instead portrayed death as being a natural part of life. Exceptionally written and certainly a unique read. 9/10 would recommend. *Thank you to NetGalley and its publishers for providing a free ARC*

  15. 4 out of 5

    Clare Snow

    The revival and re-creation of something that has expired is an honour and a gift Thanks Text Publishing for this gem of a book. I didn't mean to take 4 months to finish. The book design by Imogen Stubbs and illustration by Edith Rewa is superb.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Meaghan

    I feel bad for another dnf, but these books just haven't been clicking with me lately. I read the first 45% of this book fairly quickly, it flew by and I could just keep going and going. However, after I had stopped, I wasn't able to make myself pick it back up again. I realized I just didn't have a connection with the characters nor was intrigued by the story and family history that this book seemed to be building to, and with the book needing to be nearing more action/reveals/tension, I didn't I feel bad for another dnf, but these books just haven't been clicking with me lately. I read the first 45% of this book fairly quickly, it flew by and I could just keep going and going. However, after I had stopped, I wasn't able to make myself pick it back up again. I realized I just didn't have a connection with the characters nor was intrigued by the story and family history that this book seemed to be building to, and with the book needing to be nearing more action/reveals/tension, I didn't think I was going to end up being invested when everything went down. It's hard to pinpoint where this lack of interest came from. I think some of it definitely came from the general subject matter of the story (or the hobby through which the inner story of our MC is dealt with). While I knew this book would be about taxidermy, dead animals, etc., I guess I hadn't expected the detail? I guess I had assumed it would be backgrounding the larger family story rather than the other way around, and in reality I just don't enjoy reading about dead animal collecting, studying, and attempts at taxidermy of these dead animals. It just made me really uncomfortable at points, and I found myself skimming longer passages that involved these types of scenes. And unfortunately... this was most of the book. At least I know this for next time though, avoid books with a focus on dead animals? I also wasn't fully enraptured by the verse. I've loved a lot of novels written in verse (most from Ellen Hopkins), but I just didn't mesh well with this particular take. I feel like verse is a little more hit or miss with me than prose, just as poetry is as well, and I honestly didn't feel like this novel benefited much from the verse (from what I read of it, of course). It seemed to read more as just broken up sentences than an actual style, and it just wasn't lyrical for me. I do think others will enjoy it though! All in all, this book just wasn't for me, but I don't feel like I can judge it 'objectively', as much as anyone ever judges a book objectively. It just had too many things that weren't my taste, but I do feel like this book will find a home on some readers' shelves.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Claude's Bookzone

    3.5 Stars Well this was a dark but well crafted read. RTC

  18. 5 out of 5

    Arybo ✨

    3.75 They are perfect - perfectly dead. Charlotte lost her mother and her sister, and her father never recovered from their loss. So Lottie started looking for beauty in the world, for something to connect herself with the lost ones. She found out that animals were magical and beautiful in their fragility. Animals were pure beauty and were so full of life that she wanted to collect them. But animals could die, so she undertook her journey to collect a beuty that never dies. The air is heavy wi 3.75 They are perfect - perfectly dead. Charlotte lost her mother and her sister, and her father never recovered from their loss. So Lottie started looking for beauty in the world, for something to connect herself with the lost ones. She found out that animals were magical and beautiful in their fragility. Animals were pure beauty and were so full of life that she wanted to collect them. But animals could die, so she undertook her journey to collect a beuty that never dies. The air is heavy with ghosts. The birds sing only sad songs. The ground swallowed many tears. This book is written in verse and I think that this was the right choice for a peculiar story such as this one. The protagonist is looking for a way to pass through her grief and the journey of the taxidermy's Learning is an important step to enter the world in an acceptable way for herself. I don't like taxidermy, I feel sorry for the dead animals hung to the walls, but I can comprehend Lottie's desire to create a world for herself and her grief, a way to connect with her past and her future at the same time. This is what you need, my dear Lottie. Life, not Death. Life. One of the things I liked the most was the father's support to his daughter's scientific heart. At the same time, her aunt was a good character. I also liked the setting and the historical references about WWII. I was really interested in the little knowledge written in the book. The last thing I want to remember about this book is the great pain and th great grief you could feel reading the pages. Some things are repeated because when you are in grief you pour salt into a wound thinking everytime at the same obsessive thoughts, as if your mind were fixed on the loss and nothing else could enter your brain. Beauty can be found in sad books, even if the themes are not entirely acceptable for your beliefs. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for sending me an arc of this book in exchange for an honest review

  19. 5 out of 5

    madde

    this was really good!! a really quick read, 231 pages written in verse that i flew through in just a couple of hours. it was beautiful, dark and heartbreaking. it amazed me how much could be said with so few words. really, a stunning book, but it got a little repetitive in the end. really recommend this to anyone who wants something dark and quick with death as it’s main theme and with characters you start to care about from the start.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    ~ I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review ~ “I keep them because I love them. I keep them because they are beautiful. And then I surprised myself and said: I keep them because they remind me of Mother.” Coping with grief is a hard task for anyone, let alone a little girl who is struggling to deal with the passing of her mother. However, Lottie finds comfort within death itself as she develops a fascination with taxidermy. Although I wouldn’t normally fin ~ I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review ~ “I keep them because I love them. I keep them because they are beautiful. And then I surprised myself and said: I keep them because they remind me of Mother.” Coping with grief is a hard task for anyone, let alone a little girl who is struggling to deal with the passing of her mother. However, Lottie finds comfort within death itself as she develops a fascination with taxidermy. Although I wouldn’t normally find myself reading a novel comprised of verse, I certainly don’t regret trying this one. It’s short and sweet but packed full of meaning and insight into the various ways people move on and adapt after losing a loved one. It was truly fascinating to read about an alternative perspective to a typically grotesque theme as most don’t view death in such a beautiful and inspiring way.

  21. 5 out of 5

    SaraEmmy

    I was sent a copy of this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Lottie is fascinated by dead animals. She collects them, at the same time horrifying her aunt. Her father both encourages her to find her way and tries to placate her aunt. It's not easy being a single parent, and what really happened to Lottie's mother? This is a novel in lyrical form, which is new for me, and it was a heartbreakingly beautiful read. You get small clues into the main characters life and history all along I was sent a copy of this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Lottie is fascinated by dead animals. She collects them, at the same time horrifying her aunt. Her father both encourages her to find her way and tries to placate her aunt. It's not easy being a single parent, and what really happened to Lottie's mother? This is a novel in lyrical form, which is new for me, and it was a heartbreakingly beautiful read. You get small clues into the main characters life and history all along the way, like what happened to Lottie's mother? What about Lottie's friend Annie, who seems to share her interest in dead animals. Even though the subject is sometimes quite macabre, this is also beautifully written. There are parts that are heartbreakingly sad, and parts that are hopeful for the future.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kelly (Diva Booknerd)

    The Art of Taxidermy is an exceptional verse narrative of grief, loss and finding solace in the world around us. Charlotte is a young lady yearning for her mother who has passed, her father seemingly disinterested in his surviving daughter, his sister and Charlotte's aunt assuming the role of primary caregiver. Through her taxidermy specimens, Charlotte finds cathartic release, gently and lovingly seeing beauty within death and sorrow. Beautifully and rhythmically written, Sharon Kernot has creat The Art of Taxidermy is an exceptional verse narrative of grief, loss and finding solace in the world around us. Charlotte is a young lady yearning for her mother who has passed, her father seemingly disinterested in his surviving daughter, his sister and Charlotte's aunt assuming the role of primary caregiver. Through her taxidermy specimens, Charlotte finds cathartic release, gently and lovingly seeing beauty within death and sorrow. Beautifully and rhythmically written, Sharon Kernot has created a compelling narrative that explores aspects of life, death and the in between we leave behind. Simply stunning.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Teresa

    Thank you to NetGalley, Sharon Kernot, and Text Publishing for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review. Two things drew me to request this novel: the fact that it is written in a poetic format, and my own odd interest in taxidermy. When I taught 8th grade, one of the stories taught in the short story unit is Roald Dahl's "The Landlady," a creepy story in which the Landlady of a bed and breakfast keeps her guests...forever! It's a fun creepy tale that introduces students Thank you to NetGalley, Sharon Kernot, and Text Publishing for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review. Two things drew me to request this novel: the fact that it is written in a poetic format, and my own odd interest in taxidermy. When I taught 8th grade, one of the stories taught in the short story unit is Roald Dahl's "The Landlady," a creepy story in which the Landlady of a bed and breakfast keeps her guests...forever! It's a fun creepy tale that introduces students to taxidermy, and they love it. The Art of Taxidermy doesn't have the same creepy feel, but more a childhood curiosity into keeping animals after death. After Lottie's mother dies, the little girl has a strange fascination with death. She collects dead animals, takes pictures of death things, and writes poems about death. She is living in Australia, but her family is from Germany, which already makes her more of an outcast, so why not collect dead creatures on top of that? Lottie's aunt does not approve of this hobby, and even goes so far as to throw away or burn Lottie's collection, saying it's not normal, especially for a young girl. When Lotie's aunt tries to coax her into thinking of a career in nursing, Lottie denies any interest. She wants to do one thing and one thing only when she grows up: be a taxidermist at the local museum. After getting a chance to learn and practice with the museum taxidermist, she knows that's what is right for her, and her father supports her interest. Who cares if a boy would never want to marry a girl who stuffs dead things? Lottie knows who she is and what she wants to do, and her father will support that. I love the message of this book. Death can be made beautiful in an artistic way. Also, encouraging youth to follow what they are interested in, rather than telling them they shouldn't be interested in this or that, is one of the reasons why I am a teacher. To foster every young person and help them find their interest, no matter where that interest may lay (as long as they aren't putting themselves or others in danger, of course). I love books written in a poetic style. They are a quick read and always quite enjoyable as to how they are structured. While the poetic verse of Ellen Hopkins will (probably) always be my favorite, Sharon Kernot has a beautiful way of presenting a tale through imagery in poetic verse, and I would love to see something like this from this author in future!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Louise-Andree

    ***ARC provided by Netgalley and Text Publishing Company in exchange for an honest review*** 4.50* Okay, I'll start by saying that I was completely drawn to the cover; how beautiful is it. And though the subject of taxidermy isn't something that actually interest me, I was still completely curious about it and wanted to read a story based on it. I'm glad I was able to read this as it's my first verse novel, which is totally new to me. It is beautiful written, poetic almost. Meet Lottie, a young gir ***ARC provided by Netgalley and Text Publishing Company in exchange for an honest review*** 4.50* Okay, I'll start by saying that I was completely drawn to the cover; how beautiful is it. And though the subject of taxidermy isn't something that actually interest me, I was still completely curious about it and wanted to read a story based on it. I'm glad I was able to read this as it's my first verse novel, which is totally new to me. It is beautiful written, poetic almost. Meet Lottie, a young girl who has suffered loss at a young age and through her grief, she begins a fascination with death. The story is told in verse that flows like a usual chaptered story. lottie goes through her every day life with grief and how she deals with it through her fascination with life after death by way of taxidermy and life after death. She sees beauty in it all, her father understands it on a scientific level while her aunt think it's something else, depression or something else. The story isn't solely on grief as we get backstories of the family and the internment of families in Australia during WWII. I can't give this story a perfect score as i felt there were repetitions from time to time, the story just circled for a while but it still flowed nicely anyway. I admit being a little bit confused at first, not knowing if i wanted to keep reading but I did and I'm glad i read it all. It was a fascinating read. It was sad but there was hope towards the end.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Anniek

    I requested this book because I've loved most of the verse novels I've read so far, but this is a no from me. The writing style is actually good, but the descriptions of dead and decaying animals really grossed me out (although I concede that that's a me thing). For most of this book, I was just kind of bored, and I found that it wasn't really for me. So nothing too amazing, but nothing too terrible either. But then... Did this white author... really have to use the N word? Short answer: no, not a I requested this book because I've loved most of the verse novels I've read so far, but this is a no from me. The writing style is actually good, but the descriptions of dead and decaying animals really grossed me out (although I concede that that's a me thing). For most of this book, I was just kind of bored, and I found that it wasn't really for me. So nothing too amazing, but nothing too terrible either. But then... Did this white author... really have to use the N word? Short answer: no, not at all, not ever. Yikes. And I've somehow not seen this mentioned in any of the reviews I've read? I actually stopped reading right after seeing this, because that's honestly all I need to know. (Page 170 btw, for reference.) This book is set to come out in August so I sincerely hope this will get rectified in the finished copy.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Shirin

    Just don’t write the N-word, is that so fucking hard? I hate white people

  27. 5 out of 5

    Pamela ✨I Blame Wizards✨

    The Art of Taxidermy by Sharon Kernot felt like it was written for me. While my emotional circumstances didn’t align with the narrator, Lottie, everything else in the story felt so familiar that it really resonated. I chose The Art of Taxidermy as my book for my May Reading Challenge, and for the theme, I chose a book depicting my country. Honestly, I couldn’t have picked a better one. The Art of Taxidermy is a slow burn, and I must admit, it wasn’t at all what I was expecting. It’s described as The Art of Taxidermy by Sharon Kernot felt like it was written for me. While my emotional circumstances didn’t align with the narrator, Lottie, everything else in the story felt so familiar that it really resonated. I chose The Art of Taxidermy as my book for my May Reading Challenge, and for the theme, I chose a book depicting my country. Honestly, I couldn’t have picked a better one. The Art of Taxidermy is a slow burn, and I must admit, it wasn’t at all what I was expecting. It’s described as a novel, but it’s more than that. Essentially, it’s a piece of narrative poetry, and as such, is a short read. But Kernot really does a lot in minimal space. Her prose is deliberate and tightly woven. Because of the style and structure, not a word is out of place. There wasn’t a deep plot, or any unexpected twists and turns, but what it did show was a very personal look at grief and the beauty that can be found in death. Australian flora and fauna are an integral part of The Art of Taxidermy, and as such, I’m not sure how much a non-Australian would get from it. This novel resonated with me so deeply because I felt a familiarity with its people and setting. Lottie’s family are German, and the prose is speckled with German words which are not always translated. Coming from a bi-lingual Australian/German family, once again, this was something that really resonated with me, but made me question just how much a reader not immersed in that culture would really understand in the nuances. The corellas were grazing with a scatter of galahs. We sat on a fallen log and watched them squabble and tussle, beat their wings and waddle like hook-nosed old men with their arms tucked behind their backs. There are some stunningly visceral descriptions of death, dying, and decay. While these may not be for everyone, I found them oddly beautiful. There is beauty in the fragility of life, and artistry in capturing those moments, and it was refreshing to see those things represented in a way that was more than merely violent and gruesome. It was a hopeful, loving novel, but still punctuated by an undercurrent of grief and loneliness. It was like the human condition was distilled into a few pages of prose, and I thought it was done masterfully. There isn’t a great deal of world-building, nor particularly in-depth characterisation in The Art of Taxidermy, but that didn’t matter. It wasn’t that kind of book. Reading it is more about the experience of it, rather than the enjoyment – and for that, I was glad of its relatively short length. Had it been any longer I think it could have become boring, but any shorter and it would have felt lacking. It was a pretty much perfect showcase of unique style and subtle story without overstaying its welcome. I don’t think The Art of Taxidermy will be everyone’s cup of tea. I think it will appeal to a particular audience. So, if you’re like me and you’re an Australian/German with nostalgia for your home who is bi-lingual and has a love for Natural History collections, then this book was written for you. Alternatively, if you like unique structure and beautiful prose that probes the subtleties of the human condition, then this book might also be for you. There’s no doubt about it, The Art of Taxidermy is an ‘artsy’ book that needs to be experienced rather than simply read. If that’s the kind of book you like, then this will be right up your street.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Liz Derouet

    A beautiful verse novel about grief and the importance of loved ones. This is for all ages. Full review to appear in Magpies Magazine .

  29. 5 out of 5

    - ̗̀ jess ̖́-

    I revived them all. Imagined them coming to life with the magic of taxidermy, which didn't just preserve-- but brought them back from the dead.  The Art of Taxidermy is a novel written in free verse about grief and loss and death, and its depiction of these topics is so raw and honest. There's a lot of morbidity in this book--how could there not be when it's about amateur taxidermy?--but ultimately it offers optimism and healing and the idea that life can come from death, in a way. The Art of Taxi I revived them all. Imagined them coming to life with the magic of taxidermy, which didn't just preserve-- but brought them back from the dead.  The Art of Taxidermy is a novel written in free verse about grief and loss and death, and its depiction of these topics is so raw and honest. There's a lot of morbidity in this book--how could there not be when it's about amateur taxidermy?--but ultimately it offers optimism and healing and the idea that life can come from death, in a way. The Art of Taxidermy is real and beautifully written. One of the things I appreciated about this book is that it discusses the complexities of grief and how much it can twist your entire world upside down. After the death of her mother and sister, Lottie develops a morbid fascination with dead animals. It doesn't stem from violence; it stems from her need to understand death. There's lots of interesting discussions of binary thinking in this book: masculinity vs. femininity, death vs. life, black vs. white, and the author tries to break these down through showing Lottie's opposition to her aunt, who keeps trying to steer her away from her fascination with science and dead animals and onto more "girlish" things like sewing (but unknowingly gives her the tools to proceed in amateur taxidermy). Lottie gives life to dead animals through trying to preserve them. Also, her friendship with an Australian Aboriginal boy factors into this as well, but a he's a minor character in the whole scheme of things. Even though this book was beautifully written and raised a lot of interesting questions, I didn't find myself interested in what was going on most of the time. A lot of the book seems repetitive--Lottie sees dead animals, brings them home, and her aunt gets angry at her and her father encourages her. While this is meant to show a longstanding fascination with death it gets tiring after a while. All in all I think this is a well-written free-verse book that will probably be enjoyed by those who like poetry and words more than the plot and characters. Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. BLOG | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mari Johnston

    This review and many others can also be found at Musings of a (Book) Girl. This was one that did not click with me as much as I was hoping. When I came across The Art of Taxidermy on NetGalley, the title and cover art immediately intrigued me. Then, when I saw that it was written in verse, I immediately hit the request button. Verse novels are my absolute favorite, so it’s a pretty guaranteed way to get me to read your book. Sharon Kernot really is a great poet. Her words are beautiful and flow to This review and many others can also be found at Musings of a (Book) Girl. This was one that did not click with me as much as I was hoping. When I came across The Art of Taxidermy on NetGalley, the title and cover art immediately intrigued me. Then, when I saw that it was written in verse, I immediately hit the request button. Verse novels are my absolute favorite, so it’s a pretty guaranteed way to get me to read your book. Sharon Kernot really is a great poet. Her words are beautiful and flow together so well, creating excellent imagery and emotion. The way she manages to explore the topic of grief in this novel was incredible. Lottie deals with the death of her mother in an honest and heartbreaking way that I was able to relate to after the loss of my nana. One thing that bothered me about this story though was I didn’t understand why it was being told. Yes, the words were beautiful, but I needed more of a driving force behind them. Lottie’s story was incredibly interesting with her fascination with dead animals and the desire to preserve them, but there didn’t seem to be a reason as to why Kernot decided to share it with us. This missing piece caused me to have an overall feeling of boredom throughout the time it took me to read the book. A lot of the poems also felt repetitious after a while. I am glad that I took the time to read The Art of Taxidermy, and I definitely recommend it to anyone that enjoys novels in verse or the macabre. I was so glad to see that Lottie stayed true to who she was throughout the novel despite her aunt’s best efforts. This is a very unique story, and I know the subject matter won’t jive with everybody, but it was nice to see something out there for those of us that like things others find abnormal or gross. I’m definitely interested in reading more by Sharon Kernot, and I truly hope she continues to write poetry. A digital ARC was provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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