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When We Were Animals    by Joshua Gaylord order for
When We Were Animals
by Joshua Gaylord
Order:  USA  Can
Mulholland, 2015 (2015)
* * *   Reviewed by Jessica Maguire

When the moon is full, animals act strangely. Wolves howl, cats tear through the house chasing imaginary mice, and even the tides change. But none act as strangely as a teenager. In a small town in the heartland of America, when the moon is full, beware! It is then that teenagers run amok.

It's called breaching, that night each month when the moon is full and the teenagers are running. Rational behavior goes out the window, as does the breacher. They fight with each other; brutal, bloody brawls ensue. They run around naked and have sex with each other. Come morning, they rarely remember what happened.

Lumen Fowler knows she will not breach. Her dearly departed mother didn't and it is her mother's blood that flows through Lumen's veins. Lumen is good, she is light, and she intends to stay that way. But really, does anything ever go as planned?

I really enjoyed reading about the odd things the teenagers go through in this strange, small town. I was very engaged in the story. Metaphors seem to be everywhere and I recalled my own teenage years ... and was very glad I wasn't affected by the full moon!

As I was reading and the deeper I got in to the story, the more I thought that this is definitely a book for your book club. So many wonderful discussion questions come up. What is the significance of Lumen's name? Why is it only the teenagers in this particular town who breach? Is breaching representative of an internal struggle we all go through in our teenage years?

So, add it to your book club list, get reading, and start discussing! There won't be a lull in the conversation.

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