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Shark Heart
Shark Heart: A Love Story | Emily Habeck
100 posts | 61 read | 53 to read
A lyrical and provocative debut novel about newlyweds Wren and her husband, Lewis, who over the course of nine months, transforms into a great white shark. For Lewis and Wren, their first year of marriage is also their last. A few weeks after their wedding, Lewis receives a rare diagnosis. He will retain most of his consciousness, memories, and intellect, but his physical body will transform into that of a great white shark. As Lewis develops the features and impulses of one of the most predatory creatures in the ocean, his complicated artists heart struggles to make peace with his unfulfilled dreams. At first, Wren internally resists her husbands fate. Is there a way for them to be together after Lewis fully transforms? Then, a glimpse of Lewiss developing carnivorous nature activates long-repressed memories for Wren, whose story vacillates between her childhood living on a houseboat in Oklahoma, her time with a college ex-girlfriend, and her unusual friendship with a woman pregnant with twin birds. Woven throughout this daring novel is the story of Wrens mother, Angela, who becomes pregnant with Wren at fifteen in an abusive relationship amidst her parents crumbling marriage. In the present, all of Wrens grief eventually collides, and she meets her fears with surrender, choosing to love fully, now. An emotional exploration of motherhood, marriage, transformation, and letting go, Shark Heart is an unforgettable love story about mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, animals and peopleall while examining what it truly means to be human.
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review
monalyisha
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Pickpick

I knew this debut novel had a lot of love. I‘m not sure what I expected but it wasn‘t what I got.

I, like others, LOVED what I got.

Despite first impressions, bears only a surface resemblance to The Lobster (2015). I kept thinking, “This is like The Lobster except…” less self-consciously artsy, more intimate, more feminine. Eventually, the “excepts” piled up. The only real similarity is animal transmutation in an otherwise mundane world. 😅👇🏻

monalyisha 1/2: I‘m genuinely still in awe that this is Habeck‘s first novel. It‘s hard to write past that but I‘ll try. 😅 This is the kind of magical realism I‘m always craving in my (human, and therefore animal) heart of hearts. The fantastical is accepted; the rest is contemporary fiction. The focus is on the characters: their yearning, their struggles, their joy, their connection with their larger community and with themselves. 5d
monalyisha 2/2: If you‘re a fan of nature writing, it‘s got more than a dawn‘s blush of that, too! If you don‘t mind crying at the beach (just wear big sunglasses & you‘ll be golden), I‘d definitely recommend tucking this into your bag with your towel & sunblock this summer. 🦈 It‘d also be a great book club choice! Anticipate discussions about love, caretaking, & formative childhood experiences. I‘m still ruminating on the “why” behind so many details. (edited) 5d
Amiable Fabulous review! 5d
See All 7 Comments
monalyisha I should also say that this is the THIRD recently published book I‘ve read in under a year that specifically names Our Town by Thornton Wilder — in the text itself & in the acknowledgements — as a hugely impactful & relevant work. It‘s officially a trend! 5d
Crazeedi Excellent review 5d
marleed @monalyisha Kind of related to your noting Our Town…. I went through a couple years were I couldn‘t believe how many book I read made some mention of Earnest Hemingway. I wished I‘d documented every reference I read. 5d
68 likes3 stack adds7 comments
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alecia3dixie
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Pickpick

This book was beautifully written and had very meaningful things to say about love, loss, grief, joy, growing up, and many other things. Everything was very beautiful and heart-wrenching. I just wish there was more character development. I wanted to know and love the characters a little more. 4/5

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ElizaMarie
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Pickpick

I enjoyed this book, but I don't know. It had such sad parts to it, such beautiful love, such loss. It had a lot of “big feelings“.

Thank you again @AlwaysBeenALoverOfBooks

#AcquiredViaLitsy2024

Another #BirdBuddy

Booksblanketsandahotbeverage Is this a feeder with a camera? I love it! 🐦‍⬛❤️ 1w
dabbe 🤩🤩🤩 1w
Booksblanketsandahotbeverage ❤️❤️❤️ 1w
25 likes4 comments
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DaniJ
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Pickpick

This book is STUNNING. One of the strangest stories I‘ve ever read, but it approaches love and loss with unflinching rawness and honesty. If you would have told me a book about a man mutating into a shark would be one of my favourite books of the year, I would have laughed at you. But, here we are. It‘s poetry. It‘s prose. It‘s art and paint and canvas. It‘s a love story. But mostly about self love and selfless love. Read it. Five stars.

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Hilary427
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Pickpick

This was so different, weird, and wonderful! Very strange premise but it worked. (16)
⭐️: 4/5

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ElizaMarie
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This book is strange. I'm 100 pages in and I'm still uncertain as to what i think of it.

Thanks again @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks #acquiredViaLitsy2024

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Nessavamusic
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Pickpick

A strange, beautiful, sad story about a couple who faces a tragic diagnosis and where they go from there. Going fairly blind is the best here. Note there are live stories, but not a romance. Though at the beginning of this book I had doubts, I loved this! 5⭐️
#botm

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Rissreads
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed this. It was refreshing to read something so original. Wren and Lewis have just gotten married when Lewis receives the diagnosis that within a year he will mutate into a great white shark. You would be forgiven for thinking that this is a horror story but It‘s actually a tender story of love and sacrifice. You could also presume to think that this is a silly story but it‘s actually very astute. ♥️ 🦈
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Centique Great review! I will move this up my TBR 😍 How are you doing Nerissa? 1mo
Rissreads @Centique I‘m on holidays at the moment but spending most of it trying to organise stuff for mum like carers etc It is great to not have to jump out of the bed I. The morning and read with my cats. How are you doing? X (edited) 1mo
Centique @Rissreads all good here. We‘ve been through a few rounds of colds and covid lately 🤧😷🥴 but otherwise fine. Organising carers and looking after an elderly parent is tough. I hope you are getting through it ok 💕 My dad is still trucking along despite doctors expectations - must be all the good food we spoon feed him at lunchtimes! 1mo
CarolynM I‘m sorry to hear you are going through the elderly-parent-needing-care trials too. Like @Centique says, it‘s hard. Reach out if you want any long distance support and understanding 💕 1mo
38 likes4 comments
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SanjanaGhosh
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Mehso-so

This was a weird weird read, but it was written well so persevered till the end.

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ElizaMarie
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Thank you thank you thank you @AlwaysBeenALoverOfBooks I am so excited to start this one soon (need to finish a couple of things first, but it is next on the list to begin).

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Read563
Pickpick

I thought it was a sweet romance that Wren and Lewis shared and all the hardships they went through really got to me but in all the ending was satisfying and it made me cry (a little) 5/5⭐️

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daena

“As their saltwater tears combined with the sea, Lewis finally understood the log line of their love story: He was an aimless kite in search of a string to ground him to the world, but instead, he‘d found Wren, a great, strong wind who supported his exploration of the sky.”

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daena
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This is a complete #blameitonlitsy grab from the library. And quite honestly I cannot put it down. Both equally heartbreaking and funny.

BethM I need that mug for my aunt! 2mo
31 likes2 comments
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The.Great.Catsby
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Pickpick

As an audiobook, I thought it was good. If I were reading it physically... I probably would have lost interest when the POV changed half way through.
I'm glad I stuck it out.
This was a very sweet but also very sad story about love, loss, and growth.
I liked that the ending wasn't how I thought it would be.
This is a soft pick for me.

⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

03.21.2024

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Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks
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When I first heard about this one I thought it would be ridiculous, but I was very wrong… I especially related to this story as my husband had a stoke 5 months after we got married last year… This book is about so much more… it explores the way relationships change when someone is diagnosed with a terminal/serious diagnosis. This is a story of love 🦈💔 and the journey of change…

Did Margaret C. Finnegan remind anyone else of Dory? 🐠

Read4life 💙💙 2mo
lil1inblue 💓 💓 💓 2mo
Gissy I bet it was a hard time at that moment for both of you❤️❤️❤️ 2mo
See All 11 Comments
Gissy I bet it was a hard time at that moment for both of you❤️❤️❤️ 2mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @Gissy yes… it was really shocking because he had no previous medical problems 💔 he has improved a lot in a year though 🙏🏻 2mo
AnnCrystal 😢😘🫂🙏💝. 2mo
marleed I thought you might really like this one! 2mo
Kitta I‘m so sorry you‘re going through that. ❤️ I loved this book too, so strange as a premise but so good. 2mo
CBee I loved this book so much ♥️ 2mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @Kitta thank you 🙏🏻 ❤️ 2mo
86 likes3 stack adds11 comments
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Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks
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Finishing this one today and still processing… so many feels 🦈 💔 I heard this song this morning and it seemed to fit perfectly 🎶 😢

Can you think of a song to match your book? Play and tag friends! #BookNotes 🎵

https://youtu.be/osdoLjUNFnA?si=fh6iRGiq4kxtQsAT

ElizaMarie This one sounds so interesting 2mo
AnnCrystal Thank you for the tag! 👏😊👍💝. 2mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @ElizaMarie it is so weird but so beautiful! I know that doesn‘t make sense 😂 2mo
dabbe Will do; thanks for the tag! 😘 2mo
ElizaMarie I'm stacking it! I read the synopsis and it looked so intense! 2mo
47 likes5 comments
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Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks
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Happy Monday! I hope you all have a great day!

Tux is jealous of books 🤣 as soon as I open one he‘s in my lap! 🤗🐾❤️

#Adayinthelifeoftux
#Catsoflitsy
#LitsyLove

💛💛💛

RaeLovesToRead Boop! ? This is part of the "duties of a cat". He is holding up his end of the bargain ? 2mo
TheSpineView Poor Tux. Attention deprived. 🤣🤣🤣 2mo
See All 6 Comments
Gissy 😻 🖤 🖤🖤 2mo
AnnCrystal 😂💕😻💝. 2mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @dabbe 🤗🫶🏻❤️ 2mo
75 likes6 comments
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Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks
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“Are we all just actors, performing some unbound art form for God, the audience of space? I wish I could have seen then what I know now. All along, I had the starring role.”

🦈 💚

This book 🥹💔

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Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks
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Enjoying a beautiful day on the porch reading and my granddaughter brings me this bouquet 💐 she‘s the sweetest 🩷

“I like to think we met in a daydream once, a long time ago, and decided to meet right here, right now.”

#LitsyLove
#LitsyLoveReads

I‘m already loving this one 🦈 💚

CBee It‘s so good 🦈 ♥️ 2mo
AnnCrystal 💐☺️👍💝. 2mo
kspenmoll Sweetie 🌷🌸 2mo
See All 13 Comments
TheBookgeekFrau Awwww🥰💐🌷 2mo
dabbe 💚💙💚 2mo
Crazeedi Sweet granddaughter and beautiful bouquet! 2mo
mrp27 So sweet and so beautiful! 2mo
Mimi28 How cute! 😊 2mo
AvidReader25 Loved this one! 2mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @CBee 🦈💚🙌🏻 2mo
marleed So pretty! 2mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @marleed thank you 😊 💚 2mo
68 likes1 stack add13 comments
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Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks
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What should I read next?!?!

#LitsyLove
#LitsyLoveReads

Deblovestoread I‘ve only read Shark Heart and loved it! 2mo
jdiehr 🦈 ❤️ 2mo
Zuhkeeyah I've heard really good things about Shark Heart 2mo
See All 6 Comments
Bookwormjillk Haven‘t read any of those but they look pretty! 2mo
Read4life I‘ve only read The Lost Apothecary and liked it 💙💜 2mo
61 likes6 comments
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sebrittainclark
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February #ISpyBingo didn't quite manage a bingo, but still had fun participating.

@clwojick @thearomaofbooks

TheAromaofBooks Yay!!! 3mo
31 likes1 comment
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AmyG
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A successful readathon. I finished all these and especially loved The Wager and Shark Heart. I also read my section of The Golden Notebook for #SundayBuddyRead. #20in4 #FabulousFebruary
@Andrew65

magyklyXdelish I bawled my eyes out reading shark heart. I was ugly crying and making noises and everythinggg. 😭 3mo
Mitch The wager is on my shelf looking at me! Glad you liked it - now I know I will too! 👍🏼 3mo
AmyG @magyklyXdelish I was definitely teary at the end….it was so beautiful. 3mo
See All 6 Comments
AmyG @Mitch It was a fascinating story. I could not, in a million years, imagine surviving that. 3mo
Lesliereadsalot Knew you‘d love Shark Heart! So original, right! 3mo
AmyG @Lesliereadsalot It was! I love a well-written original story. 3mo
55 likes6 comments
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Cathyloves2read
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Pickpick

This was such a strange, different, good book. Who would have thought that a story about a man who changed into a shark would be this good? The story wrote of all different types of love. It also spoke of the ability to carry on and love again after a huge loss. I put off reading this book for a while. I figured I wouldn‘t like it. Boy, was I wrong!

AmyG I finished it yesterday. It‘s not what I thought it would be….but I loved it, too. 3mo
9 likes1 stack add1 comment
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sebrittainclark
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I had the 4.5 star reads in February (What Feasts at Night, Paladin's Faith, and Shark Heart), but I think Shark Heart is the one that will stick with me for the longest. But it didn't quite manage to beat The Heiress.

#readingbracket2024 #bookbracket2024 @CSeydel

CBee Shark Heart was amazing 🦈 ♥️!! 3mo
JessieKB I really enjoyed The Heiress too!!!🖤 I will have to check out Shark Heart. 3mo
38 likes2 comments
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LeslieO
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Oh what a month! My monthly pick + free #BOTY finalist + free birthday book!

dabbe #score! 🤩🤩🤩 3mo
31 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Kimberlone
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I‘ve been really underwhelmed with the BOTM picks recently, so I was excited to see several interesting options for March! I ended up choosing A Fate Inked in Blood, but I almost picked Annie Bot. If I see good feedback on that one, I might add on later.

The BOTY winner and other finalists were really not my jam this year (plus I‘d already read 2 of them), but I feel like Shark Heart is one I might actually enjoy.

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AmyG
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My goal is to finish these 3 books.

#20in4 #FabulousFebruary @Andrew65

Lesliereadsalot Shark Heart‘s a winner! 3mo
AmyG @Lesliereadsalot I am really enjoying it. 3mo
sarahbarnes I liked Shark Heart more than I expected to! 3mo
64 likes1 stack add3 comments
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WildAlaskaBibliophile
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Pickpick

Weird, beautiful, heart-wrenching, and poignant.

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Kimberlone
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Thoughts on this year‘s BOTY finalists?

I had a lot of issues with the content and execution of Weyward, and I thought The Wishing Game was very mediocre with juvenile writing (despite a promising premise). Really surprised that they were voted that highly. Not interested in the romance or mystery/thriller options, so I guess I‘ll be choosing Shark Heart.

BookwormAHN I'm not very impressed with any of them 🤦🏼‍♀️ 3mo
Kimberlone @BookwormAHN right?! I just feel like the overall quality of the finalists have really declined. Just glancing at the monthly picks in 2023, there are a ton of books better (and more popular?) than what was included here. 3mo
ChaoticMissAdventures Also not impressed. The lack of diversity is expected but disappointing. I only read one. Shark Heart and I found it very average. 3mo
JenReadsAlot Huh those surprise me... 3mo
Laughterhp I own all but Shark Heart… 3mo
46 likes5 comments
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Vamoh

I young GMT folk up Lilly till loop ioookoi ooo pup

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sebrittainclark
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Pickpick

4.5/5

This is a book about change and grief and love and family and motherhood. It was both sad and hopeful. While there are many characters, it centers around Wren whose life is transformed when her husband begins to turn into a great white shark. Habeck doesn't shy away from the horrors of a world where humans can transform into other creatures, but it's not about the horror, but about the lives people live through devastating change.

54 likes1 stack add
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WildAlaskaBibliophile
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“LEWIS: In the early days after I left New York, I would ruminate, doubt all my choices.“ #FirstLineFridays @ShyBookOwl

CBee This book is wonderful and I hope you enjoy it 🦈 ♥️ 3mo
ShyBookOwl What a strange and intriguing premise... 3mo
28 likes1 stack add2 comments
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sebrittainclark
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LEWIS: In the early days after I left New York, I would ruminate, doubt all my choices. But when I met you, I began to thank my failure. Maybe failing was a kind of miracle. Maybe everything happened just right.

#FirstLineFridays @ShyBookOwl

ShyBookOwl You're the 2nd litten I've encountered using this book for #firstlinefridays this week! I'm getting more and more curious about it 3mo
sebrittainclark @ShyBookOwl I kept seeing it recommended. It's a strange premise, but I really liked it. 3mo
39 likes2 comments
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ChaoticMissAdventures
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Mehso-so

I am an outlier, I thought this was just okay. It started so promising, I for a minute thought this was going to be what I had wished The Lobster was, but I think those who think this is "weird" only read very real fiction. As a reader of "weird" books this didn't feel too out there. In fact I was a bit annoyed with the change of tone when we got to Angela's story - I got very annoyed quickly with the third person I couldn't read "Angela" 1 more x

ChaoticMissAdventures This book was much more a generational story about a mother and daughter. Which is fine a lot of books I am reading now I go in thinking it is about 1 thing and it turns out about something else. Overall I was just underwhelmed and didn't feel connected to any of the characters. 4mo
33 likes1 comment
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jen_hayes7
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Pickpick

I wasn‘t sure what to expect from this book when I picked it up, but it absolutely blew me away. I laughed, I cried, I cried harder. This will definitely end up on my faves list for the year. #huey #catsoflitsy #botm

CatLass007 Such a handsome boy. And a great review. 4mo
jen_hayes7 @CatLass007 Thank you so much!! 😺 4mo
CatLass007 You‘re welcome!😻 4mo
24 likes3 comments
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Christine
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Pickpick

New opportunities in my teaching career have been interfering with the blissful January of full immersion in @Deblovestoread 's #AuldLangSpine list that I‘d anticipated! 😝 However, I did already make time to read this and am so glad! Fantastic. I‘m not sure what I was expecting but this was far different and better than that. I especially loved the science-y bits about the mutations and some of the family stories. Thanks, Deb! 🦈❤️

Texreader Such a gorgeous cover! 4mo
Deblovestoread I always love when a book is more than I expected it to be. Glad you loved it, too. 💜 4mo
monalyisha I‘m so interested in this one! Happy to see another favorable review. 4mo
See All 6 Comments
Christine @Texreader It really is! I read via Libby but might need to add this to my print copy wishlist. 4mo
Christine @Deblovestoread Yes, the best!! I‘m grateful that your list got this off my TBR. 4mo
Christine @monalyisha I look forward to reading your thoughts, if/when you get to it! 4mo
52 likes3 stack adds6 comments
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angieinwonderland
This post contains spoilers
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Pickpick

That was a wild ride. The cover is beautiful. My favorite part was telling my husband about it and watching his expression when he finally says "but falcons hatch" and I said "yes, she already knows she will likely not make it. They've already developed beaks inside her." He just kept blinking! Lol I want to know the insides of all the decisions the writer made.

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Jas16
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I can officially declare Shark Heart the winner of my #readingbracket2023. This was hard because I always seem to save incredible books for the last couple of months of the year but The Caretaker really was my favorite in a month crowded with worthy contenders. Shark Heart is the book I have recommended to others the most and the one that most surprised me so it had to take my top spot.

ChaoticMissAdventures I have Shark Heart on my TBR for January and this makes me so excited to get to it! 5mo
Jas16 @ChaoticMissAdventures I hope you end up loving it as much as I did. 5mo
41 likes2 comments
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Karisimo
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Pickpick

I don‘t normally read romance, but this was very different! The author portrays the characters‘ emotions in a way that rings true even though the situation is bizarre. Great debut!

#Bookspin
@TheAromaofBooks

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 5mo
27 likes1 comment
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Kboltz
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Pickpick

I loved this weird concept. Found it finally at the library bc how can a person turning into a shark be good in any way? Well, it‘s great in every aspect. Read it in two days,loved the writing style and the message. Look around you every day, love yourself and believe that what you have is enough. 🦈❤️

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Lesliereadsalot
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Pickpick

An amazing love story between Emily and Lewis as he transitions to a shark. I know it sounds hokey, but it‘s a really good story and you will love it. This one is special.

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CBee
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Totally forgot my #readingbracket2023 for November 🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️ This book stole my (non-shark) heart ❤️
@chasjjlee

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Karisimo
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Here's what the roll of the die gave me for December!

#bookspin
@TheAromaofBooks

TheAromaofBooks Yay!!! Enjoy!! 6mo
Julsmarshall I loved Shark Heart! 6mo
Karisimo @Julsmarshall I‘ve heard a lot of good things- I‘m intrigued! 6mo
32 likes3 comments
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CBee
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Pickpick

Absolutely loved this. Such an interesting premise that doesn‘t seem like it would work, but it just…..worked. I was hooked (booked? 😂) from start to finish 🦈 ♥️

Jas16 I loved this book so much. 6mo
sarahbarnes I liked this one too, and was also surprised! 6mo
CBee @Jas16 I saw your review and wholeheartedly agree 😊♥️ 6mo
CBee @sarahbarnes I love magical realism and she pulled this off in such an amazing, believable way! It just seemed commonplace and I didn‘t find it strange at all, really. Loved it!! 6mo
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sarahbarnes
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Pickpick

I liked this! I read it based on so many positive Litsy reviews and I wasn‘t disappointed. I really liked the incorporation of the script format throughout the story. The metaphor of animal mutations works surprisingly well. I will say I liked the last part of the novel less than the first two parts.

squirrelbrain I really need to get to this one - so many great reviews from Littens! 6mo
BarbaraBB I feel the same @squirrelbrain 6mo
sarahbarnes @squirrelbrain @BarbaraBB I‘ll be very interested to hear your thoughts on it! 6mo
47 likes3 comments
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Injeanious
Mehso-so

I was really enjoying how clever it was and that the mutations seemed normal. But it felt rushed and alittle weird before the end.

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Hooked_on_books
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Pickpick

I really liked how in this book, people can simply start turning into animals, quickly or slowly, and no one questions it. While I enjoyed listening to it and enjoyed all the characters, quite frankly I don‘t think it‘s going to stick. And I think a book with a premise this out there should stick firmly. So it gets a low pick for me.

Megabooks I don‘t remember much either, but I really appreciate what she was going for. 7mo
53 likes1 comment
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Jas16
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I loved this book so much I could easily see it make it to the final matchup.
#readingbracket2023

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Chelsea.Poole
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Pickpick

Count me in as a Shark Heart fan! This is a fantastic example of magical realism that‘s highly original and yet deeply felt, rooted in reality, with meaningful symbolism of people turning into creatures rather than suffering human disease as we know them. A study in grief and love. At times quietly funny and often moving. One that will stay with me.

BarbaraBB You too! I really must read it! 7mo
Jas16 I loved this book so much and am having such a hard time convincing people I know to read it. 7mo
84 likes3 stack adds3 comments