EARTHLINGS: A NOVEL, by Sayaka Murata, Grove Press/Publishers Group West


Natsuki isn’t like the other girls. She has a wand and a transformation mirror. She might be a witch, or an alien from another planet. Together with her cousin Yuu, Natsuki spends her summers in the wild mountains of Nagano, dreaming of other worlds. When a terrible sequence of events threatens to part the two children forever, they make a promise: survive, no matter what.

Now Natsuki is grown. She lives a quiet life with her asexual husband, surviving as best she can by pretending to be normal. But the demands of Natsuki’s family are increasing, her friends wonder why she’s still not pregnant, and dark shadows from Natsuki’s childhood are pursuing her. Fleeing the suburbs for the mountains of her childhood, Natsuki prepares herself with a reunion with Yuu. Will he still remember their promise? And will he help her keep it? 

Out: October 2020

247 Pages


I received this book in exchange for my honest review.

What a mess! Is it a good mess, you ask, or a bad one? Well, it was so strange and creepy and deranged that you had to keep reading. I felt like I had entered the mind of a very disturbed person and was living their mental breakdown with them. Did that stop me from reading?

You’ve heard the phrase, “Like watching a train-wreck. You want to look away knowing what was about to happen, but you can’t.” That describes my enthrallment of this book. I wanted to throw it in the trash, but couldn’t. I felt like I was reading a chapter from the movie, “The Cell.” I wanted to hate it, but couldn’t. I wanted it over, but not rushed. I wanted to forget it, but can’t. Could I relate to those who feel like they just can’t or don’t fit in… sadly, yes.

There were times in my life being an independent woman, out-spoken and strong that made me alone and unable to conform to what society wanted from me, especially men. Then, time passed, things changed and I found myself suddenly preferred because of my strength, I wasn’t needy or weak. Thank God too, for my child’s sake.

So this book hooked me and reeled me in. It will be like nothing you’ve read before. Is this a good thing, you ask? Depends on how willing you are to venture into the realm of OH MY GOD!

Will I ever enter this author’s mind again?


Disturbing, weird, enthralling, hypnotizing and dark… very, very, very… dark.

I gave it:

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