Emma Jane Unsworth – Animals

I’m certainly familiar with the experience of waking up with The Fear after a heavy night on the rip. Who am I, where am I and what have I done are three of the many questions asked of oneself on the morning after the night before. Laura certainly experiences this a fair bit in Animals, relishing victories in life like actually managing to make it home and seeking refuge in the comfort and safety of the bathroom.

Wine and whiskey are seen as great friends, five drinks isn’t seen as much, just a normal number really. Laura and her friend/landlady Tyler certainly get through a fair amount of party juice in Animals. Other people are getting worried about the frequency of their drinking but it’s really just a way of life for these girls – why say no when there’s so much fun to be had?

Tyler’s giving Laura a fair amount of grief about why she’s getting married. Her and Laura are a team but this’ll all surely change when she ties the knot with Jim. The banter between these characters is wildly entertaining, a million miles away from the stuffy dialogue we’re used to in this sort of book. It feels like these girls are real characters, full of the quick-witted banter young people actually speak.

Laura’s full of doubt about her future, wondering if she’s ever able to see anything through. She’s hoping to be a writer but she can’t quite get it off the ground. She wonders how things will turn out for her and Jim, if she’s really fit to settle down with him and start a new life. She’s had a rough time of late, with her father being seriously ill and it’s not hard to see why she’d want to be out on the town as much as possible.

Animals is a really fresh piece of writing. Some of the comedy in here is absolutely hilarious with sharp, witty dialogue and the girls find themselves in savage situations that’ll have you laughing your head off. It’s great to read something that’s so full of life and overflowing with real honesty and humour.


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