WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING // moody marshes, grits, & zoology

I do not like doing popular things until they are UNPOPULAR. So, when I saw that Where the Crawdads Sing was being read by everyone and their grandmother, I immediately said “Ew no.”

However

I have fallen

I am sorry to disappoint

Here’s what happened: I literally saw a billboard for the movie based on this book while driving to work, and somehow it captured my attention. And sometimes I like to pretend I’m the type of person that won’t watch a movie until they’ve read the book, so . . . thus my saga began.

It’s been two weeks since I read the book, and I haven’t written a review because I’m honestly still reeling from the novel. Usually my book reviews are witty and funny, but this novel was HEAVY. Let’s chat.

An entertaining one-sentence summary

A little girl raises herself in the marshes of North Carolina, learning about the world and life from observing nature around her but then she grows up and, like the best of us, likes a *bad boy* and then oh no he’s murdered and everyone thinks it was her bc she’s just a bitter ex.

MORE ENTERTAINING SHORT SUMMARIES

Speedboat chases

MURDERRRRR

Deep south

Burnt grits

Illustrated books about nature

Lots of cool nerdy info about animals of the marsh

This book just literally makes me want to go lie in a grassy field for the rest of my life and make friends with all the birds of the world and drink only the dew of the earth

INITIAL THOUGHTS

First off, a little disclaimer: this book does have a couple parts I personally didn’t feel comfortable reading (about four), but it’s pretty obvious when they’re coming up so they’re easily skippable without taking away from the plot.

This book was GORGEOUS. The writing made me so appreciative of nature. It made me want to get rid of my phone, of my Instagram, of everything digital and live in the woods. We are losing the art of slow living; people are too glued to their technology to see the beauty of the world around them.

I’m still a little confused about what the message was, to be honest. The author believes in evolution, and refers to women in the backmatter of the novel as “mammals.” The main character talks about how in nature the males compete for the attention of the females, and there are some males that aren’t as high quality as other options but they get the females because they show off in deceitful ways.

The book seems to make this point as well: Kya’s first love truly seems to care for her, but he leaves her because of his own immaturity and fears. She uses her second love interest (Chase) only as a bandaid to her deep-rooted desire for love and community, even though she doesn’t connect with him on a mental level as she did with her childhood love. Therefore, she’s just like the female mammals: she chooses the “bad boy” because he has a nice speedboat and is just there.

*SPOILER ALERT, SKIP TO THE RATING PART IF YOU HAVEN’T READ YET*

A murder is woven throughout the whole book: Kya has been accused of killing Chase. Everyone assumes she was just jealous of his bride. You grow to care about Kya throughout the book . . . only to find out in the end that she DID kill Chase!!

In the novel, Kya watches female insects rip male insects’ heads off. It seems to be a dark comparison that she learned from nature that she has to protect herself by literally killing her ex. I’m still wondering if the author meant for Kya to be a hero or a sad villain, misunderstood and scared to the point of believing murder is the only option.

This book is very sad. You can feel Kya’s isolation, and I think we can all understood how she feels misunderstood. Growing up, I definitely felt misunderstood and judged by my peers. Also, it deals with rape which always gets me super upset. Thankfully, Kya escapes before she’s hurt.

WHAT I DID LIKE

  • The setting and description made me so nostalgic for the Carolinas.
  • I did NOT see the end coming!! I was shook. Also, loved how it was revealed.
  • The poetry throughout the book.
  • The writing style was STUNNING. Delia had to write from the POV of a young child, then a young woman. It felt so realistic to the way a child would think.

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE

  • The author seemed to compare human relationships to just animalistic instinct. That lowers love to just a fact of science.
  • Not sure if I liked the end itself. Mixed feelings…

MY RATING

Four stars!!!

Published by Amanda Brown

22-year-old INFP who names inanimate objects, loves to laugh, and is a proud old soul. You can often find her planning out her next crazy project, hugging books, or telling stories about her day that *may* be a little exaggerated.

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