Tigers, Not Daughters

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Pub Date Mar 24 2020 | Archive Date May 04 2022

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“Move over, Louisa May Alcott! Samantha Mabry has written her very own magical Little Women for our times. This is no family of tamed girls but a clan of fierce and fighting young women who will draw readers into their spell. A celebration of the bonds of sisterhood and of the ways we heal by reaching beyond our losses, our brokenness and fears to the love that holds and heals.” —Julia Alvarez, author of How the García Girls Lost Their Accents

The Torres sisters dream of escape. Escape from their needy and despotic widowed father, and from their San Antonio neighborhood, full of old San Antonio families and all the traditions and expectations that go along with them. In the summer after her senior year of high school, Ana, the oldest sister, falls to her death from her bedroom window. A year later, her three younger sisters, Jessica, Iridian, and Rosa, are still consumed by grief and haunted by their sister’s memory. Their dream of leaving Southtown now seems out of reach. But then strange things start happening around the house: mysterious laughter, mysterious shadows, mysterious writing on the walls. The sisters begin to wonder if Ana really is haunting them, trying to send them a message—and what exactly she’s trying to say.
In a stunning follow-up to her National Book Award–longlisted novel All the Wind in the World, Samantha Mabry weaves an aching, magical novel that is one part family drama, one part ghost story, and one part love story.

“Move over, Louisa May Alcott! Samantha Mabry has written her very own magical Little Women for our times. This is no family of tamed girls but a clan of fierce and fighting young women who will draw...

Advance Praise

“A moody and unflinching examination of the gritty, tender and impossible parts of people that make them unforgettably whole. You don't read Samantha Mabry’s books so much as experience them. Ferocious and gorgeously crafted. I loved it.” —Courtney Summers, New York Times bestselling author of Sadie

“A moody and unflinching examination of the gritty, tender and impossible parts of people that make them unforgettably whole. You don't read Samantha Mabry’s books so much as experience them...

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ISBN 9781616208967
PRICE $17.95 (USD)

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Featured Reviews

When I picked this up I had little to no idea on what I was really signing up for, but I couldn't be happier that I requested it. It only took reading the prologue for the author's writing to enchantment me with its beauty and suck me in.

1. Characters:

I really loved the characters that we followed. Each one of the sisters was written so uniquely that I couldn't help but grow attached to them. I felt for Jessica's need to capture the essence of what was once her sister, Iridian's constant battle with fear and for Rosa's pull to the little acts of goodness and her deepest regrets. I cried a lot towards the end and wanted nothing but to hug these characters - ugh.

2. The Plot:

The book revols around the aftermath of Ana's incident and how each of the sisters seem to cope with it. I never found the story to be boring and thus clearly couldn't put it down. I highly recommend it if you're in the mood to pick up a heavy character driven story - because this book is just that. It doesn't shed away from the horrors of life and the effect of parental neglect.

3. Writing:

The Writing of 'Tiger, Not Daughters' was beautiful. I can't begin to describe the impact it had on me and my poor heart. Each of the character's tone was different so it was easy to tell which was who. The writing wasn't confusing and I appreciated that so much!

I can't recommend this enough. So if you can do pick it up, please do because it's amazing.

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Trigger warnings: human and animal death, abuse in a romantic relationship

Synopsis: We follow the perspectives of sisters Jessica, Rosa and Iridian as they live life whilst being haunted by their recently deceased sister, Ana. Oh, and we get the perspective from a nosy neighbour and his friends too. As the girls try to decipher why Ana is haunting them they each navigate their own life obstacles and grief in the 9 days that the majority of this story takes place in.

Wow, I started this book last night without knowing quite what I was getting into. After reading the first page, I was irrevocably hooked. Normally I find it hard to sink in to a novel which has multiple perspectives as I find it hard to care that much about certain characters and only love one. However, I loved each perspective in this story equally - from Jessica's tough time with boyfriend John, Iridian and her sense of belonging within a page, Rosa and her sweet yet strong character, and even the boys next door and their well articulated shame at not doing more to help.

I think my favourite part about this book was how real each of the characters felt. They didn't play the hero just because that would have been the easier path to take, instead they acted how any normal person would probably act in that situation. Then, when they tables were turned and a character did act, that also felt real.

I'm lucky enough that I haven't experienced the death of someone close to me, all my close family and friends are still beautifully alive. So I don't feel like I can say that I related to the feelings of grief that the sisters and their dad experience, but I can say that I do believe that people react to grief in different ways and the way that Mabry writes this in her characters is poetic. Coming away from reading about grief written in this way has given me a new perspective on what it would be like to lose someone precious. Oh, and while I mentioned Dad... he is a grief stricken character who comes across as a "baddie" in the girls eyes, however, I think the reader is encouraged to sympathise with him a little bit. Not excuse him and his actions, but to develop our sympathy and make ourselves (the audience) recognise that although we are entitled to our opinions, it doesn't mean that others aren't.

There are other elements in the book that I really enjoyed as well; the general sisterhood feel, hints of romance, the spiritual side of Rosa, the acknowledgement of how guilt can really plague a person, and that someone actually stood up against an asshole character in a way that wasn't all macho.

I hope that this novel gets traction when it is published in March 2020 as I think it could help many people understand more about grief and emotions, as well as just being an all round hooking read. Now excuse me as I go find Mabry's other books!

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Tigers, Not Daughters is the story of the Torres sisters, three young women -- Iridian, Jessica, and Rosa -- grieving the loss of their eldest sister, Ana. Ana, however, is not quite gone, and her sisters find themselves and their home haunted by Ana's spirit. As all three girls navigate isolation, an abusive boyfriend, and an escaped hyena, the ghost of their sister lingers and forces them to come to terms with their grief once and for all. Samantha Mabry writes with a unique voice, lyrical prose that flows gently even as it punches the reader in the gut. Each sister is distinctive and their grief is palpable. Mabry demonstrates how the grieving process is for different people, even those who have lost the same loved one. This book is a masterful portrayal of the bonds between sisters, the grief that binds them together, and the pain that ultimately heals them.

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Immediately this book reminded me of THE VIRGIN SUICIDES. But there is one major difference: I hated THE VIRGIN SUICIDES and loved TIGERS, NOT DAUGHTERS. Beginning with tragedy, this story is woven with so much love and I found myself rooting for the Torres sisters at every step. I’m very excited to see where the author takes the story next.

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I loved this book. Tigers, Not Daughters, tells the story of the four Torres sisters, one of whom is a ghost. They dream of running away, but are pulled back by their emotionally broken and derelict father, among other things. (Trigger warning: physical and emotional abuse.)
What starts off as a story of tragic sisters with strong Virgin Suicides vibes quickly develops into an ode to sisterhood, standing up for yourself, and being strong when no one else will.

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Wow.....this books was hauntingly beautiful. The Torres's sisters relationship with each other are messy, genuine, beautiful and incredibly human. You can feel their pain and frustration through the pages. Their sorrow at having lost their older sister Ana, who seemed like the one who kept them together, the glue of the family. After her death it's almost like each sister sort of unravels... Jessica wants nothing more than to become Ana. Iridian looses herself within the pages of the books Ana used to read, while Rosa finds herself trying to find that "magic" Ana always said she had. Each individual sister finds the strength to pull through and the strength to be their for each other. They don't need a man to save the day for them...the saved themselves and it's what makes this story so beautiful and touching. Not sure if my review makes a lot of sense but just know that this book will stay with you long after you've read the last page.

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Women need no man to thrive.

Tigers, Not Daughters is a cover request and I have no idea what this book is all about until I started reading this. Modern Little Women plus magical realism and paranormal elements seem to be a strange combination but everything clicked on this Samantha Mabry's upcoming release.

A riveting read that will make you read one more chapter until you realize you're on the last page of the book, Tigers, Not Daughters is a book that discusses the various kind of grief each of us are experiencing when dealing with the loss of someone we love.

The story is based on Torres sisters' (Ana, Jessica, Iridian, and Rosa) life after their mother, Rita, passed away giving birth to the youngest of them and living with their grieving father.

Life became worse for them after Ana died one night after falling out of her bedroom window which allow a brand new kind of feeling mixed with year's-old trauma of losing their mother surface. This made their father, Rafe, grieved more and lose his grip on staying alive resorting to sleeping on someone's house and alcohol abuse which left the sisters in disarray and with no one to hold.

All of these worsen when the ghost of Ana starts to visit the Torres house making weird activities such as appearing in the bathroom and writing passages on the wall. The remaining sisters, clueless and lonely, are all left to find the answer on why their late sister come back to their house? Is she forcing them to leave the house? Or does she have unfinished business with them?

The poetry lives in this Samantha Mabry book and it is evident all throughout with the lines and subplots developing the backstories and current lives of the remaining Torres sisters. Each one of them stood out with unique characteristics: Jessica as hardworking and family-oriented, Iridian as creative and passionate, and Rosa as adventurous and brave. This book never fail in delivering the capabilities of women and how the reality should now that women need no men to survive.

I love being surprised with this kind of book and since this is my first March read, I am looking forward to more great reads.

RATING: 4.5stars

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5 favorite stars

This was lightning in a bottle, a gunshot in progress. Loved it with my entire soul.

Writing: wrap me in these sentences, I'll sleep in a bed of these words
Characters: ★★★★★
The Vibe: ★★★★★

Tigers, Not Daughters comes out on March 24, 2020!

Tigers, Not Daughters hit me from the side with a punch that I wasn't expecting. Magical realism, grief, ghosts, the unshakable reality of sisters, and use of multiple narrators all collided to bring one unforgettable (and new favorite) read.

The Torres sisters were always a set of four. Ana, Jessica, Iridian, and Rosa. Their mother isn't there, and their father shouldn't be there, but life is life and that's how it goes.

Except it's not. Because Ana's dead.

Ana's death cracks the lines of this fragile family into 3 distinct shards. We have Jessica, who misses Ana so much that she consumes her, becomes her, shoving the angry versions of herself under layers of steely indifference. We have Iridian, who feels more comfortable with words than with people, as it's only ever people who hurt her over and over. We have Rosa, whose magical ways of understanding reality leave her with a different lens, but no less pain.

All three sisters have survived the impact of Ana leaving them in waves, but when a ghostly presence interrupts their fragile grief, the storm arrives again.

This was so, so good. I loved it. Mabry's realism was definitely magical, but it was also earthy and gritty in a way that was so exciting to read. These sisters were raw, they were real, and they had all kinds of aspects—the good, the bad, the ugly, and the bizarre in a way that only girls can be. The vibe of sisters was perfect.

I also loved the writing. This is a tale in the telling, and the snapshots of perspectives and the lyricism in the sentences flowed in such a way that this story was all-consuming. You lived the Torres sisters and you were them at the same time. This kind of writing is a gem to read in any situation, and I loved its deft handling of grief, darker themes, and resilience.

Thank you to Algonquin Young Readers for an ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review.

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I loved this book. It reminded me of The Virgin Suicides but with out the problem that the sisters in that story are mysterious, idyllic beings. The Torres sisters are real and complex. Their story is moving and compelling.

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You guys? I have a confession to make. I have been in a MAJOR book slump, basically since February. I think I read two books last month and this month isn’t shaping up to look much better. Work has been stressful, life has been stressful, and my brain just won’t let me sit and focus on one thing for very long these days.

That is, until I picked up Tigers, Not Daughters. This book completely sucked me in and didn’t let go and before I knew it, I had actually read a book for the first time in weeks.

Tigers, Not Daughters follows the Torres family — four daughters and their father — who live in San Antonio. When the eldest daughter dies in a tragic accident, the rest of the sisters are left trying to figure out how to survive, recover, and reconnect. It starts out as a story about grief and morphs into a beautifully told ghost story, where we learn more about each sister and their lives in the year since Ana died.

The book is written using three different omniscient third person POVs, meaning that while we technically get POV chapters for each sister, the story isn’t told from their first person perspectives. This writing style made the sisters seem even more distant and almost mystical, but in a good way. In fact, the writing style was what I loved most about this book. The writing was lyrical and beautiful. I loved different things about each sister and how the author slowly revealed different things about each of them.

It’s also important to note that not a single one of these characters is perfect, and I loved that as well. They all have different flaws and regrets and make bad choices sometimes. They hurt each other without meaning to and act basically like real sisters do. Parts of this story are painful and dark, but never overwhelming, which I appreciated.

Overall, I highly recommend this novel. Mabry has written a dark ghost story that manages to feel hopeful more than it really should. She balances the dark with moments of hope and joy and new beginnings. I ended up really loving each sister and cheering for them throughout the story. I really hope you pick this one up! Please note though, that trigger warnings include relationship abuse, emotional abuse, and death of an animal.

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