Book Review: Freaks Like Us by Jackie Trippier Holt

With as much gravitas as a short man can summon, Zack offered his hand. “Welcome to Burfoot’s Circus, Boy.”

Where to begin with this review? I want to be clear: I loved this book. It was different, very different, from most of the books I read. And that’s a good thing. Despite it being completely abnormal for me, it caught my attention very early and sucked me.

Burfoot’s Circus has been around for many generations, and its members are not exactly what you would call “normal.” And I don’t mean abnormal like your run of the mill circus freaks. No… they’re abnormal in a paranormal sense. Hiding from society in plain sight, each of the characters at Burfoot’s would be in danger on their own in society. So, whether they like it or not—whether they like each other or not—they are thrown together, for good or ill. Romantic liasions ebb and flow, with the critical complication: no one is going anywhere.

The phantom of Hector forced itself into her train of thought the way he flashed his incisors like he wanted to seize her by the scruff of her neck. And every other woman he looked at, Violet reminded herself, glumly. She was just like every other woman to him.

The key romantic entanglement is Hector, Violet and Henry. It’s not your typical triangle, and the direction it ends up going stunned and shocked me. There was one point, almost at the end of the book, where I was really genuinely upset to tears; you’ll know it when you get there.

As with her previous novel Annie, the Doll, its Thief and her Lover, Jackie Trippier Holt’s writing is poetic and descriptive. Her characters are well defined and very likeable, and by the climax my heart was pounding wondering what was going to happen to Violet, whether or not Zack was going to be able to save the circus, who the thief was and above all, who was the boy?

The book presents a number of puzzles, not all of which are solved in this first installment. I’m loving this book, and really looking forward to the next one. Be prepared for rough language, some violence, and some real shocks.

Highly recommended!

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