Tender is the Flesh
Author: Agustina Bazterrica
Narrator: Joseph Balderrama
Published: August 4, 2020
Audiobook: 6 hours 44 minutes
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Listened To: September 27-29, 2023
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
Working at the local processing plant, Marcos is in the business of slaughtering humans —though no one calls them that anymore.
His wife has left him, his father is sinking into dementia, and Marcos tries not to think too hard about how he makes a living. After all, it happened so quickly. First, it was reported that an infectious virus has made all animal meat poisonous to humans. Then governments initiated the “Transition.” Now, eating human meat—“special meat”—is legal. Marcos tries to stick to numbers, consignments, processing.
Then one day he’s given a gift: a live specimen of the finest quality. Though he’s aware that any form of personal contact is forbidden on pain of death, little by little he starts to treat her like a human being. And soon, he becomes tortured by what has been lost—and what might still be saved.
This is a novella at just over 200 pages or 4.5 hours long for the audiobook and it packs a punch the entire time! I had read some about it so I hoped I had mentally prepared myself for it: and that worked! Tender is the Flesh is definitely not for everyone: It is not for the squeamish. It is extremely gory, brutal, yet also thought provoking. It also brings up a lot of emotions just because of the topic: Humans being bred, farmed, and processed as animals once were.
There are trigger warnings for just about everything: Be fair warned this would also be some spoilers, but I knew about these and didn’t feel like I was spoiled:
Gore and violence
Mistreatment of humans
What can happen to pregnant ‘women’ (mentioned in detail)
**Please note that I was most relieved to know about the animal instance because if I had not known, I don’t know how I would have reacted. It was still exceedingly tough to listen to and I very nearly skipped over that part. But I can say I did make it through. Let’s just say if I had not known in advance about this short section I would have wanted John Wick to make an appearance in the book!
In this dystopian world, a virus has spread across all animals worldwide and humans can no longer eat them. If they eat animals then humans will die. Now Cannibalism is mainstream and legal. Eating human meat is called “special meat”. We have Marcos our main character who works in a processing plant, so we see first-hand how humans have become our meat source. This could be considered slow moving, but Bazterrica seemingly covered every detail for her readers in regards to this world. Marcos wife has left him, and he works at the plant to earn money for his ailing father.
One day he is unexpectedly/illegally given a ‘gift’ of a female FGP (First Generation Pure), the most expensive kind there is. Marcos at first doesn’t know what to do with her. This is in essence the book. We have multiple instances of cannibalism described which left much to be desired for this listener. So much of this book was hard to swallow, but it was like a train wreck: Once I started it I couldn’t stop! I wanted to see what was going to happen, though I had an idea of what was going to happen about halfway through and that thought ended up being correct. What was mean for shock value at the end was not for me because I had it figured out. (Dang it- I hate it when I figure out the big twist!)
This novella is thought provoking in so many ways: Would YOU eat human meat!?!? Could you bring yourself to do it? How far has mankind fallen for Cannibalism to be so mainstream and not a big deal at all? Thinking these kinds of things can cause you to just lose your appetite.
There was one small side story that was abandoned I would have love to see expanded on: A conspiracy theory exists that the virus was faked by the governments so society could devolve and ease overpopulation. Maybe this small mention would be for a sequel? If that came to pass, yes I would read it!
The narrator is Joseph Balderrama and he did a fantastic job! There were a few humorous parts in the novel which I didn’t expect. He really brought Marcos to life for me. Just because of the general topic, this book must have been a challenge to narrate.
Will I read Tender is the Flesh again? No. Am I glad I listened to it? Yes. If you think you might want to read this one, please take heed of everything I said in this review. I only gave it four stars because I figured out the ‘shocking ending’ otherwise it would have been 5 stars. This is a book that will definitely stay with you after you have finished it.
Today I am taking part in the blog tour for Missing by Ruby Speechley. It was just released on September 27th and I am sharing my review today! I think this would be a fear of most parents!
Single mum Ellie is shown a missing person post on Facebook. It’s of her three-year-old son, Tyler…
But he’s right there, holding her hand.
Surely this is some kind of prank – she knows her friend Louise can go too far with her jokes sometimes. And Ellie is used to the other mums gossiping at the school gates…
But now the other parents are questioning whether Tyler is really her child.
Ellie does everything she can to prove the post is fake, but the longer it goes on she knows it is malicious. Who would do this to her? And why?
It could be her ex, Darren, but deep down she knows it must be linked to what happened all those years ago – the night she’s been doing her best to forget…
All she knows is that she has to keep her son safe – no matter what.
Author: Ruby Speechley
Published: September 27, 2023
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: September 6-13, 2023
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
Whoa!!! I’m not a parent, but the book description had me wanting to read this book! And it is a roller coaster of a ride along with the Energizer Bunny: It just keeps going and going! I had no idea how this was going to end! The chapters were shorter which made this one a quick read that I enjoyed and did not want to put down! I didn’t know who to trust or believe.
Missing shows the danger of the internet and social media: How just a few clicks can change a life. And how much we all seemingly believe what we see on there. People’s lives can change for better or even much worse because of Facebook!
Admittedly Ellie did annoy me at first: Just go to the police! I mean there isn’t much that could be done but at least you have a record of what is going on. She did grow on me after a little time.
Ellie is on her own with her three-year-old son Tyler. Ellie’s ex denies that Tyler is his when she insists she was faithful to him. But also during their time together she drank a lot and there was one night were she blacked out. And she has nightmares of a clown.
So yes, if you have a fear of clowns, you might not want to read this one. The clowns were a bit creepy!
The big twist didn’t totally work for me with the villain and everything that happened. But otherwise I did really enjoy this novel! Missing was the first for me by Speechley and I do plan to look into what else she has written!
Order Your Copy here.
About the Author:
Ruby Speechley is a bestselling psychological thriller writer, whose titles include Someone Else’s Baby. Previously published by Hera, she has been a journalist and worked in PR and lives in Cheshire.
Her Husband’s Mistake
Author: Daniel Hurst
To Be Published: September 30, 2023
Audiobook: 5 Hours 36 minutes
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Listened To: September 18-19, 2023
Jessica’s Rating: 4.5 stars
A week in New York with my family should be the trip of a lifetime–yet I’ve been on edge the whole time because fifteen years ago, when we were living in this city, my husband did something that ripped our lives apart. I swore I would never come back, but he insisted. As we stroll along the Hudson River, drinking coffee in the sunshine, anyone would think we’re the perfect family. But the truth is far more complicated.
I am pasting the Goodreads book description for this review as the book’s description everywhere else gives to much plot away for this short book! This was also the book description I read, so I wasn’t spoiled if I had read the book description elsewhere I would have been.
Jack and Lorna are from the UK originally and were living in New York until Jack did something and they suddenly left and returned to the UK with their young children. They vowed to never return until… Fast forward fifteen years with their children turning 18 and 21… big birthdays!!! Guess what both kids want??? A trip to NYC!! Knowing their kids wouldn’t stop mentioning a NYC trip Jack and Lorna decide to give that gift to them. And now we have this book and what happens!
Her Husband’s Mistake is my second book by Daniel Hurst that I have listened to this year and I have enjoyed both. He is an author I will look out for! This one was very short coming in at 5.5 hours long and so it moves the entire time! Get ready for a roller coaster of intensity with this one!
Jack and Lorna were not very likeable for me, but the kids were. So much happens so quickly it’s a book you don’t want to put down! And it even went in a direction that I would not have guessed was going to happen! I was shocked: I actually had to relisten to that chapter when I got to a certain point in the audiobook!
The narrators did a good job with their narrations, I did like Tamsin Kennard’s voice more than Nathaniel Priestley.
Many thanks to the publisher Bookoutoure Audio for granting me an alc to listen to and review! I enjoyed this very quick listen![Top]