At its core, Chick Magnet is hurt/comfort. Nic and Will each start the book in a bad place and though they are in no condition to start a new relationship, they offer each other comfort and understanding. The deep emotion and drama of hurt/comfort is well balanced by the joy of chickens, kittens, friendships, and a variety of banters that range from funny to steamy.
Nic has moved to Yagerstown, Virginia with her flock of chickens after being dumped by her boyfriend during a live YouTube broadcast and frozen out by her best friend because of the lies her boyfriend told. Her boyfriend was awful – he lied, bullied and gaslit the people around him into believing his reality. Nic has to forgive herself and rebuild her faith in herself for staying with him and not leaving until he kicked her out. Will’s small town veterinary practice is failing and he isn’t able to separate the himself from his business. He isolates himself from people, certain that no one could love a failure. Nic’s crisis has already happened while Will’s is still building.
I don’t want to make this sound like a morality play or a very special episode. Chick Magnet is neither of those things. It does explore how we make mistakes, forgive ourselves and recover from them. (The problem is less the mistake and more our own response to making mistakes.) The people worth taking risks for acknowledge, apologize, learn, grow and change. Barry also challenges the myth that success is or has ever been solely a product of individual hard work.
Emma Barry’s Chick Magnet is an ode to emotional regulation and survival during this current darkest time line, while also celebrating the joy of chickens, kittens, kids, friendship, and eye-fucking your hot neighbor.
— Monster is sweet potato (she/her) (@RochelleJennin7) October 3, 2022
Someday I hope to be in a position to have lawn dinosaurs, goats, dogs and some cats. And the resources to pay for good veterinary care, because I don’t think I’ll be finding my own Dr. Viking, veterinarian.
This is set in a post pandemic world that is more post pandemic than our current world actually is. So there is discussion of economic and professional impacts of the covid pandemic, but no discussion of masking, illness, or deaths.
CW: pet illness, past pet death, friend breakup, gaslighting, bullying, stalking, internet harassment, depression, business failure, toxic family,
I received this as an advance reader copy from Montlake and NetGalley. My opinions are my own, freely and honestly given.