someone you can build a nest inSheshenshen is rudely awakened from her hibernation by monster hunters trying to kill her. She eats one of them, but is still hungry and in need of more sustenance. She dons the most human appearance she can muster and goes hunting herself. But then she falls off a cliff and is rescued by Homily, who mistakes Shesheshen for human.

Romance was awful. She couldn’t even do something as simple as murdering rude people anymore.

Homily thinks Shesheshen is funny, and Shesheshen can’t bring herself to eat her. Not even when she discovers Homily is hunting the monster who killed her brother and supposedly cursed her family. The monster that is Shesheshen.

Someone You Can Build a Nest In manages to be cosy and gruesome all at the same time. I loved it! Shesheshen has raced right to the top of my favourite monsters of all-time list. When we first meet her, she is in her hibernating state, little more than a shapeless, gelatinous blob. For Shesheshen is a shapeshifter who uses the bones and organs of her victims to create her form.

Weaknesses were a human invention. They called it your weakness if they fantasized about murdering you with it.

When Shesheshen meets Homily, she is wearing the teeth of Homily’s brother, who was devoured a short time before. It was mostly self-defence, he was trying to kill her after all, but she was also hungry. Shesheshen might be a human-eating monster, but she is not evil, not inherently unkind.

Grappling with these new-found-feelings, Sheshenshen falls for Homily and tries to help her deal with her awful family. I related a lot with Homily. When you’ve been hurt by people, you can turn into a people pleaser, to do whatever it is you think other people want, rather than doing things for yourself. There can be illogical guilt that you somehow caused their unhappiness. Homily is not at fault, but she constantly feels like she is.

It was some sort of love. Not the kind of love that made you plant your eggs in someone and turn them into a parent, but a kind of love.

While there are definite cosy vibes, it still is horror, and some scenes might be distressing. There’s the abuse Homily received from her family, body horror, and a scene of animal cruelty that really serves its purpose in showing who the real evil is in the story (it’s not Shesheshen).

And just when I thought it was over, Epilog comes along. I’m not going to spoil it for you, you’ll just have to read it for yourself. If cosy horror is going to be a thing, I’m here for it!

From what she knew of civilization, all children were parasites. You were supposed to grow to like that about them.

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