Review Rendezvous: 6/30/18


Top Choice by Sophie McAloon
Book stats:
Genre(s): Young Adult, dystopian, romance
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 330
Publish date: April 16th, 2018
Purchase: Amazon – Book Depository

TCAs a future leader of the female-led regime her grandmother fought hard to establish, Alice Kearns is no stranger to pressure. Being the best in a society where women are expected to be high-achieving is the only option her powerful mother has ever accepted for her, and now that Ali’s a senior in high school, the pressure to succeed is greater than ever. But fortunately, as of her eighteenth birthday, Ali has a place to blow off steam: she’s finally allowed into the Choice Clubs.

Filled with an enticing mix of music, drinks and gorgeous guys, the Choice Clubs were founded to ensure that smart girls wouldn’t get distracted in their real lives by anything as trivial as a shallow crush or a pretty face. Choice guys are fun, flirty, and the perfect eye candy, but Ali would never dream of actually falling for one—until she meets Tag.

Tag McPhail is Top Choice. With his mischievous grin and chiseled abs, he is exactly the kind of boy that Ali’s mother believes needs to be kept contained. But after he kisses Ali at the Choice Club, she suddenly sees him everywhere—and she’s surprised to learn that there’s more to him than his perfect looks. Tag is sweeter, smarter, and funnier than Ali ever expected… and, she soon discovers, he’s also dangerous. Because Tag leads a double life: when he’s not working at the clubs, he’s leading a rebel group trying to overturn the girl power society that the women in Ali’s family have worked so hard to put in place.

Getting closer to Tag upends everything Ali thought she knew. But will she betray everything she was raised to protect for a guy she’s not even sure she can trust?

In the current setting of politics and shows like The Handmaid’s Tale, this book was quite the interesting shift in perspective. Too often we see dystopians where female characters are put down and treated improperly, but what if it was the other way around? There is plenty of objectifying of not just women but men as well, so what if it was all combined in a future society?

That premise alone is what drew me to this book. The writing style was well done and easy to follow. I enjoyed the descriptions of setting and character, and McAloon seems to be able to get into her character’s heads well. She did well with fitting her character’s attitudes and personalities to the society they’ve grown up in, instead of taking characters that existed in today’s society and tried to fit them with a future government.

There were plenty of surprises to keep me on my toes which I highly enjoyed. There’s always a rebel group going against power in futuristic settings, and this one is no different. But the fact that the main love interest has a double life just brings depth to his character instead of him being the typical ‘cute boy’ stereotype that the others like him seem to fall into.

Overall, great work. Would definitely read this one again.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

Rating:

HeartHeartHeartHeartHeart


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Review Rendezvous: 2/17/18


The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Book stats:
Genre(s): Dystopian, classic, feminist
Medium: Kindle
Number of pages: 324
Publish date: February 17, 1986
Purchase: Amazon Book Depository Barnes and Noble

HandmaidThe Handmaid’s Tale is not only a radical and brilliant departure for Margaret Atwood, it is a novel of such power that the reader will be unable to forget its images and its forecast. Set in the near future, it describes life in what was once the United States, now called the Republic of Gilead, a monotheocracy that has reacted to social unrest and a sharply declining birthrate by reverting to, and going beyond, the repressive intolerance of the original Puritans. The regime takes the Book of Genesis absolutely at its word, with bizarre consequences for the women and men of its population.

The story is told through the eyes of Offred, one of the unfortunate Handmaids under the new social order. In condensed but eloquent prose, by turns cool-eyed, tender, despairing, passionate, and wry, she reveals to us the dark corners behind the establishment’s calm facade, as certain tendencies now in existence are carried to their logical conclusions. The Handmaid’s Tale is funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing. It is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and tour de force. It is Margaret Atwood at her best.

This book has been on my to-read list for quite a long time. Like, four years long. Not going to lie, I forced myself to finally pick it up because the TV show was coming out in May of this year, so I had to read it before I saw the series. Holy cow, there is so much going on here! It’s also kinda frightening because though it is pretty far off from our current society, it really would not take too many steps with the wrong people in power to get there. But, no more of my political views, this is a book blog after all.

The narrator, Offred, used to be a normal U.S. woman, but that all changed when the Republic of Gilead took over. She is no longer allowed to read, speak her mind, and must hope that somehow she becomes pregnant. She, at first, is just trying to survive with her new way of life, keeping her head down and staying away from anything that causes trouble. Slowly but surely, she begins to break away from the status quo. Nothing too overt at first, but then she is off doing highly illegal things that would get her hung should anyone find out.

Honestly, the only thing I could think while I was reading this is how terrified I would be. There’s no possible way that it was easy for Offred to stand up like that, but when you get to the point where risking your life is better than living with your head down, you know something is wrong. I applaud the way Atwood was able to portray a strong woman in such a society. The theocracy taken to the extreme is very disturbing, and Atwood was still able to create a character that so many people identify with. The handmaid costume has also become very symbolic, and I have to say the book is considered a classic for a reason.

Rating:
HeartHeartHeartHeartHeart


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