Tag: 4 stars

Book Review: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid’s Tale
Series: The Handmaid’s Tale #1

Author: Margaret Atwood
First Published: 1985
314 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now . . .

Funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing, The Handmaid’s Tale is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and tour de force.

Kim’s Review:

What an intense read! Like Orwell and Bradbury, Atwood is great with the cautionary tales! It does take a little while to get going and figure out what is happening, but then it takes off! I realize that as a woman, my perspective is going to be different. Listening to Offred comparing her life in Gilead to her life during the Anarchy, I was terrified. Leaving abortion out of it (I’m not going to start a political fight, we all love each other too much to do that), all the rights and freedoms pulled from women are the kinds of things that we’re even seeing today for everyone! Thankfully, it hasn’t gotten nearly as far as Gilead, but like I said, Atwood is all about a cautionary tale. Is it as good as 1984 or Fahrenheit 451? I won’t say that. I’ll also say that maybe it could have used a little more action. However, it’s and engaging and scary read and I think the majority of Americans should read it!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Book Review: Inspection by Josh Malerman

Inspection
Author: Josh Malerman

Published: March 19, 2019
383 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

J is a student at a school deep in a forest far away from the rest of the world.

J is one of only twenty-six students, all of whom think of the school’s enigmatic founder as their father. J’s peers are the only family he has ever had. The students are being trained to be prodigies of art, science, and athletics, and their life at the school is all they know—and all they are allowed to know.

But J suspects that there is something out there, beyond the pines, that the founder does not want him to see, and he’s beginning to ask questions. What is the real purpose of this place? Why can the students never leave? And what secrets is their father hiding from them?

Meanwhile, on the other side of the forest, in a school very much like J’s, a girl named K is asking the same questions. J has never seen a girl, and K has never seen a boy. As K and J work to investigate the secrets of their two strange schools, they come to discover something even more mysterious: each other.

Kim’s Review:

Wow. This book definitely was a thinker! There was a lot of philosophizing and internal dialogue through the whole story. Thankfully, the ideas were fascinating enough that I was able to keep up fairly well. The main reason for the 4 stars is because I missed the action. I do like character driven plots but they do need to move along. This book was a little slow. However when the action did start, then it went fast! I liked the overall concept and even though many of the kids blurred together, I liked getting to know the characters. Overall, this was a fascinating read that scratched the dystopian itch, without actually being dystopian.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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Book Review: The Apartment by SL Grey

The Apartment
Author: SL Grey

Published: October 4, 2016
288 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Mark and Steph live an idyllic life with their young daughter in sunny Cape Town until one day when three men in masks violently break in. Traumatized but physically unharmed, Mark and Steph are unable to return to normal and are living in constant fear. When a friend suggests they take a restorative vacation abroad via a popular house-swapping website, it sounds like the perfect plan. They find a nice artistic couple with a charming apartment in Paris who would love to come to Cape Town. How could Mark and Steph resist the idyllic, light-strewn pictures, and the promise of a romantic getaway? But once they arrive in Paris, they quickly realize that nothing is as advertised. As their perfect holiday takes a deadly turn, the cracks in their relationship grow ever wider and dark secrets from Mark’s past begin to emerge.

Deftly alternating between two complex and compelling narrators, The Apartment is a terrifying tour de force of horror, of psychological thrills, and of chilling suspense.

Kim’s Review:

This one is definitely a Blumhouse book! Ok, more of an A24 book, but they’re similar so we’ll go with it! This was a crazy slow burn that makes you uncomfortable, little by little, until you find yourself squirming in your chair! I went into expecting one thing, but got something completely different! The missing star is for the main characters. Sorry, but their whining got really annoying really fast. Thankfully, everything else seemed to mostly drown them out. I think this book is the perfect horror story for travelers. I know it’s one of my great anxieties that I’ll book a place in a foreign city and then I get there and it’s nasty! I also loved the typical Blumhouse view of humanity. They don’t seem to shy away from the gray areas that we all live in. Overall, this was an effective slow burn horror that will scratch the itch without completely terrifying the reader! I enjoyed it. 

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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