Note about my Reviews

Dear Authors: The reviews in this blog are only personal opinions. I have absolutely no background in literature, writing or reviewing. I am a Librarian (actually a Library Technician for those who care OR know the difference) with a love for a good story. The opinions in the reviews are ONLY my OPINIONS. I am not commenting on the writers ability since well -- I am not a writer and never will be. If you are the author of any of the books reviewed here, my opinion is just that and not a judgment against you!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Blondes by Emily Schultz: Mini Book Review

The Blondes
by Emily Schultz
Doubleday Canada
ISBN: 978-0-385-67105-7
Buy from Indigo


Description:  Hazel Hayes is a grad student living in New York City. As the novel opens, she learns she is pregnant (from an affair with her married professor) at an apocalyptically bad time: random but deadly attacks on passers-by, all by blonde women, are terrorizing New Yorkers. Soon it becomes clear that the attacks are symptoms of a strange illness that is transforming blondes--whether CEOs, flight attendants, skateboarders or accountants--into rabid killers.

Hazel, vulnerable because of her pregnancy, decides to flee the city--but finds that the epidemic has spread and that the world outside New York is even stranger than she imagined. She sets out on a trip across a paralyzed America to find the one woman--perhaps blonde, perhaps not--who might be able to help her.


The Good Stuff
  • This one truly reminded me of some of  Margerat Atwood's earlier books. To me it had a similar mood and writing style to Atwood's The Handmaids Tale (one of my favorite books).  Hazel even reminded me of times of Offred. 
  •  Smiled when Hazel referred to her fetus as different little pet names as she not only learns to accept her child but learns to love it.
  • As a Canadian, obviously enjoyed all of the Canadian references
  •  enjoy the developing relationship between Hazel and Grace
  • The jumping back from past to present was a wee bit hard to get into at first but it works - gives you little bites to keep you hooked and wanting to find out more about what is going on
  • Main aspect of story being women's powers  being stripped away by men in charge, as a reaction to a "plague' (in the guise of the protecting the rest of the population)
  • Darkly funny
  • I'm a brunette - so you can imagine the appeal of the premise
  • Would be perfect for a book club discussion. Would lead to fascinating discussions about beauty, friendships, feminism - just to name a few
  • Dystopian (speculative fiction) - I am always a sucker for this genre.
  • Please don't be put off by my opinion of this novel.  The author is gifted, it really is just me in this case. I think I was expecting something different and this effected my enjoyment of the story.
The Not So Good Stuff
  •  I was extremely frustrated with Hazel (The character Grace so eloquently  mentions in the story, that Hazel is " is a bit of a dumb slut") and I personally had a hard time feeling empathy for her. For someone so educated, I expected more from her. 
  • Felt more at times like a social commentary than a story - not really a bad thing, but personally I enjoy more story (Yes, I know I am sure this makes me somewhat a less intelligent woman - but I really don't care - this is who I am and I won't apologize for it)  So in other words, if you are more intelligent than I (which not to be self deprecating or anything - but that would be most of you ) you will love this.
  • Could not understand why she fell for her professor - nothing intriguing about him and quite frankly I found him to be repulsive
  • Ok, picky picky on this one.  Scientifically I don't understand how natural and peroxide blondes could both be affected, it just didn't make sense.
Favorite Quotes/Passages
"God, how we all wanted to work at Canadian Broadcasting Corporation! It was practically upper-middle-class welfare."

"I joked that I thought there might be protestors, and Kovacs told me that it was no joke, we were lucky. This wasn't Canada where maniacs were polite."

"She was one of those glass-half-full types, and I would've been ready to choke her at the end of the eight weeks, if someone else hadn't tried."

"I thought about my own Mom going through that fatigue, and the nausea, every second of every day for months for me, and how I never knew that and never respected her - and I wished now that I had. I wished I could take back every mean thing I'd ever retorted, every time I rolled my eyes, or didn't listen."

3 Dewey's

I borrowed this from our backroom where staff drop off their ARC's that they are done with

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