Stupid cover, seems to get mixed reviews from YA themselves, but for what it’s worth, I loved it. Unreservedly.
Romance that was secondary to revelations about self and community! Danger and conflict that didn’t lead to endless, gory hand-to-hand combat! A love triangle to rival Katniss’s in its shades of gray, dearth of mushy mooning, and close relationship to the heroine’s own definition of self.
In addition to a silly cover, the premise seems lame: Cassia Reyes lives in the Society, where everything is determined for you: where you work, when you die, who you love. The story opens on the day of her Matching, when her future husband is revealed. And that’s when the cracks begin to appear in the Society’s flawless facade.
There are definite Giver echoes, but Condie really takes a similar scenario and goes in new directions. The language is literary, without, I think, being off-putting (but then, I was an English major). For me, the plot was compelling, and while some of the rules of the world seemed a little arbitrary, it looks like we’ll have at least one sequel to see how they hold up.
And I’ll definitely be there to read it.
So years ago, I read The Handmaid’s Tale and since then have stumbled into Atwood stuff occasionally, especially when working on my honors thesis, as Atwood appears to be pretty much the only wildly famous Canadian author besides L.M. Montgomery (Can anyone think of someone else?). But I never could decide if I really liked her or not.
Well, Oryx and Crake settled that eternal question for me. Last week I compulsively plowed through the dystopian novel, and when I finished it Sunday evening, way past normal bedtime. I only felt grumpy. Stupid Margaret Atwood, with her stupid portmanteuax (pigoon, wolvog, pleeblands, etc., etc., etc.). And stupid disturbed characters. And stupid lack of resolution. She probably thinks she’s so clever.
I hauled around this book, with its stupid creepy cover, from bus stop to reception desk and back, and in the end, all I got was a friend, who glanced at the book on my coffee table last night and said, “Oryx and Crake? I could’ve told you that sucked. I had to stop reading it.”