Elodie obeys The Key. Elodie obeys the rules. Elodie trusts in the system. At least, Elodie used to…
Aidan is a rebel. Aidan doesn’t do what he’s told. Aidan just wants to be free. Aidan is on his last chance…
After a pandemic wiped out most of the human race, The Key took power. The Key dictates the rules. They govern in order to keep people safe. But as Elodie and Aidan begin to discover there is another side to The Key, they realise not everything is as it seems.
Rather than playing protector, The Key are playing God.
This was better than I expected, because for some reason I kind of expected this to be a B-tier book. I thought it would have somewhat subpar writing, and maybe kind of flat characters, and the plot would be kind of predictable. I guess I forgot that Kristin Cast wrote this, and they have a lot of experience writing books (which I used to love as a teen). So the writing was definitely better than I thought it would be going in!
I did my first cover roulette post a little while ago for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and it was so fun I wanted to do another! Luckily I found another popular book that has had many different editions made, and I wondered…
What other awesome covers have I missed?
Tonight’s book is one I have, somehow, still not read. It’s been on my shelf since I was in high school. It’s now a tv mini series (or something like that?). I even read the graphic novel recently, which ultimately just made me think I should really read the original. Well, before I get to The Handmaid’s Tale, lets take a look at some of the covers!
The Cover I Know
Okay, to be honest, part of why I probably never ended up reading this when I was younger was because this dowdy cover was next to flashy shiny ones with dragons and magic on my bookshelf. And, let’s be real, that’s still the case. But I’ll still read this… eventually. ☺
Oh. My. God. I cannot believe that I didn’t know this was released already!!! The Toll is the third part (and maybe final, I would guess?) of Neal Shusterman’s “Arc of a Scythe” series that started with Scythe way back in 2016. Even before I read the description of that one, I knew I had to read it because Neal Shusterman’s previous series that began with Unwind was astonishingly complex and dark and was one of those books that made you face uncomfortable truths and questions about your own beliefs.
Why wait on this one?
Well, because Neal has managed to do something very rare: make the sequel to a book EVEN BETTER than the first book. Sequel slump? What’s that?? When the second one wound deeper into the theology behind the Scythes’ organization and added in intriguing political machinations and ended with one of the boldest endings ever that even I didn’t think he’d have the balls to go for, I NEED THE NEXT BOOK. Somehow I forgot it was coming out, so shame on me, but the plus side is now I don’t have to wait?
Summary of the first book, Scythe: A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control. Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.
The Handmaid’s Tale: The Graphic Novel by Renée Nault – ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Interesting, but mostly made me feel like I need to read the full novel to get now if the details that feel like they’d make the story have more impact. The creep factor of the control of the world was toned down by the shortened adaptation, but enhanced by the visuals that really hit you in the face with how WEIRD the situations were.
Recommended: For people who have already read the original For a shorter adaptation with effective art that will enhance an already developed story for those who know it
Summary: Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, where women are prohibited from holding jobs, reading, and forming friendships. She serves in the household of the Commander and his wife, and under the new social order she has only one purpose: once a month, she must lie on her back and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if they are fertile. But Offred remembers the years before Gilead, when she was an independent woman who had a job, a family, and a name of her own. Now, her memories and her will to survive are acts of rebellion.
Thoughts: My overall impression is that I wasn’t able to get the details I would need about the world and the characters to truly appreciate this. In part due to the nature of a graphic novel, where text is limited, I felt like some of the reasoning of why these things had happened, how our MC got to be where she was, and so on, felt undeveloped. I know that’s partly intentional in the story itself, but it felt a little hollow from here.
Recommended: sure For a 1984-ish, The Handmaid’s Tale-ish kind of story, for a read that will make you bounce back and forth between whether something is right or wrong until you’re tangled up in knots, for complex evaluations on ways of living and which is better (indignant pride and striving for what you deserve, or gratitude for everything that you have no matter how meager it may seem to others)
Summary: Golden Oaks caters to women who need or want a surrogate for their pregnancy – provided they can pay the exorbitant price. In a facility with every amenity, secretively selected women can sign on to be monitored and controlled through their 9 months of pregnancy. The promise of Golden Oaks to its clients is to deliver a perfect baby, given every advantage starting from pre-conception; its promise to its Hosts is a pile of money, more than most could dream of. Jane, an immigrant from the Philippines and a struggling single mother, is thrilled to make it through the highly competitive Host selection process at the Farm. But now pregnant, fragile, consumed with worry for her own young daughter’s well-being, Jane grows desperate to reconnect with her life outside. Yet she cannot leave the Farm or she will lose the life-changing fee she’ll receive on delivery—or worse.
Thoughts: The surface story within this didn’t compel me as much as the struggle to figure out who was correct in their view of Golden Oaks and their services. I don’t think I ever came up with a clear answer, but it made me consider some important questions and challenge some of my own beliefs, so that in itself made me keep reading.