[REVIEW] VOX by Christine Dalcher @HQstories

Before starting this review I want to address something: If you’ve been following my blog you might notice that I always make graphics suited for each book cover and publish them with my review, it has recently become very tiring to do that because of many books that I have to read so I decided to make universal graphics for my reviews. I did make some book themed graphics for future books which will show up from time to time but my reviewing esthetic will be the universal one.

What first attracted me to VOX was the promotional campaign started by the pubishers (HQ) which looked so interesting and so mysterious. I was lucky enough to get picked by them on Instagram as one of the people to read and review this book before its publication day in August.

VOX is a story set in dystopian America where all women have been silenced and stripped from all their rights. Women are forced to wear bracelets which record their word count – the word limit for women is 100 words per day while men are free from this and are free to speak their mind. In this chilling world a woman called Dr. Jean McClellan, a neurolinguist, is called to help in a government matter because she’s the expert when it comes to language and how the brain uses it but will she be able to do it? In a world which is too absurd to imagine Joan must fight to save herself and her daughter and secure a better future not just for her sake, but for every woman’s sake.

I very much enjoyed reading this book because it offered a great look on feminist dystopia. This book is already being compared to The Handmaid’s Tale which is understandable because it is set in a similar world where women are looked upon as weak and unnecessary. VOX is a great dystopian book with short chapters which made it very easy to read and follow. When it comes to certain scenes in the book I have to say that the way Jean was presented was OK but something felt missing when it comes to her character, I liked that she was very protective and ready to do anything in order to shield her family but I had an issue with her and another character which I won’t get into because of spoilers. What I also found as a downfall is the ending which was a bit rushed and could’ve been better thought-out but it did leave me satisfied. Despite my minor struggles I have to say that VOX is one hell of a action packed book which will thrill any dystopian lover.

VOX is a thrilling book set in a world where women are silenced and where men have the last word but in it hides one woman who is determined to change the world they live in for the better.

I would like to thank the publisher (HQ Stories) for sending  a copy of this book my way in exchange for an honest review. All opinions mentioned here are my own and weren’t influenced by anything.

My rating: 

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Christina Dalcher earned her doctorate in theoretical linguistics from Georgetown University. She specializes in the phonetics of sound change in Italian and British dialects and has taught at universities in the United States, England, and the United Arab Emirates.
Her short stories and flash fiction appear in over one hundred journals worldwide. Recognitions include the Bath Flash Award’s Short List; nominations for The Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, and Best Small Fictions; and multiple other awards. She teaches flash fiction as a member of the faculty at The Muse Writers Center in Norfolk, Virginia. Laura Bradford of Bradford Literary Agency represents Dalcher’s novels.
After spending several years abroad, most recently in Sri Lanka, Dalcher and her husband now split their time between the American South and Naples, Italy.
Her debut novel, VOX, will be published in August 2018 by Berkley (an imprint of Penguin Random House).

Find her on: Website, Goodreads and Twitter.

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[REVIEW+Q&A] Gather the Daughters by Jennie Melamed #GatherBook @littlebrown

Let me begin this review by saying that ever since I saw the cover and read the synopsis of this book back in January I have been obsessed with it. This is just one of those books you want to own and read and look at the pretty cover for days. Sadly my physical ARC of this book never arrived but I got it in e-form. Usually when I’m excited about a book I get disappointed in some way but this one was so great and amazing that I couldn’t put it down!

The story alternates between four different points of views we have Vanessa, Amanda, Janey and Caitlin. They live on a secluded island where everything is not what it seems – men and women, boys and girls have their lives set out for them. Their purpose is to marry, have children, raise children and when the children are all grown up and parents no longer of use they get removed from society. The island and its inhabitants follow certain written rules: much like we have a Bible or other religious texts they have one too called Our Book where there are rules and restrictions which have to be respected called Shalt-Not’s. The society is created by ten ancestors who are to be worshiped and praised for creating this world where the lives of the inhabitants are blessed and safer from the rest of the world (if there is a rest of the world). The ancestors have set ten Wanderers (men chosen by the ancestors) to take care of the society and help better it by overlooking the positions and roles everyone has on the island. Here comes the exciting part [that is if you’re not already hooked by my description of the book]: In the summer children are let go to live wild and care-free while the adults are indoors. They call this period Summer of Fruition where children fight for food and sleep in the grass and rarely return home for the whole time. To slightly older girls this is the last summer before they become a woman who has to get married and bare a child and serve her purpose for the sake of their glorified community. But not everyone wants to be a woman yet and the horrifying sighting by one girl lights a shimmering fire in the hearts of others.

What can I say except that this was an utterly and completely captivating book from the writing to the author’s imagination. The story itself is brilliantly thought of and very well executed –  there were a few things that come with every debut which weren’t exactly to my taste  – but overall it was unlike anything I have ever read. The themes in this book are dark and that makes the book not suited for every kind of reader but for those who love dark things this will be a perfect read.

To anyone reading this review I URGE you to head over to your local bookshop/online bookshop and purchase yourself a copy of this one! I know I will! ALSO: The US cover is 100x better than the UK one OK! The most amazing cover I’ve seen in a while and it’s definitely worth owning and showcasing.

I would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher (Little Brown US) for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

My rating: 

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Jennie Melamed is a psychiatric nurse practitioner who specializes in working with traumatized children. During her doctoral work at the University of Washington, she investigated anthropological, biological, and cultural aspects of child abuse. Melamed lives in Seattle with her husband and three Shiba Inus.

Find her on:  WebsiteFacebook, Twitter, Instagram and Goodreads

Click continue reading to read my interview with the author. Continue reading