@bookishmadeleine ’s full review:  I want to thank Berkley Publishers for sending me a free copy of this book to review.  I was struck by the premise of this book as soon as I heard about it, and essentially did everything I could to acquire a copy (including the creation of my Net Galley account). It felt deeply relevant in today's world, where using our voices is necessary in order to fight against the current political landscape. How can we use our voices and make sure we are heard when we are stripped of the right to do so? What happens to the young girls raised in a world where they aren't encouraged to speak, and are in fact actively discouraged from doing so? Will they retain language? How will young boys learn women are people if they never get to hear their perspectives? These questions are the ones that I was most excited to engage with in the text, because, in my opinion, they brought up the most problematic and the most fascinating answers.  I with the book had stayed in that area, rather than transforming into an action/adventure tale. There were so many themes and questions I wanted to explore further, and it felt like they instead became the background for an entirely new storyline (a very exciting, gripping one, mind you, but still). I wish there was more of a focus on exploring what it might be like to live in a world where your speech is severely limited, and what it means for future generations. I am also very frustrated by the ending, which I will not go into here (because spoilers), but know that I found it somewhat problematic.  Despite these criticisms, I did enjoy reading the book - it was gripping and had me at the edge of my seat for the majority of it. I was able to predict some things, but other twists were entirely surprising, and I like it when a book can both fulfill expectations and deviate from them. I found myself audibly gasping at particularly heartbreaking or horrifying scenes, and I was incredibly tense as I read some of the more action packed sequences. Overall, I enjoyed the book, it was a fun read, but I wish there was more character development and more of a look at the dystopian society, but it is nevertheless an incredibly entertaining and thought-provoking read. I definitely recommend reading it, but maybe don't go into it expecting a newer version of The Handmaid's Tale.
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