by Sophie Mackintosh
Genre: Dystopian, Science Fiction
Release Date: June 30, 2020
Publisher: Penguin Random House Canada
Price: $24.95 (CAD)
On the day of their first bleed, every woman is given a white or blue ticket. A white ticket means that they’ll marry and have children; a blue one that they'll have a career. Calla, a blue-ticket woman, knows that she’s been given the wrong life, and when she finds a way to become pregnant, she goes on the run, attempting to cross the border to another country where she’ll have the freedom to raise her child.
Whew this book. So, this is one of the reviews where I’m going to say, this book is not for everyone. And I’ll be upfront and say it should have a content warning for miscarriage/stillbirth. And of course, there is some discussion of pregnancy, and parenthood and what that means in a world where choice is taken away from women. So, I definitely recognize these topics are upsetting for some people, and I want y’all to protect yourselves.
I really enjoyed this book. It’s the kind of disturbing, real, and painful book that really appeals to me. It also employs an informal and different story-telling structure, that I thought worked well to create a personal and intimate atmosphere. It reads more like a journal and definitely slows down in places. Despite this, I found it difficult to put down, and was definitely very drawn into the story.
Calla is an interesting and contrary character. It’s not very clear why she wants to be a mother, whether it’s just because she’s been told she can’t, or if there is something that she feels is missing and thinks that having a child will fill that void. Regardless, she’s a rebellious and kind of grey character, and y’all know me, I love that. Overall, I thought she was well written, and it was interesting to try to get into her head and figure out her choices. I especially enjoyed her relationship with Dr. A. It was bizarre in an intriguing way.
So in terms of recommending this book, I’m more gonna say who I don’t recommend it for. Mainly, if you need detailed world-building, or aren’t a fan of non-traditional story structure, or books that are at their core kind of bleak… I would pass on this one. Otherwise, if you tend to enjoy grey protagonists and a different, but voicey structure, give it a go for sure.
Sophie Mackintosh is a British writer. Her first book, The Water Cure, was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize (2018) and won the Betty Trask Award (2019). Blue Ticket is her second book, and has received commendations across the board, including being listed as Belletrist’s August 2020 Book Pick. Fine out more about her here.
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** Thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Random House Canada for providing me with an eARC of this book**
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