Age: 24

Pages: 76 / 295; 26%
ISBN: 9780385490818

 The Reason for the Reaping: I’ve never read anything by Atwood. That’s an issue that needs to be resolved, rn. I’m starting with one of her most well-known works. Plus, that Hulu series comes out this week. READ THE BOOK FIRST.

As I Lay Summarizing: An unnamed woman is living in a utopia/dystopia sort of situation. Her nun-like outfit is all red in this world of hats. She’s being real cryptic (just like this summary. Sorry everyone, but spoilers are a thing) and ominous as past and present collide in her monologues.

The Line That Killed Me: “There is more than one kind of freedom, said Aunt Lydia. Freedom to and freedom from. In the days of anarchy, it was freedom to. Now you are being given freedom from. Don’t underrate it” (24). Death by slanted definitions.

Best Character: Narrator

Why [As] You Like It: While the general spoilers and buzz around this novel have diminished the mystery of this dystopia/utopia, there is still a joy and finesse in Atwood’s world-building. At some points, it is clear that Atwood is being cryptic for no apparent reason, but that far outweighs the ominous and sometimes straight-up scary aura she has created. The line is being fed bit by satisfying bit. I just hope we’re not left hanging. Because that would be rude af.

Why I’m Gone, Girl: In this society, women aren’t allowed to read, so the concept of the narrator telling a “story” is counterintuitive and, you know, a fatal offense. Atwood’s explanation for the words we’re reading is worth a thousand eye rolls. It’s melodramatic and pretty unnecessary: it’s called “suspension of disbelief” for a reason. We could have let this one slide.

Last Line, Last Chance: [page 76 is blank] dun dun dun.

Will I turn the page, or toss it into Mount Doom?

Where has Atwood been all my life? I want to know what happened, and I think you will to. Turn that [blank] page.

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