This being my first Book Review on my brand new Blog, is a bit intimidating. However, if you are here, reading this then I thank you for taking the time to do so.
There are a few things I like to consider when rating a book, or reviewing a book.
After looking over all these things and rating each accordingly that is how I get my overall star rating.
For The Handmaid’s Tale, this is how I rated it.
Plot * * *
Writing * * * *
Cover * * *
Characters * * * * *
Enjoyment * * * *
Pacing * * *
TOTAL STAR RATING = 3.5*
Now I suppose I should go into a bit more detail on why I rated each category the way that I did. Well lucky for that’s what I’m about to do!
The reason I gave 3* for the plot is due to the fact that there are a lot of holes and unanswered questions. I realize the author most likely did this on purpose. However, as a reader, it was very hard to cope with the fact that I wanted to know what happened in said plot holes.
All in all, the story itself and the plot was fantastic. It took you from the current time to flashbacks of the characters. It Also really put you into the head of the main character June.
I loved the author’s writing voice. She really brought the characters to life. Each character had their own voice and their own attitudes. Her use of imagery and memories made you feel like you were there with June feeling what she felt. The only reason I gave 4* instead of 5* was simply because although her writing style was fantastic, there were times I found myself lost. There was so much back and forth between here and now that it gave me reading whiplash at times.
The cover I gave a 3*. Mainly because for me if I were rummaging through the bookstore looking over titles to see which stood out to me, this book would not stand out. We all have our own nostalgic imagery we look for when ‘window’ shopping for books. For me, this cover was not one that would stand out. If I had never heard of this book before, I would not pick it up due to the cover.
However, once reading the book you learn how well the cover goes with the story. The cover is simple, it does not stand out just like June. The handmaids were meant to be bland, boring, unappealing, people who faded into the background. The fact that the image has no face is very symbolic of how the handmaids were treated and meant to be viewed as. They weren’t individuals. I don’t want to say more just in case you want to read the book yourselves.
Characters were the only category that received 5*. The reason being, you fall in love with the characters and their individual personalities. Not only that but some of them you just love to hate. The author did such an amazing job in her character building. She was able to really bring these characters to life, make you a part of the story through their individual eyes. She also used first person view for the main character, so every time you read ‘I’, you were thrown into June’s shoes. Even the voices of the characters and how they spoke were individual. She didn’t have to put the names of who was speaking, you just knew!
All in all, I enjoyed this book, thus I rated it 4* in this category. There was a lot of drama and scenes that left you hooked. I actually bought both the e-book and the audio book on audible! The audiobook is fantastic! The voice actor did a fantastic job at portraying all the different character voices. They also added little bits of music before sections of the book to give the mood. There were so many moments in the book where I wasn’t sure what the outcome would be. I found myself scared for the characters and what could happen to them. Not only that but I was left wanting to know more, more about the outside world and the big picture. Unfortunately, since the book is being told in 1st person by the main character June, you only know as much as she knows.
This again created some holes in the story, because she simply didn’t know what happened to some of the other characters. The ending for me was the most .. not disappointing, but ‘wait that was the end?’ moment. I literally was so confused when the books historical notes came on. I didn’t realize the book had ended and had to rewind the audiobook and re-listen. This time paying close attention to make sure that I didn’t miss anything. Sure enough, that was the end, and I was left with so many unanswered questions.
Pacing, for me is somewhat important when reading a book. I gave this book 3* for pace. Just because it was in the middle, it wasn’t too slow and it wasn’t too fast. Some points I felt like the story was being dragged on, and other times I felt like the author didn’t spend enough time in that specific scene. So it was a give and take relationship.
The Handmaid’s Tale was a good read, I would suggest it to my friends. However, I do think that the hype of this book was due to the fact that it is now a show on Hulu. I would love to know if you agree with my review, what you rated the book (feel free to link your review in the comments if you’d like) and also how I could improve my reviews. I love feedback, and if there was something I left out, or there is a way I could improve my reviewing process please feel free to let me know. I would also love to start a discussion in the comments if you have read the book. However, if you want to avoid spoilers for others feel free to send me a private message on my twitter where we can discuss it further!