#allthebookreviews – VOX by Christina Dalcher

Do you think you could limit yourself to 100 words per day? Across all platforms – speaking, reading, and writing. I couldn’t!

Thanks to Berkley Pub for the free advanced copies in exchange for our honest reviews.

VOX – Christina Dalcher (out now!)

Check out the #allthebookreviews thoughts 🙂

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Chandra’s Thoughts: 3.5/5 stars

You know how when something happens to someone, or some country or someTHING, we watch in awe but assume it could NEVER happen to us? But then look who is President now – I never thought THAT would happen and here we are.  Never say never.  The basic premise of this book is that women are being sequestered back into the kitchen, stay at home, obey your man roles (like in the 1950s as was noted in the story – but you know, without a voice) and only allowed 100 words per day, tracked by a bracelet that will electroshock you should you go over.

In explaining this book to someone yesterday, he stopped me and said I just spoke at least a thousand words in about two minutes flat just explaining the book.  No way would I ever manage if I was allotted only 100.  Yeah, I’d be miserable and definitely would get shocked.  The plot is scary as it definitely hints to our current social climate and it wouldn’t be all that surprising should something happen like this.  Taking half the work force – implausible!  Reallocating sources to make it work – actually scarily plausible.

I actually am torn with how I feel about this book.  It elicited some strong emotions from me – especially with how quickly things seemed to move and how quickly the children/teenagers were quick on the uptake – Stephen was throttled in my mind SO MANY TIMES.  Clearly Dalcher knows her stuff – you can tell she did research and was knowledgeable – although I suppose I can see why some people were put off by some scientific over explaining – I actually didn’t feel that way – I was fascinated by the whole process and my scientist brain was tingling at all this information.

The book DID get a little lost as it went further along – the last parts felt rushed and too neatly wrapped in a bow for my liking.  I did find myself confused on the “rules” for the 100 allotted words – could you read or not? If you could, then why were cookbooks locked away? I’m confused!  I almost wish there was a little “handbook” at the end of the actual manifesto/rulebook for what you could or could not do.

Such a unique and emotion inducing read that hit me in several ways.  I’m not big on the politics of the world but there’s no denying some backwards movements these days – thank goodness nothing has moved with the lightning speed of this book.

My Thoughts: 3/5 stars

I know right now that I would not last very long in a world like this. I talk way too much and I can’t even fathom having to monitor that so closely – even with one of the counters. VOX by Christina Dalcher is set in the near future where women and girls can only speak 100 words per DAY. The average person speaks around 16,000 – 20,000 words per day.

I figured, oh you can cheat the system by writing notes to each other or emails. Nope. Reading and writing count towards your 100 word allotment and soon sign language could count against you as well. All apart of the new government decrees, women can no longer hold jobs and with the Pure movement gaining more traction that might not be the only adjustments and restrictions made.

Jean was once a renowned neurolinguist that was working on a cure for aphasia she was removed from her job and forced into silence. One day she is approached by the government to continue her research and find a cure to help the President’s sick brother. If she accepts she will have her counter removed and so will her six year old daughter, Sonia. With a deadline and incentive to finish as quickly as possible, Jean needs to figure out how to get her and her daughter as much time as they can before they are silenced again.

As I’m sure Dalcher intended, Jean’s oldest son Steven definitely got under my skin. Helping the cause and supporting the advancements in the counters (more penalties for swearing, etc) was infuriating especially because he was only hurting his little sister and it seemed like it was to spite his mother.

Overall, this was a very thought-provoking concept and I enjoyed the read. I’m still unsure of my full feelings on the book and I do recommend this to anyone looking for something unique! I will be keeping my eyes peeled for more from Dalcher in the future.

 

What did you think of this one?

–Jess

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