Hi, all! So today I’m posting a book review, but since this one is a bit controversial, I wanted to go ahead and start off with a little disclaimer note.
Okay. I kind of feel like I’m walking on eggshells with this review, because I try very hard to keep my personal opinions about the current political state of America right now off of this blog. Of course, I have a lot of opinions, but hey, don’t we all? But in our little bubble here in the blogging world, I find it best (for me personally) not to bring in my thoughts about politics because I honestly just want to talk about and share my love for books with you guys. That being said, I’m going to try to keep this review as unbiased as possible. However, it’s going to be next to impossible for me to not insert a personal thought or two in here because of the topic of the book. So, yeah… just a heads up: I am a strong supporter of equal rights for all (regardless of sex, race, identity, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, wealth status, etc). If you don’t agree with that as well, this is sadly just not the blog for you ):
Okay, now let’s get into the book!
Set in an America where half the population has been silenced, VOX is the harrowing, unforgettable story of what one woman will do to protect herself and her daughter.
On the day the government decrees that women are no longer allowed more than 100 words daily, Dr. Jean McClellan is in denial—this can’t happen here. Not in America. Not to her.
This is just the beginning.
Soon women can no longer hold jobs. Girls are no longer taught to read or write. Females no longer have a voice. Before, the average person spoke sixteen thousand words a day, but now women only have one hundred to make themselves heard.
But this is not the end.
For herself, her daughter, and every woman silenced, Jean will reclaim her voice.
Rating: 3.5 stars
I had really mixed feelings with this book. I came across another blogger’s review of it (you can read Darnell’s great review here) which completely enticed me to check it out. I got it from the library and went to reading.
I will say that I devoured this book. There was never a moment that I wasn’t interested in what was going to happen. I think that this was definitely one of those books that can easily keep you on your toes, which alone makes it a worthwhile read. And there were definitely times where I liked it! I was so glad to see a woman fighting against this extreme brand of oppression happening in a future version of America. This is definitely a dystopian setting, but it had a lot of references to the current America, which I thought was an interesting parallel. I’m not going to say that some of the things in this book could never happen (because women’s oppression is a very real thing in so many countries), I just don’t think it would happen quite like it does in the book.
One huge issue I’ve saw other readers have with this novel was the attack on Christianity. Let me just go ahead and say that I’m not religious at all, and was therefore personally not offended in the slightest. However, I could most definitely see how someone who is of the Christian faith could find the book offensive. I would like to point out though that I do not think that this was Dalcher’s goal. The book is very clearly referencing religious extremists who use people’s love and loyalty to a higher power to their own ill-advised advantage. I do think that there were times where Christians were grouped together as a whole, making the story look a bit bias towards the religion, so like I said, I see where some found offense in the pages.
Now, as far as the actual story: it was intriguing. I couldn’t really figure out whether or not I actually liked it though, because I hated all of the characters (I’ll get into that in just a minute), there was a lot of medical jargon that I didn’t understand, and the ending felt really abrupt, leaving me with more questions than answers. As much time as Dalcher took throughout the book to explain the current state of the U.S. and what was happening to women and girls across the nation, I would’ve expected her to show how those things were being reversed at the end. (Spoiler Ahead!!!) However, we get a couple pages about how there’s a new president, women are marching again (even though they still seem to have counters on their wrists?), and she’s escaped to Canada with all of her kids and her lover.
So, let’s rewind back to those characters. The main is Jean and she is the absolute worst. The only time I could root for her was when she was trying to fight the silencing of women, and even then it was hard because she was doing it with the man she was having an affair with. Not only was she a cheater and extremely selfish in many ways, she was also going to leave the country without her four kids. What… the hell? The other characters aren’t quite as maddening but still not great either. Her son, Steven, was an infuriating character who fed into the hierarchy of men over women and had no respect for the females in his life until he needed saving himself. Lorenzo was a brilliant scientist who was still somehow stupid enough to fall in love with a married woman. Patrick, the husband, was probably the best one (besides the kids who are small and still innocent). Jean is always making remarks about how much she hates him, how he’s a “p*ssy”, and literally cheating on him, but he’s so much more than she portrays him to be. I’m not going to spoil that for you in case you want to read the book, but take my word for it. He’s the best out of them all.
Overall, I’m glad I read it because it was undoubtedly interesting and a very quick read. If you’re interested in reading about political dystopia, definitely check this out. If not, maybe don’t. If you do pick it up, I definitely recommend going into it with an open mind.