Friday, July 25, 2014

ARC Review: The Bees by Laline Paull

The Bees
by Laline Paull

Genre: Fiction, YA/MG/NA/Adult
Published May 6th 2014 by Ecco
Source: Publisher
Local purchase: FullybookedNational Bookstore

Blurb (Goodreads):
The Handmaid's Tale meets The Hunger Games in this brilliantly imagined debut set in an ancient culture where only the queen may breed and deformity means death.

Flora 717 is a sanitation worker, a member of the lowest caste in her orchard hive where work and sacrifice are the highest virtues and worship of the beloved Queen the only religion. But Flora is not like other bees. With circumstances threatening the hive's survival, her curiosity is regarded as a dangerous flaw but her courage and strength are an asset. She is allowed to feed the newborns in the royal nursery and then to become a forager, flying alone and free to collect pollen. She also finds her way into the Queen's inner sanctum, where she discovers mysteries about the hive that are both profound and ominous.

But when Flora breaks the most sacred law of all—daring to challenge the Queen's fertility—enemies abound, from the fearsome fertility police who enforce the strict social hierarchy to the high priestesses jealously wedded to power. Her deepest instincts to serve and sacrifice are now overshadowed by an even deeper desire, a fierce maternal love that will bring her into conflict with her conscience, her heart, her society—and lead her to unthinkable deeds.

Thrilling, suspenseful and spectacularly imaginative, The Bees gives us a dazzling young heroine and will change forever the way you look at the world outside your window.

My Thoughts:

*This review is based from the advance reading copy. There might be some changes in the finished copies.

The Bees caught my interest when I found out that the actual characters...are bees. It sounds exciting and scary at the same time. I'm scared that I wouldn't like it or feel weird about it but I'm also excited because I've never read a non-juvenile book with insects as the characters. I wanted to try something new.

I was instantly hooked on the first chapter. I liked how it started and I get to know the main character, Flora 717, from the beginning of her life to who she has become on the next chapters. I like the good feeling I have on reading this novel. It's easy for me to imagine this kind of world, thanks to A Bug's Life. However, unlike the animated movie, The Bees does not have a light story also suited for kids. It's like a dystopian novel, bees version, for young adult to adults.

The Bees sucked me into their world on the very first page. But as the chapters went on, I got bored, closed the book, and read a different novel. Don't get me wrong. I liked it. I think it has a unique attack to the readers. But the story and the characters wasn't strong enough for my interest to last. I was just somewhere on page 80 then. When I decided to pick it up again, it still didn't worked (I stopped on page 112, far enough to read another twist) so I tried to skip and landed on page 286--a few chapters before epilogue--and continue reading. I have missed some stories, yes, but it wasn't a lot or big enough for me to go back on the last page I read; those were stories that I was expecting to happen after reaching 112 pages.

Despite of jumping pages, I rated this book because it has potential and I still liked the beginning and the ending. The epilogue sent a pang to me but when I think about the overall story, I couldn't point out the connection. I think it would be better if the prologue and epilogue matched the story inside the beehive.

The Bees has a unique story from the characters to the plot. Readers off all ages would find this fresh and interesting.

*Thanks Megan and HarperCollins International for the review copy in exchange of an honest review!



  1. Thanks for the review! I've been super intrigued with this one since I found out about it earlier this year. What a weird yet interesting premise. Bees!
    Despite your iffy-ness of it, I'm still hoping to pick it up soon. Thanks for your review!
    Happy reading!
    Brittany @ This is the Story of My(Reading) Life

    1. You should, Brittany! It might not work for me that much, but maybe it will for you. And you're welcome! :)


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