Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Book Club Read: The Testament of Jessie Lamb
A rogue virus that kills pregnant women has been let loose in the world, and nothing less than the survival of the human race is at stake. Some blame the scientists, others see the hand of God, and still others claim that human arrogance and destructiveness are reaping the punishment they deserve. Jessie Lamb is an ordinary sixteen-year-old girl living in extraordinary times. As her world collapses, her idealism and courage drive her toward the ultimate act of heroism. She wants her life to make a difference. But is Jessie heroic? Or is she, as her scientist father fears, impressionable, innocent, and incapable of understanding where her actions will lead? Set in a world irreparably altered by an act of biological terrorism, The Testament of Jessie Lamb explores a young woman's struggle to become independent of her parents. As the certainties of her childhood are ripped apart, Jessie begins to question her parents' attitudes, their behavior, and the very world they have bequeathed her.
This book was thoroughly thought provoking. The premise is unsettling and was well presented by Jane Rogers. Jessie Lamb is a normal girl growing up in a world that is changing. Women can get pregnant, but they die. The babies too. Scientists are trying to figure out what is going on and how to stop it, but at what cost? Girls. Girls are either volunteering or being coerced into becoming "sleeping beauties" and thus basically killing themselves for the good of human kind.
This book brought up so many questions in my mind as I read along. Jessie Lamb starts to doubt her world and grown ups in general. Why should she go to school and be a doctor if humans are on the way out? Why should the world keep going in the same direction? What can young people do to stop it? Why are women always punished for man's faults? This is what I mean by thought provoking.
There is a slight twist, or at least I think that is what it is intended to be, but I guessed it pretty early on. Normally that sort of thing would be a strike against the book, but it didn't annoy me at all. I'm not going to give out spoilers, but it makes the first part of the book all the more intense.
I am so very glad that I read this book and got a chance to read it. I hope that my review has piqued your interest, as I highly recommend this one! It's stark and intense, but in the end there is hope. Even if it's just a little spark of hope. It's still there.
This book releases on May 15.
This book will be discussed on Linus's Blanket today!