Monday, August 18, 2014

Book Review: The Bees by Laline Paull

Book Review: The Bees by Laline Paull
The Bees by Laline Paull

ARC received via Amazon Vine in exchange for an honest review

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. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts:

Flora 717, born to the lowest caste of the hive, is an anomaly. With a large build and considered ugly, she is the only sanitation worker who isn't mute. She has several unusual talents that, along with her intellect and curious nature, make her an asset to her hive.

Surprised at how quickly I was drawn into the story, I really liked Flora and became invested in her story. I was proud of her for not meekly accepting her designated role and wanting more, while still supporting the structure of her hive.

I was fascinated by the various roles every bee played in keeping the hive running smoothly, from the lowly sanitation workers to the nursery feeders to the ladies in waiting. Everyone has their role to play in order to keep the hive running, including the dreaded police bees. Flora 717 steps outside her role, but only because the hive is in trouble and needs her multiple talents.

The book has been compared to The Handmaid's Tale, but I honestly didn't see any similarities. It has been awhile since I read THT, but I know it left quite an impression and made me think. While I enjoyed The Bees, it didn't leave the same impression.

This is an odd book in that I've never read anything like it. An enjoyable read with interesting tidbits about bees and their hive, I took it at face value and didn't try to ferret out any deeper meaning. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar and sometimes a bee is just a bee. I enjoyed the story and will leave the deep analysis to others.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

July 2014 Wrap Up

July 2014 Wrap Up

Hoping that monthly wrap up posts will help keep me on track this year!

Books read

In order to meet my Goodreads goal of 100 books, I need to read 8.33 books per month. According to Goodreads, I've read 7 books this month:

  1. Shattered by Kevin Hearne
  2. The City by Dean Koontz
  3. Stay With Me by Alison Gaylin
  4. Help For the Haunted by John Searles
  5. No Limits by Lori Foster
  6. Personal by Lee Child
  7. The Bees by Laline Paull


Started off strong for the month and easily made my goal of commenting on 5-10 blogs per day for the first half of the month, then went on sabbatical for my knee operation. August will be slow as I know I won't be online very often, but should be back in the swing of things by September!


In a way, I'm surprised I managed to read seven books last month. I actually took two books to the hospital with me, thinking I'd have plenty of time to read. Obviously, I've never been in the hospital before or I would have known better. Took me several days after I got home before I even felt like reading, and even then I could only manage a magazine. My husband said he knew I was feeling better when I actually picked up a book. Go me!

I'm currently using a walker and going to physical therapy three times a week. My at-home exercises take a few hours every day, but progress seems slow. I know it's only been a little over a week, but I'm impatient. I get tired easily and find myself falling asleep at odd times, even in the middle of reading. The horror! ;)

Thanks for all of the good wishes! It means a lot to know that people care.