My week 4 book club pick, was a book that I had my eye on for a while – like months. But something inside me was procrastinating with this book, and I didn’t understand why – that is, until I read the book.
That book is, ‘The Breeders’ by Katie French.
I am fully aware and considerate of the creative language of writers, and in knowing this, I won’t ever say that a book is terrible, or utter rubbish or tell someone not to read it. Because the magic of books speaks to everyone in a different way, a book that someone hated, might speak to you in ways you weren’t even aware of.
That writer spent hours writing, writing, writing, then suffers from bouts of writers block, doubt, procrastination, then continuing on with the writing process. Then, there is the moment when they send out their writings into the world, thus starting the waiting game. Dread, anxiety, excitement, dread, panic, doubts, excitement, sitting in your shower while the water floods over the skin to try and shut the brain up. After the rejection letters pour in, there is that one day that lights up more than the others – that day that someone wants to publish your book. The book is published and sent out into the world to be devoured by the souls, as words lifted off the page and filled the gap that was so longing to be filled.
So why would I deny someone a book that could possibly be something that they needed at that exact time?
Getting back to The Breeders – well… this book didn’t do anything for me except maybe frustrate me. The book lacked structure, depth and suspense. But maybe it was because I expect and NEED certain things in post-apocalyptic/dystopian books, and those needs were not filled in this book.
Here is what the book what about in a very brief, and non-spoiler paragraph. Riley is our main character, and one of the last free-girls. Girls are rare in this world because of something that happened, which wasn’t really spoken about in the book. Girls are taken by the Breeders, who turn them into baby-making machines. Riley’s family disguise her as a boy and hide her, and her little brother – because there are people who collect little boys for disgusting and vile reasons. During a raid, the adult members of her family are taken from her, leaving Riley and her brother locked in the underground shelter to starve. Can you already guess the ending of this? They get out with the help of Clay, who was part of the raid and feels bad for what happened, and the three of them go find her family – but then Riley gets shot and ends up in the breeders hospital.
SO… we have Clay, Riley and Riley’s little brother, on the run to find what happened to the adult members that got kidnapped during the raid. Riley has not ever been around a guy her own age, and is pretending to be a boy because she is not sure she can trust Clay. Clay has not been around a girl before, because girls are so rare, and he thinks Riley is a boy. I bet you can’t guess what is going to happen??? (Insert sarcasm here!)
The main problem that I had with this book was, as I mentioned before, it didn’t give me what I crave and need in the post-apocalyptic/dystopian genre – bravery and selfless sacrifice. Riley’s character may have come across as brave to pre-teens who read this book – but her actions were not thoughtful and she lack the foresight of the consequences – this takes away the bravery aspect! A far cry from the bravery and heroism of Katniss and Tris! I read these types of book because I crave the courageous actions of the protagonist, to fight for what is right – against a large program or movement – when they themselves are just a normal person but can’t stand the injustices fallen upon people.
I felt the main idea and theme of this book would have made an exciting tale – but it lacked structure and substance and flavour. The story was so predictable – when a suspense moment was in place, I called it straight away – every time EXCEPT ONE TIME! The one time in this book that made my heart flutter for ten seconds!
Talking about heart flutters – the love story in this book was… floppy? Flaccid? Flimsy?
You can’t make your main character immune to the plot, just because you don’t want bad things to happen to your precious protagonist. The men in this book craved women and used them!! Riley got herself in so many situations where she should have been raped all the time – but never was! Or she almost was, but told him no, pushed him and he went away! Why? I’m guessing because the writer didn’t want anything horrific happening to her main character. Not that I wanted Riley to get raped, but I want the story line to following the plot!
I read reviews on Good Reads, after I finished the book, and most readers gave this book 1 star. The 1 star reviews far outweighed the one 5 star review and the few 3 star reviews. People wrote similar feelings to mine – but also said that the grammar and spelling in the book was horrible. I ‘read’ via my Audible app, and was not aware of these, but someone wrote that this book was self-published.
Also, can we just talk about the cover – the breeders hospital is new, and crisp and clean. It has the best healthcare and medicine and food, compared to the outside world! This cover is false advertising! This makes you feel like the doctors are doing nasty experiments in the deep dungeons of darkness – but their nasty experiments are in brand new pristine buildings!
This book didn’t even end of a cliff hanger – and this is a FIVE BOOK SERIES!