Category Archives: discussion

“Pain is an essential part of the grooming process, and that is not accidental. Plucking the eyebrows, shaving under the arms, wearing a girdle, learning to walk in high-heeled shoes, having one’s nose fixed, straightening or curling one’s hair —these things hurt. The pain, of course, teaches an important lesson: no price is too great, no process too repulsive, no operation too painful for the woman who would be beautiful. The tolerance of pain and the romanticize of that tolerance begins here, in preadolescence, in socialization, and serves to prepare women for lives of childbearing, self-abnegation, and husband-pleasing. The adolescent experience of the “pain of being a woman” casts the feminine psyche into a masochistic mold and forces the adolescent to conform to a self-image which bases itself on mutilation of the body, pain happily suffered, and restricted physical mobility. It creates the masochistic personalities generally found in adult women: subservient, materialistic (since all value is placed on the body and its ornamentation), intellectually restricted, creatively impoverished. It forces women to be a sex of lesser accomplishment, weaker, as underdeveloped as any backward nation. Indeed, the effects of that prescribed relationship between women and their bodies are so extreme, so deep, so extensive, that scarcely any area of human possibility is left untouched by it.”

Andrea Dworkin, Woman Hating

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Book Review: World of Shell and Bone by Adriana Ryan

world of shell and bone

World of Shell and Bone by Adriana Ryan, is set in a world that has been ravaged by a nuclear holocaust. China is the only area that is not completely contaminated by radiation a fallout. The protagonist, Vika Canon lives in the wasteland that was once North and South America, New Amana. New Amana’s totalitarian government is controlled strictly by females, men have been demoted to domestic jobs and are expected to act as servants and home keepers of females. Males are not taught to read and are not permitted to think for themselves. Women bear the burden of childbirth, and are given five chances to conceive once they are matched with a mate, or they are cast away and will not be granted a chance to move to fertile China. Defective children are not recognized by the government. They are shipped off to asylums where the are used in scientific studies. Among these children is Vika’s younger sister.

When Vika is matched with her mating partner Shale, the trouble begins. She is forced to make the choice between being compliant with the government, or risking her life to save her younger sister.

This was the first novel that I read in 2013, and it was a great way to start off the year.

What I liked about it:

  • it’s somewhat original. YA dystopias are kind of the ‘in’ thing right now, and there’s a lot of the same general ideas going about in the novels. This one has many unique elements such as ‘nukeheads’ and the whole female ran government thing.
  • I loved the mash up of genre’s. This one is definitely a dystopia, but with many scientific elements, sort of in the spirit of Huxley’s Brave New World.
  • This is YA without taking on a completely juvenile tone. Vika is 20- not a teenager, so there’s absolutely no teenager-esque whining going on in this one. She’s a survivalist, and a woman- not a child. Tthis is more of what I’d like to see in the young adult genre- characters in their early 20’s that don’t act like stupid impulsive babies!

Criticism:

  • Not much actually, this book was really filled with positives. The only thing that I can poke at is how it sort of upset me how the ‘radical feminist party’ is responsible for the totalitarian government. I don’t really care for feminists being cast in a negative and cruel light, but that’s just me.

Would I recommend this:

Most definitely. If you’re a fan of YA dystopia or YA science fiction then this would be a good one for you to check into! Adriana Ryan is a new author, so show her a little support by reading her book! You can find her on goodreads as well!

Overall rating: **** (4 stars)