I’ll be honest; the only reason I picked up Blue Ticket by Sophie Mackintosh was because of its gorgeous cover, it’s so damn mesmerising! Only later did I realise that it was written by an author who was longlisted for the man booker prize. It is a 2020 release, fresh and shiny, is apparently a celebration of women right’s AND the genre is dystopian fiction!! What else could I ask for? I was convinced that this time I had hit a humungous bounty. Little did I know.
The story takes place in a dystopian alternated universe, and when the girls start to menstruate, they’re taken to the hospital to be checked and join the lottery to get their card which will define their future. There are two types of future determined by two different coloured tickets.
- Blue Ticket: Means they’re free because they’re not going to mothers!! They can work and they can contribute to the system.
- White Ticket: Means they are not free anymore. They’re gonna be mothers and wives.
This book mainly revolves around the character of Calla, who is a blue-ticket woman with no maternal instincts and yet, is consumed by feelings of blind terror and decides to give birth even though its illegal. This is a story of her defiance and her tumultuous journey through her country in the name of survival.
The starting was good enough, it definitely got me hooked. It was spooky, haunted and almost eerie. I had started reading this book after a decent Indian lunch and the first few chapters were stomach-churning enough to make me feel nauseous. Alas! I was hoping to get lost in another world, a world where an authoritarian government decided the future of their women without their consent, I wanted an earth-shattering, thought-provoking and life-changing plot. Something like The Hunger Games ( Was I expecting too much?).
Whatever effects the first few chapters had managed to build-up were destroyed as the story progresses. Usually, in any dystopian novel, the world is built brick by brick to give the reader an idea of its working, its architecture, its government and its distinct features.
The plot was so boring I swear I had to force myself to forge through it. By the end of it, I was left:
The author did not bother spending a single sentence on the type of world her book was set in but instead choose to focus on the internal turmoil of her character. Throughout the book, the description was missing, I simply could not picture the scenes. It was all about dear Calla.
But do you know the ironic part? The character description was as bad as the scenario description, if not worse!! The protagonist, Calla was worse than a robot, her feelings were described in the way computer programming codes usually are, and I simply could not help but cringe at the awful character web Sophie Mackinson (the author) had built.
The Disgraceful Hood of Feminism
I understand that motherhood is an excellent topic for a feminist book, but this book was simply illogical, its approach was anything but feminist-friendly and there’s so much exaggeration about everything that one would think that Sophie Mackintosh had nothing else to write about!
The writing style is disgraceful, there are practically no sharp ends in the book, the ending is lousy and you feel like a fool by the end of it all. Practically one of the WORST 2020 dystopian novels.
Final Take from Blue Ticket by Sophie Mackintosh
I’m currently grinning for this is my shortest book review because I had practically nothing to write about! But my dear friend, let me warn you, exceptions do nothing but trip you up, I’ve learnt the hard way to not to judge a book by its cover and I hope you don’t do the same.