Thoughts on: The Testament of Jessie Lamb by Jane Rogers

May 23, 2012
Article first published as Book Review: The Testament of Jessie Lamb by Jane Rogers on Blogcritics.

About:
The Testament of Jessie Lamb by Jane Rogers is an award winning science-fiction book taking place in the near future. This is a book that out of my comfort zone as I usually don’t read this genre (I used to), but I’m glad I read and think it’s important to read books which you might not otherwise.

The pub­lisher is giv­ing away one copy of this book— use the form at the end of the post to enter.

  • 256 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062130803

Book Reiew: The Testament of Jessie Lamb by Jane Rogers

My rating for The Testament of Jessie Lamb – 5

Buy this book in paper or electronic format

More Book by Jane Rogers

Thoughts:
The Testament of Jessie Lamb by Jane Rogers (website | Facebook.)almost reads like a classic dystopian novel and I’m sure it will become one soon enough. I found the story surprising with several gentle twists, every time I thought I knew what was going to happen, I found out I was wrong.

The writing is excellent, but the book is not your fast paced variety. The story is narrated from the point of view of a teenage girl, the chapters begin by reliving the past and end with a journal/diary entry detailing the present. While at first this type of narrative arrangement was strange, it actually worked wonderfully book and its many themes.

Even though the book takes place in the near future, the themes which are dealt within it are contemporary. Legal age, consent, society’s willingness to tear each other apart, to sacrifice “the others” for your own morality and our favorite social pastime: forcefully enforce your jaded morals on the rest.

When I was first offered to read this book I hesitated, to be honest I only accepted because it looked interesting, I thought my wife would like it as well and because it was long listed for the Man Booker Prize. I’m not usually much for science-fiction and/or dystopian books. I liked The Hunger Games but have yet to read the rest of the series and loved science-fiction as a kid, but haven’t read a sci-fi book in years.

I am always one to preach that people should read out of their comfort zones, yet I rarely follow my own advice. And here, the opportunity presented itself and I took it.
Do you know what I found out?
I was right, not only am I happy I read this book, as it gave me much fodder to think about after I finished it, but I believe that I am a better reader for doing so.

So tell me, what was the last book that you read out of your comfort zone? Did you like it? Why or why not?

Synopsis:
Jessie Lamb is 16 years old, daughter of a British scientist attempting to find a cure for MDS, a nasty virus. MDS was unleashed upon the world by an unknown group; the virus attacks pregnant women and their babies killing the woman before she is able to give birth.

Jessie is flirting with activism, not using a car when unnecessary, joining youth groups and more. But she finds new meaning when scientists discover that women under 16 ½ have great chances of producing a baby, creating a future for human kind at the expense of their own lives.

Buy this book in paper or electronic format

More Book by Jane Rogers

Give­away

  • Give­away ends: May 30, 2012

  • US/Canada Ship­ping Addresses Only

  • No PO Boxes

  • Win­ners will have 24 hours to write back with their address, oth­er­wise an alter­nate win­ner will be picked

Congratulations: readabookonce@

TLC Book Tour for The Testament of Jessie Lamb:

Tuesday, May 15th: Jenn’s Bookshelves
Wednesday, May 16th: JulzReads
Thursday, May 17th: A Soul Unsung
Monday, May 21st: Book Hooked Blog
Tuesday, May 22nd: Brandi Reads
Wednesday,
May 23rd: Man of La Book
Thursday, May 24th: Walking With Nora
Monday, May 28th: The Road to Here
Tuesday, May 29th: Twisting the Lens
Wednesday, May 30th: “That’s Swell!”
Thursday, May 31st: A Bookworm’s World
Friday, June 1st: Drey’s Library
Wednesday, June 6th: Raging Bibliomania

Zohar — Man of la Book
Dis­claimer: I got this book for free from TLC Book Tours

 

Arthur C Clarke award goes to Jane Rogers (guardian.co.uk)

 

 

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13 Comments

  • Sheila K. May 23, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    Although I usually read mysteries and thrillers I recently read Madame Tussaud, an historical fiction book, and absolutely loved it—it is beautifully written, with excellent character and story development. I highly recommend it to everyone, no matter what your usual genre.

    skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

  • Jonathan May 23, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    Wow, sounds like a really interesting premise for a book–like Children of Men but with a significant twist. Sign me up!

    As for your question, I think the last book that really took my out of my comfort zone was Socialpunk by Monica Leonelle. It was sci-fi dystopia (which I love), but it was young adult, which I generally kind of loathe. It wasn’t that great of a reading experience for me. If anything, it cemented in my mind that most YA is not going to appeal to me. Though I’ll save you a dissertation on the reasons why. 🙂

    • Zohar - Man of la Book May 28, 2012 at 8:14 am

      I’ve read some great YA books and some, let’s say not-so-great. I don’t think you can categorize a whole genre or sub-genre (even though you won’t catch me reading chick-lit or romance). Have you read Miss Peregrine’s Home for Pecu­liar Chil­dren by Ran­som Riggs (http://manoflabook.com/wp/?p=3122)?

  • nfmgirl May 24, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    It depends on the book. Like Sheila, I enjoyed Madame Tussaud and really enjoyed it, although I’m usually not big on historical fiction. On the other hand, I recently tried to read a motivational-type book that a publisher sent, and just couldn’t get into it. I’m not the “self-help” kinda gal! I was raised by a “just buck up and deal with it” mother!

    • Zohar - Man of la Book May 26, 2012 at 10:33 am

      I have a hard time with self-help also unless it’s something I’m interested in (usually business related).

  • Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours May 25, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    Reading outside your comfort zone is tricky so I’m glad that this was a successful venture for you!

    Thanks for being on the tour.

  • SarahRTW May 27, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    Great post, I agree about ‘reading out of your comfort zone’ too. For me, 1984 and Brave New World were the books I read out of my comfort zone most recently. I’d been curious about then for a long time, but never acted on that curiosity. I’m glad I did finally read them, though. 1984 wouldn’t get out of my head for a while afterwards, and I really liked BNW.

    • Zohar - Man of la Book May 28, 2012 at 8:11 am

      I was forced to read 1984 in high school and am afraid to say I didn’t “get” it (even though I passed the test). I’m going to read it again one of these days.
      Never attempted Brave New World…buy I will 🙂

  • Laurie C May 27, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    I tried The Road and didn’t get into it at all before returning it to the library. Not sure if it was out of my comfort zone, or if I just didn’t like it.

    • Zohar - Man of la Book May 28, 2012 at 8:10 am

      I have many things about The Road, from your point of view (unreadable) to one of the greatest novels ever.

      I’ll have to give it a try.

  • Andrew May 28, 2012 at 11:33 am

    Certainly when I first read the works of Dennis Cooper he was definitely outside of my comfort zone–despite the praise showered upon him by respectable critics–but I have found that I am drawn in by his writing and even thought his book, “The Sluts” worked well as a thriller/mind-bending mystery on identity, honesty, misrepresentation, etc.

    • Zohar - Man of la Book May 30, 2012 at 7:18 am

      Thanks for the comment Andrew. Why did you pick Cooper’s work if it was outside your comfort zone?
      Personal challenge, class, friends?

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