Synopsis: Hazel Hayes is a graduate student living in New York City when she learns she is pregnant from an ill-advised affair with her married professor. More worrisome than the shock of this discovery is the apocalyptically bad timing; random but deadly attacks, all by women with light hair, have begun terrorizing the city’s inhabitants. As the days pass, it becomes clear that the attacks are symptoms of a strange contagion that is transforming blondes from all walks of life–whether CEOs, flight attendants, students, accountants, television personalities, or academics–into rabid killers. Hazel–confused, desperate, almost penniless and soon visibly pregnant–flees the city and sets out to cross the border into Canada where she will find the one woman who just might be able to help her in a world gone awry.
3 out of 5 stars
This book had a reputation before I read it – that it was going to be the next Margaret Atwood which thrilled me. Unfortunately, it didn’t live up to the hype.
Reading this requires suspension of almost all beliefs, which I am more than willing to do with a great book. There is a plague happening in this world, one that only affects blonde women. Natural blondes and bleached blondes are equally susceptible, but the women can escape the plague by dying their hair – all their hair. Or shaving it all off. There is a quick science lesson given about genetics and melanin, but I would almost rather that was skipped and some made-up mumbo-jumbo put in its place.
The plague causes the blondes to go on killing rampages, dying in the process. Our narrator Hazel is on the watched list as she is a natural redhead and no one knows if they are also susceptible.
The book is written in first person narrative as Hazel talks to her pregnant belly. We learn about her life as the story switches back and forth from the past to the present.
What I liked: The story was original enough that I kept reading it. The idea of a plague of blondes was a little comical in places and I’m not sure it was meant to be. In one airport scene, all the blonde flight attendants go on a rampage. The image of that was funny to me.
What I didn’t like: There was an overwhelming sense of boredom through the entire book. Hazel was bored, was boring, and had a boring life. Because of that it was hard to finish. She was just a wet blanket and hard to like.
“The Blondes” was a nice book, but I feel it could have been so much more. It just missed the mark.