Book Review: “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood

I have been reading like crazy lately, thanks to my Fire tablet I got for my birthday. I really didn’t think that I would even enjoy it this way, because for a while I hated going this route, but honestly it is ten times easier for me to go about it this way! I have a nice fabric cover–it has sunflowers with a blue sky–that I can grip with my toes and since it’s lightweight, being able to carry it from one part of my bed to the other is really helpful!

Originally, I was reading another book, but my mom bought Demi Moore’s book, in which she got a $3.96 credit back so I took that and bought Julie Andrews book, but as I was on the Kindle book section, I discovered Prime Reading; I knew we had it because my mom told me to end the membership, but since you get 30 days with it anyways, I kind of took advantage of this, several days later! Actually, by the time I used it, I only had about 10 days to complete it. It took me nine. The book I ultimately decided to go for, was The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.


Normally, I do not like to follow trends when it comes to books. I like to pick through what I want, but every once in a blue moon this will happen. What really gets me is that, I haven’t even been remotely interested into the series on Hulu. I just saw it on there, and thought, “why not?”

Before I start this, I feel like I should come out and say this, but I am not a feminist in any way shape or form. I knew this novel was big in the movement, and I guess that was convinced me to give it a go in the first place, but that also means my way of thinking is entirely different compared to the way of a feminist. You will have to keep this in consideration with the things that I have to say about the story of Offred.


For this of you, who have not read or maybe haven’t been interested in it yet, the tale is of this young woman, who is striving to remember who she was and how the world worked before Gilead was created. Before she became a pawn into creating a family for someone else, to the point where she is forced to give up everything, her marriage, daughter, and freedom.

She lives in a house of a wealthy Commander, and his wife Serena Joy, with two other ladies–who are called ‘Marathas’’ as they keep up with the housework but that‘s all–but Offred has a big role in the home as she is the couple’s Handmaid. She’s the one who creates the babies for them. This is her role now, as well as the other Handmaids in the community.

I was asked by someone on Instagram whether or not, if it was a drag or was I really enjoying it, in which I wrote back that it was really in the middle throughout the whole thing! For certain areas, it was really boring but the majority of it was kind of interesting! I think the main reason was, that sometimes I could see parts of our past, our history, coming through this very dystopian story. Of course, the feminist movement was most known about whenever Offred would discuss her mother and Moira. The scenes that she and Ofglen, go towards the Wall, seeing the dead people hanging on the hooks, reminded me of when the popular way to be killed in England, was to be hung, drawn and quartered. A part of me, felt like this, could be an alternative of that cruel display to the general public.

It wasn’t just historical elements used in the book, it also had some notable religious beliefs as well. You definitely get this while Offred talks about her time at the Center, as she basically describes it as a nunnery, but instead of taking a vow of celibacy, you are learning to fulfill your promise of a woman, that you live to create and give life to the family you live with at the time. Everything about being a woman that you have come to know, is being stripped away. You’re no longer to wear cute clothes, work a normal job nor earn your own money. The status of a woman of a “boss” is gone. This part was frightening to me! Although, I already live somewhat of a nun’s life right now, the thought of taking away everything that made me, me, was something that I quickly realized I take for granted.

Now I have the overwhelming question to answer, whether or not, I want to ask my mom if I can purchase the next book. I have looked into it already but when I saw that it mainly talks about Aunt Lydia and now what really happens to Offred, kind of turned me off of it for now. The other thought I have, is that since we have Hulu, I could check out season one of the show, just to see if I would enjoy it. However, I feel like the same way I did after I finished “Thirteen Reasons Why” where I still wasn’t interested what happens on the series. So, time will only tell what I ultimate decide to do next.

Have you read The Handmaid’s Tale yet? Did you enjoy, absolutely hated, or were unsure about it?

Guest Post | Character Development with Dylan Callens, Author of “Interpretation”

August was an interesting month for me, because I have started on reviewing books via request like a real bookblogger! 

A friend of mine Amanda, who runs Chocolate Pages, is also a bookblogger. She put up a blog post offering other bookbloggers to help her with the requests. I literally jumped at this and within three weeks I got a request, but unfortunately I was unable to read another book. My mom and I have came to the conclusion that I should only read one book a month to see how I do, but I didn’t want to say no, so thanks to Dylan’s email he gave me an idea!


12308402_731205320357417_7423398889629834921_n

Dylan Callens has recently written a dystopian fiction book called Interpretation. The word “dystopian” or “dystopia” is an imaginary place where people often lead fearful lives. I’m not as familiar with the word or genre, so I had to go look it up in the dictionary.

Here is the blurb of the novel:

Carl Winston awakens to find his son, Liam, screaming with fear. Trying to understand why, Carl tries to soothe him. Neighbors gather in front of Carl’s apartment to help – until they see him. The crowd cowers back, afraid of this monster.

Carl runs. His life of luxury is ripped away. Forced beyond the city limits, Carl sees a land bereft of life. Traveling in search of answers, his quest comes to a sudden halt when he collapses. As darkness shrouds him, a figure hovers from above.

Traveling along the same route, Eva Thompson finds Carl and nurtures him back to life. Together, they continue the journey, finding out that their lives have too much in common to be a coincidence. As their affection for each other deepens, an unknown nemesis attempts to remove their only source of happiness – their love for each other.


I’ve allowed Dylan to write a guest post and he chose something that I might be looking more into for my own story – that I haven’t worked on for a while! Anyways, here is what Dylan says about character development. 

18581722_1057525084392104_2680261785040618447_nMy Character, My Friend

As I began researching different psychological experiments for my novel, Interpretation, the first (and craziest) person I came across was a neurobologist named Dr. Jose Manuel Rodriguez Delgado. His name is important: Jose Delgado. This man had a vision for the future, where people wore electronic stimulation devices so that the government could correct unwanted behavior by stimulating the brain. His research worked towards the end, creating a device that could be attached to brains. In one famous experiment, he had his device implanted into the head of a bull. As the bull charged at Delgado, he administered a shock to the animal’s brain, which stopped it in its tracks.

After reading of his work, I knew that this would be the social condition in my novel: a society where every individual had some kind of device implanted in their heads. As a result, I wanted to give my main character a first name that represented this reality. So, of course, I named him Carl.

Carl. That’s right. Being inspired by the work of Dr. Jose Degado, I named him Carl. Why you might ask?

Because somewhere along the way, Jose Delgado’s name transformed itself into former baseball slugger, Carlos Delgado. I have no idea how this happened – I don’t even like baseball. I must have written Jose’s name dozens of times while taking notes. But when I sat down to write, I put Carl on the page. My character’s name is a mistake.

After reading over the first draft of the first chapter, I knew that something was wrong with his name and I eventually figured it out. By then, it was too late. His name was Carl to me and I just couldn’t change it. He had his own life and it appeared to be a very nice one. He loved his son, had a nice apartment, and a good job. He encountered a brief, blinding pain in his head and a short hallucination in that first chapter but that didn’t mean he should be renamed Joe, to honor Jose.

At least his name is right. Winston. Or at least I hope there is a Winston in Nineteen-Eighty-Four. There is, right? I wanted to pay tribute to my favorite dystopian novel somehow and I saw Carl’s situation similar to Winston’s, in some ways. So that’s how my main character was born.

Identifying with this character was pretty easy for me. I think there is a lot of me in him. He and I took the Myers-Briggs personality test and came up with very similar results. He is an INFP and I am an INTP. Which means we both prefer introversion, intuition and perceiving, as opposed to extroversion, sensing and judgement. Our difference is that he’s a little more touchy-feely than I am (the F stands for feeling while the T stands for thinking). I’d like to think that if his circumstances were a little better, he might be more of an intellectual. His life hasn’t really allowed that pursuit though, so I blame his circumstance for that one.

But Carl and I – we could go for a beer, one day. I think we would shoot a game of pool and philosophize about the implications of Jose’s work. I also know for sure that we wouldn’t talk about baseball legend, Carlos.

If you would like to read Dylan’s new book “Interpretation” and learn more about Joe, I mean Carl Winston’s now crazy life, he has given me several ways you can purchase the book! 

Amazon: http://amazon.com/dp/B073V7LSRV
Barnes & Noble:
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/interpretation-dylan-callens/1126732112?ean=2940154727843
Kobo:
https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/interpretation-7
iBooks:
https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/book/interpretation/id1258997726?mt=11