Tag Archive: infertility


Review: Breed by Chase Novak

breedBreed by Chase Novak

Published September 4th, 2012 by Mulholland Books

Picture and synopsis from the Goodreads book page

Buy this book at: Book Depository / Amazon / B&N

Synopsis:

Alex and Leslie Twisden lead charmed lives-fabulous jobs, a luxurious town house on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, a passionate marriage. What they don’t have is a child, and as they try one infertility treatment after the next, yearning turns into obsession. As a last-ditch attempt to make their dream of parenthood come true, Alex and Leslie travel deep into Slovenia, where they submit to a painful and terrifying procedure that finally gives them what they so fervently desire . . . but with awful consequences.

Ten years later, cosseted and adored but living in a house of secrets, the twins Adam and Alice find themselves locked into their rooms every night, with sounds coming from their parents’ bedroom getting progressively louder, more violent, and more disturbing.

Driven to a desperate search for answers, Adam and Alice set out on a quest to learn the true nature of the man and woman who raised them. Their discovery will upend everything they thought they knew about their parents and will reveal a threat so horrible that it must be escaped, at any cost.

Rating (out of 5): 1 star

Review:

As much as I was looking forward to this book, by the end I hated it.  No, hated it not a strong enough word.  I loathed this book.  So many times I wanted to put it down and never pick it back up, but I soldiered on until the very last page and began to wish I had followed through with the urge to abandon it.  This book was a perfect example of a great idea that was executed terribly.  This was written by bestselling author Scott Spencer, under the pseudonym Chase Novak.  I, for one, will not be checking out anything under either name.  This saddens me because I was looking forward to this book so much that I suggested it for my online book club to read, that ended up being a very poor decision.

***Warning:  From this point forward this review may contain spoilers.  Stop reading now to remain unspoiled.***

The basic premise of this was intriguing.  An affluent couple who is so desperate to have a child that they travel to an unknown part of the world to have an unknown procedure performed on them.  Here is where I ran into my first problem.  At one point Leslie decides not to go through with the procedure.  I can’t argue with her, she’s in a country she’s never heard of, in a filthy office, about to be injected by a weird doctor with something and the doctor won’t tell her what it is.  She starts hollering and the doctor orders her husband from the room…and he complies!  For all he knows they are holding her down and injecting her against her will!   I was furious on her behalf.  But then I got furious with her.  She just lets it go and proceeds on their lives together, including having sex with him that same day!  I would have gotten a good divorce lawyer before I was out the door of the office after beaning the doctor in his skull with my foot!  So that bothered me.

Another huge problem I had with the beginning of the story was the POV.  It was written in third person omniscient.  So it basically read like a news report.  We would see what was happening and how it happened.  But we’d have no idea why it happened, what they thought or felt about what happened, or any of the details that make you care about the characters.  At one point Alex grabs a small rodent and eats it and I had no idea why.  Since i didn’t know if this was an impulse he’d struggled with or a thought he couldn’t ignore anymore it had all of the significance of a pointless sidenote.  For that reason I found that I didn’t really care about Leslie or Alex because the only things I could see about them were ignorant, selfish, and horrendously stupid.

After the twins are born the POV shifts to third person close, which was slightly better than before but by that point I just didn’t care.  I didn’t care about the characters, I didn’t care about the plot, I wanted something to happen. Yeah yeah, I get it the parents are monsters now.  They are fighting off the inhuman urge to eat their children.  Gotcha, now let’s do something with it.  What they did was that the twins ran away and spent most of the book running from their parents.  Along the way they discover other kids that are like them and who have parents like them.  Apparently there are hundreds of these people wandering around and yet…no one else in the world has noticed.  That stretched my reality a little too far to be believable.

We also learn a little bit about the original doctor and what was in the original shots.  A very little bit.  I was excited about that and expected this story to become a quest for answers.  But it didn’t.  We were still on some stupid chase from the parents which was boring and starting to drag.  When the parents finally catch them I thought, yay good stuff coming!  Nope, it just kind of stopped.  Complete with some death and mayhem.  And THEN we go on a quest for answers back to the original doctor.  All I could think was, “Why did no one think of this in the last 10 years?”  But even that proved worthless because there were no answers to be had.  The plot never went anywhere and then you reached the end and realized that you had spent several hundred pages on a pointless quest for nothing.  This plot had so much potential and all of it was squandered.  When I reached the end of the book I was mostly relieved that it was over.  If there is a sequel, I will buy it only to tear out off the pages and shred them by hand.  I wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone.  All that you’ll gain from it is feeling vaguely nauseous and then being angry that there was no pay off for the grossness.

 

 

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The Twenty by Claudia Carozza

The Twenty by Claudia Carozza

Published June 6th, 2012.  Self published by the author through CreateSpace.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.  No other compensation or monetary exchange was made.

Photo and synopsis from the Goodreads book page.

Buy this book at B&N / Amazon

Synopsis:

Imagine living in a time when infertility runs rampant and babies are no longer being born. The world is crumbling around you as people start talking about the end. This is the world Hazel DeSales grew up in. After her mother dies from a mysterious cancer, Hazel finds herself taking care of her younger sister Netty and alcoholic father.

It’s not until twenty women, known as the Elect, become pregnant all across the Barronlands when things start looking up. Hazel and Netty apply for jobs working as domestics in the Antioch Center where the Elect will be taken care of and protected. Hazel feels change in the air and her outlook for the future starts to improve.

But she soon learns that change is not without consequence. Rumors are brewing about a government cover up and Hazel finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time. So begins the unraveling of secrets that uncover things from her past and, threatening her future. Hazel is determined to seek the truth and promises herself to do whatever it takes to succeed.

Rating:

Review:

This book was very enjoyable for me.  I was prepared to spend a lot of time hearing about Hazel and I found her to be a rather interesting character, so this wasn’t a problem for me at all.  Hazel lives in a world where the human race is going to be extinct soon, it’s just thought to be a fact.  Babies are not being born, women are not getting pregnant, and the cancer epidemic that wiped out much of the population seems to blame.  First, let me talk about Hazel and her family a little bit.  Hazel is very codependent.  Normally this is something that bothers me in a character but for her it makes complete sense.  Her mother died of cancer and her father is drinking himself to death in her absence, leaving Hazel to essentially become the woman of the house and handle all the responsibilities.  So in this way it makes sense that she is codependent, she has been forced into an adult role long before she was ready for it.

The premise of this book is that seemingly out of nowhere 20 women have become pregnant.  Since these women are the hope for all of the human race, they are going to be taken to the most secure facility around to be catered to until they give birth.  I suppose I can understand this mentality but it was a pretty big giveaway that this was going to be linked to the government somehow once they start segregating these women from the rest of society.  I was a little disappointed that we didn’t see more of these women.  Mostly we see then during the limited time that Hazel spends with them, mainly while they are eating, bathing, or going to the doctor.  I didn’t necessarily dislike this, but these women are the key to the survival of human beings so I was hoping they’d be a bigger focus.

I was absolutely thrilled to see that we avoided any insta-love in this book!  I can’t stand insta-love in stories because it isn’t real and it isn’t love.  But we didn’t have this in this book and I appreciated it.  I really liked Shane.  Granted, he came off a bit stalkerish to begin with but that quickly went away and I thought he was a very good match for Hazel.  They got along well and seemed comfortable with each other and things were moving along at a natural pace.  But then Hazel gets her job with the Elect and Shane neglects to write or make any kind of contact with her at all.  Rather than have Hazel shrug her shoulders and think, well it was a budding relationship anyway, and move on she broods.  I honestly couldn’t understand why she was thinking about him so much.  They only knew each other for a few weeks I believe, so what’s the big deal?  This is when I began to suspect that a love triangle was brewing.  Insert sigh here.  Then she meets Luca.  Luca is an awesome guy. He’s smart, protective, and sweet.  But he’s protective in a chivalrous way, not a jerk way.  I was practically shouting at my book for Hazel to fall for him..and she does.  They take their relationship nice and slow and it forms very natural and sweetly and I LOVED it!  Then at the end I was confused again when she starts freaking out about seeing Shane again.  I thought we were in love with Luca, so why are we still moaning about Shane?  Consider me scratching my head on that one.

I also liked the idea of people “disappearing” if they ask too many questions or find out too much information.  I was interested to see where this went and I wasn’t disappointed.  Overall this book was probably 3.5 stars for plot alone, but with my added enjoyment of the book it bumps it up into 4 stars.