This book. THIS BOOK. This book, you guys. It kept me up for three nights in a row, vacation days where I had other things I needed to be doing during the day, old friends that I had promised to meet with, family that I wanted to spend time with. But every night, back at my hotel, I would pick up this book and read until I realized that it was way too late, much, much later than I had planned on staying up. And it wasn't because I wanted to be in the world that Meg Elison has created; quite the opposite. I stayed up every night horrified and addicted and needing to know that things would be ok again on Meg Elison's devastated post-apocalyptic Earth, even though I knew that there was no way that could happen.
It doesn't feel right to say that I loved a book that terrified me, that broke my heart, that kept me awake at night because my brain couldn't relax without knowing the ending. And yet. I love this book. It's stunning. Our unnamed main character is tough but vulnerable, resourceful but humanly flawed. The women that she meets in her travels run the gamut from broken to crafty to seductive to resilient to just plain lucky. The men are just as varied, but much more terrifying in a world where women are rare and coveted. I love, love, love, that despite the fact that it's not necessary to the story, our main character is bisexual. That she is willing to queer her gender for survival. That we get to see that story.
I love this heartbreaking story and will recommend it to anyone willing to have their own heart broken by a truly great story. It's just... guys. Go read this.
5 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.