Curl Up and Dye

Hello, all! Today's book review is about Emily Schultz' 2012 novel, The Blondes. Now, in this book, Hazel, the pregnant narrator, is desperately trying to reach home so she can put together some semblance of a normal life and come to terms with her rocky romantic past. Only trouble is, a virus has infected the populace, causing blonde women to attack others in a zombie-like rage. And here I am, overjoyed and excited to tell you that I really enjoyed a book about a doomed romance being seamlessly woven into a story about apocalyptic obstacles.

And that book was called Grasshopper Jungle.

Oh, The Blondes? It was a waste of time. If the story wanted to focus on Hazel's personal woes, then all the stuff about the virus and the attacks is a distraction. If the story wanted to focus on the horror elements of society breaking down into fear and suspicion over this strange affliction, then Hazel droning on and on about her married lover and impending baby is obnoxious. And if the intent was to split the story into two equally interesting directions, then I'm afraid Schultz just isn't up to the task, and winds up failing at both.

It's not hard to see where this broke down. The scenes that are supposed to describe the mayhem of the blonde attacks are dull and colorless. And the scenes that are supposed to engage us in Hazel's story don't connect, because she's a pretty boring drip of a person. Really, the only thing the book was able to nail is the tedium of trying to cut through red tape in times of emergency.

Sometimes, an artist's reach is beyond their grasp, and we're left with an interesting, ambitious failure. For instance, Jupiter Ascending wasn't a great movie, but I'm glad I saw it. Unfortunately, that's not the case here, as The Blondes isn't good enough to enjoy on a pure level, isn't bad enough to enjoy on an ironic level, and isn't well-written enough to enjoy on a technical level. Anything it attempts to do - from horror to romance to drama to resolution - is better served in other books. I guess blondes don't have as much fun as people say.

The Blondes: C


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