The Bees | Laline Paull - Book Review

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Hi guys! So as you all know, I LOVE BOOKS! So I thought that I should start writing some book reviews for you all of what I am currently reading/or have read. I have never written any book reviews before, so I'm sorry if they are not structured how they should be )if there even is a structure to follow for a book review?). So here is my first review! I hope you like it!


Rating:  ✹ ✹ ✹

'The Bees' by Laline Paull is about a young bee called Flora 717 trying to find her way in the life of the Hive and was published in 2014.

The blurb reads:

"Flora 717 is a survivor. Born into the lowest class of the totalitarian hive society she is prepared to sacrifice everything for the Queen, surviving internal massacres , religious purges and terrifying invasions by vicious wasps. With each act of bravery her status grows, revealing both the enemies within and the sinister secrets that rule the Hive. But when her instinct to serve is overwhelmed by a fierce and deeply forbidden maternal love, she breaks the most sacred law of all..."

The UK paperback cover (2014 edition)

I didn't know what to expect when reading this book. At first I thought it wasn't about bees at all (even though the title is called The Bees and on the blurb it states bees and wasps), but I thought it was all a metaphor and that the 'bees' were in-fact humans in this new kind of totalitarian society; but it turns out that they actually are bees. The book, I think, starts off quite slow; the first quarter of the book was really interesting as you get to know about the rules and everyday life of the Hive including what the class system is and the whole culture that this society of bees have created. The last few chapters of the book really gripped me and made me wanted to read more, although I think that this would have been better if something similar was dotted throughout the book rather than just at the end.

The events that follow take a dark turn, from deaths to sacrifices and horrific secrets being unraveled, so I wouldn't recommend this to anyone under the age of 14 as it does get quite dark and gruesome.

The character of Flora 717 is an interesting one. We are not sure how old she is (although we are assuming she is quite young for a Bee) and her family lineage is quite simple as all of the bees are 'sisters' within this novel, birthed from the Queen herself, so none of that 'one-parent-is-dead' scenario here.

Hopefully, without giving too much away, this book is about self discovery, the power of each voice and above all else, love. Many different types of love are shown within the book; love for religion, maternal love, sibling love and others.

I believe that this book has a really important message to send out, although I don't think that is what the book is focusing, but is rather lying there underneath the narrative.

Overall  I really enjoyed the book, even though the beginning was a bit slow, but nevertheless it was a really good read. This book would probably appeal to an older audience, but even though I am 18 I can say that I did enjoy it.

Love, K :)

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