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  • Edgy, riveting, and kept me turning the pages

    For many years I have loved dystopian books. I love reading about how the authors’ idea of a futuristic, government-controlled world would look and whilst there are some vast differences between dystopian books there is always one similarity, the rich, clever, and good get the best in society, the poor, not so well educated, and those that are not perfect, get the worst there is to offer. In Q this is certainly brought to the forefront. Everyone has to undergo tests every so often to discover what their Q score is. Score highly and you get the best in life such as a good job, the ability to shop whenever you wish, a nice house, etc. Score badly and all that changes. The score isn’t only based on your IQ level it is based on your genetics, married status, finances, health, sexual status, etc. The schools are split into different levels, the high achiever’s school, the less achiever’s school, and the yellow card boarding school where those that go below a certain score are sent, away from others in society. Elena Fairchild is a popular and well-liked teacher at one of the more elite schools. She is married to Malcolm who is a member of the government department responsible for setting up and monitoring these rules and implementing them. They have two daughters, Anne who excels at everything, and Freddie who is nine and in today’s society would probably be on the Autism Spectrum. Her grades are not so good. In fact, Freddie scores so low on one of her tests that she is sent to one of these boarding schools in Kansas. Elena does what any drastic mother would have done in that situation, she botches her own test so that she can stay with her daughter, but the boarding school isn’t like what they have been made to believe, it is hell on Earth. This is the first book by Christina Dalcher that I have read and from what I know about her first book and after reading this one she sure can write a dystopian novel. The book is heartbreaking, angering, comforting, and body-shuddering all at the same time. You have the government and their policies and boarding school on one side, versus a mother’s love on the other. We not only get to read about what is happening now, but we are also taken back in time and see how this all began and how Elena after finding out during pregnancy that her baby wouldn’t score very well changed the results so that she could keep her child. You also always find one character in these types of books that make you want to reach into the pages and ripped them apart and Elena’s husband Malcolm is that person in this book. How she married such an evil, despicable man in baffling. What makes a person behave and think the way he does? Overall this is a book that dystopian fans should read. It is edgy, riveting, and kept me turning the pages needing to know everything. It also had me thankful that even though we are living through horrid, scary times at the moment they are nothing compared to what living in a Q society would be like.

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    10 person found this review helpful

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  • A gripping and thought-provoking read

    ‘Are we born like this? Or are we taught? Either answer is horrible in its own way’. When Elena’s daughter is downgraded to a feared State School because her ‘Q’ level isn’t high enough, she risks everything to find her. But what dark secrets will she uncover along the way? Having missed out on getting the ARC of Vox also by Christina Dalcher recently I was really excited to read Q instead. It reminded me heavily of the Black Mirror episode ‘Nosedive’ where a woman who has always been an advocate for a government rating system learns how bad it is when she finds herself on the other side. As world building and plotting go Q is a strong read, it’s also really well written in an engaging way that had me finish it in almost one sitting (#QuarantineLife). I enjoyed the pacing and the stakes are kept high all the way through including the end, although it seemed to tie everything up a little too neatly in places! I had no idea the American Eugenics Movement was real – we weren’t taught about it at school (although admittedly I am from the UK) and it is a terrifyingly dark part of the US’ history. It was a good idea to have the book show that we can create parallels for this kind of story without using Nazi Germany. The book also highlighted how certain ideas could grow in popularity for seemingly normal (if selfish) reasons and be pushed through legislation before people can realise the darker intent which seems very relevant to Trump’s America or Britain’s Brexit as well. My main criticism with this book was that it finished too quickly! I would have liked to have gotten a little more description and chapters set in the State school – I felt like we spent a lot of the book building up to going there and then never actually found out very much about it. I also felt that the villains were a little too pantomime-y in places – Malcolm for example, has no redeeming features even in the flashback episodes! It would perhaps have been nice to see a little shade to his character progression with something redeemable from his past. Overall Q is a dark look at our society; past, present and future, and is a gripping and thought provoking read. Thank you to NetGalley & HQ Stories for the chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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    3 person found this review helpful

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  • A Terrifying Possibility

    A wonderful, thought provoking read about how history repeats itself, in spite of good intentions. Well written book that takes you on a journey through a hundred emotions. Loved it.

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  • Wow !

    The best book i've read this year. Disrurbing and terrfying in equal measure. You won't be able to put it down,i certainly couldn't.

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  • IMMEDIATELY HOOKED HARD TO PUT DOWN

    What’s your Q score? High or low? A dystopian novel set today but with links to the early 20th Century demonstrating that if it happened in the past - in this case in the USA (but in reality across much of the world) it could happen again bit by bit unless we remain vigilant. A gripping tale and a must read. For many it will highlight a history that most countries have tried to bury, often by diverting attention to the one country that took the argument to its awful conclusion.

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