Grieftime by Heather Bulpett
Rating: 2 of 5 stars
Publisher: Book Guild Publishing
Source: Book Review Request
Genre: dystopian, mystery
Average Goodreads Rating: 3 stars
In a world where life, love and even reproduction are regulated by the state, Lyn reluctantly accepts that she must marry again just weeks after her first husband's death. Supported by her friend Judith, she acquiesces to her every movement being monitored 'in her own best interests’.
Into Lyn's life comes Mikey, a younger man who was once a pupil of hers. Lyn tries to follow the rules and fit into the wifely role that has been allotted to her, learning how to cope with the exuberant, straight-talking Mikey and his large, boisterous family - something she never had as an orphan brought up in a 'dump' home. But a new relationship is not the only surprise Lyn has to face: she feels as if she is being stalked, and isn’t even sure if she can trust her best friend anymore.
As Lyn's world unravels, she is comforted by her new husband and supported by her mysterious 'counsellor' Dylan. But who really has her best interests at heart, and can the heavy surveillance she is under ever be justified? Grieftime is an innovative novel that embraces a world shaped by technology; a world without free will that surely none of us would want to live in.
Warning! May contain some spoilers!
I received a copy from the publisher for an honest review. It's a privilege to be given a chance to do a review for their book. However, I found my two weeks of reading Grieftime in between work shifts and offline activities a heartbreak. The blurb is indeed catchy, inviting and interesting but BUT THERE'S A LOT OF BUTS. It's a dystopian world where women are submissive and everything(marriage selection, food budget, alcohol and even decision to have kids or not) is regulated and ruled by the state. It's like whaaaattt????
Grieftime is a 292 page slow paced book that will keep you in a steady ride in deciphering the protagonists. It has 2 points of view, a third person point of view and Mikey's point of view. Lyn, our main character was hard to decipher. One moment, she's sweet and mature, then she becomes flirty, then she breaks down and goes paranoid. Well, maybe it was because of her historical experiences, growing up on a dump(sounds like a creepy home for orphaned kids) and beaten by her first husband. I can say that in the story, Mikey, Lyn's new husband, was the top ranked developed character among all the characters. His family was awesome. He is charming and he definitely loves Lyn even with the huge age gap. Okay, there were times that he becomes undecipherable also like one moment he's being cool and then he suddenly turns angry and he becomes a different person but he's nice in general.
The writing is simple and good. What I just didn't like about the plot is the sudden appearance of suspense scenes. It was like the suspense parts were forced into it. One example is the part when Lyn was getting something in the cupboard and then her phone rings 3 times and when she saw it was Judith, she became paranoid and called her mother-in-law and report that someone is trying to break in and the next thing was that she's found on a dark field with bruises and cuts everywhere. She was a mess.
Lucas, another one of the villain whose intention was only revealed in the later part of the book is such a major turn off. Okay, he was present on some parts in the earlier part of the books but there was no indication of what he'll take part. Judith, the other villain may have pointed out that Lucas is an obsessed stalker but there was no supporting scenes for that. Well, there was a part at the club where he wanted to dance with Lyn but then, Mikey's brothers are also like that sometimes(like Jack). It was only when the book was over 50% that Lucas intentions were revealed.
I was more curious about Judith. I think aside from Mikey, she's also one of the character that kept me reading it. Why? It's just because I'm so curious and frightened of when she'll pop into the scene. She's scary. She just appears and disappear out of the blue and she is really threatening. But seriously? Most of the characters do pop out of the blue. Dylan, Lucas and Judith appears and disappears wherever Lyn is.
Dylan, on the other hand, was a different story. Yes, he's been sending some signals but I didn't expect him to be so rushy! That ending was too much to handle.
2 Cats for Grieftime