“All that was necessary was a law degree and a uterus: a lethal combination.”
Margaret Atwood, The Testaments
The much-anticipated sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, The Testaments by Margaret Atwood takes place 15 years after the original story. We’re taken back to the time of Gilead following the first-hand story of three women living during its reign.
It took me a while to put my thoughts down on paper. The Handmaid’s Tale is one of my favorite books of all time so to finally get a sequel was an exciting moment for me. I don’t usually love multiple points of view stories but I really enjoyed how this was written from three very different perspectives. Then seeing how the three intertwined. It gives you insight into how some of the different roles in Gilead really operate, not just from a handmaid’s perspective.
I thought it was really interesting that Aunt Lydia was the true common character between the books and not Offred. At first, I was a little upset it wasn’t following Offred but after I got used to it, I didn’t want to put it down. You get a really great story of what happened to Aunt Lydia before Gilead that we don’t get in The Handmaids Tale and it was so interesting. Not what I expected at all!
If you watch the show, the show is very different. I’m curious to see if they will end the same way. I have such a “book hangover” from this one. I finished it on a plane with some time in the air left to spare and I could hardly pick up my next read. Do you need to read The Handmaids Tale first? Yes. There is a lot of background information in the first book that you need to fully grasp the second. Plus, it’s amazing, so why wouldn’t you want to read it? If you read The Handmaid’s Tale and feel like you need “closure,” don’t get your hopes up. While I do feel some sense of closure, I don’t feel like Atwood really tied up all the loose knots. Regardless, I definitely recommend picking this one up!
Y’all are SO nice! Seriously though. Let me tell you a story about a little Instagram community called “dogstagram.” We did this for a while (if you can tell by my posts that have Hank in them, he’s very talented and I thought the world needed to see it) and it is RUTHLESS. People are so mean. They would never DM you out of niceness. Unless your picture was the most perfect thing you’ve ever seen, you could forget about getting anyone to like it. But on Bookstagram, people are ridiculously welcoming and friendly. The minute I put up my first post, I got tons of “Welcome to Bookstagram” messages. Within the first hour, I had people DM-ing me to start buddy reads (thanks @roaming_pages) and just chat about books and random things (that’s you @keepitkassual). I kept thinking to myself, “What is this? People can not possible be this nice.” It’s true though, they are.
It’s every book loving introverts greatest dream. Look, I don’t actually “classify” myself as an introvert however, for my job I have to be on 100% of the time. Sometimes, I come home on Friday after work and just tell my boyfriend I can’t talk to him because I just can’t be “on” anymore. When the last thing you want to do is go out, you don’t have to because you can just chat about books with the people you’ve met on Instagram. Ever heard of a digital book club? If you haven’t, they’re real! Ever been apart of a book club that doesn’t actually talk about the book? I have (not that I don’t love this too because usually I’m just chatting with my friends). Well, on Bookstagram, you can talk with as many of your closest instagram friends without even getting out of your bed! Who doesn’t want that?
It is possible to step up your reading game. First of all, how the heck do some of you read 17 books in a month?! I definitely don’t have time for that but I can get in 8-10, maybe. You all have inspired me to read more. You’ve inspired me to put down a book I’m not enjoying. This is important because while you might think, this is just a waste and won’t count towards your monthly book count, what’s worse is getting into a reading slump because you’re uninspired by what you just read.
The Bookstagram community is incredible and I’m so happy to be apart of it. I honestly never thought I needed this in my life but after about a month, I know it’s exactly what I needed. Keep being you Bookstagram!