Shades of Grey
By: Jasper Fforde
My Rating: FOUR out of FIVE Stars
Best for: 16 and up
No, no, no! Not THAT Shades of Grey!
Relax! No relations. I mean relation…
Shades of Grey is the smartest book I’ve read in a long time. It’s part dystopian fantasy, part social satire, a lot eccentric, completely unique, and funny all over.
In this future, life is governed by The Rule Book. You’re place in society is determined by your perception of color. As long as you follow the rules, work for the betterment of society, and see the right color, you can expect a life of satisfaction as a cog in the wheel.
Not interested in being a cog? I did mention this is a dystopian future, right? Trust me, you want to be a cog.
But…what happens when you discover there’s more? What happens when you find your world isn’t as black and white as you’ve been told? What happens when you learn…
…it’s more a shade of grey?
This story is A Brave New World, but with technicolor wit. It’s 1984, but with Mr. Bean in charge.
If you can read a story with a slow burn mystery without pulling you hair out screaming “WHAT ON EARTH IS SO IMPORTANT ABOUT SPOONS!!!,” you’ll probably enjoy Shades of Grey. It really is pretty great.
Caution, however…this great story ends without really ending. The book 1 story arc wraps up nicely, but there is much more grand story that is introduced with the promise of revolution and social upheaval and righting all the wrongs… and nothing. Book 1 was published in 2009. Book 2 has never seen the light of day. Book 3 is a twinkle in Jasper Fforde’s eye. Maybe book 2 is coming? There’s a hint on his website it might be getting close.
I can count on one hand the number of colorful 4-letter words in this book, and there is a very non-descriptive sex scene. I would feel comfortable letting my 16 year old read it.
Also, I bought this book for $1.99 a few weeks ago, but right now it’s available for the smokin’ hot price of $16.99, which is complete robbery for an ebook. Take that Penguin Group.
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