I loved A.J. Betts' novel Zac and Mia when I read it earlier this year, and I was super excited to see she had a new dystopian YA book coming out in July. I was really lucky to have a copy of Hive sent to me by Pan Macmillian, and I've hardly stopped thinking about it since I finished last week!
Hive introduces us to a community living under strict regulations in a sort of compound likened by the protagonist to a beehive, which, to its inhabitants, is the whole world. When Hayley starts thinking differently from the others things get weirder - and creepier - for her.
I know this sounds kind of vague, but I thought there were so many great twists that I just don't want to risk giving anything away!
It took me a chapter or two to get into this - in particular I found it a bit hard to get my head around the layout of the compound they live in - but after that I found myself completely immersed. This was one of those reads where I picked it up to read a chapter, then looked up and was surprised to find it was 2 hours later and the café was full of people I hadn't noticed were there!
Hive is getting some comparisons to The Handmaid's Tale, and while I think there are similarities(like it being set in a time that feels like it could be now and in a society with very different rules and construct to ours) I didn't think it was quite as heavy on the specifically feminist issues. I felt like this was more cult-y than dystopian Gilead-y. I do still think the feeling of it is similar enough to make it a pretty good read-alike for someone looking for that kind of vibe from a book
Overall I loved this. I thought it was different to other things I have read, and, like I said above, it has stuck with me since I finished it last week. Hive is the first book in a duology, and I don't know how I'm going to wait for the next one!
*** Hive ***
Available now from Pan Macmillan
Source: Free book sent to me by Pan Macmillan for review (all views are my own)
Read it if you loved: The Handmaid's Tale, The Boundless Sublime, Gather the Daughters
Find A.J. Betts here