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Publisher's Summary

Belletrist's August 2020 Book Pick

"[Mackintosh's] writing is clear and sharp, with piercing moments of wisdom and insight that drive toward a pitch-perfect ending.... Blue Ticket adds something new to the dystopian tradition set by Orwell’s 1984 or Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale." (New York Times Book Review)

From the author of the Man Booker Prize longlisted novel The Water Cure ("ingenious and incendiary" (The New Yorker)) comes another mesmerizing, refracted vision of our society: What if the life you're given is the wrong one?

Calla knows how the lottery works. Everyone does. On the day of your first bleed, you report to the station to learn what kind of woman you will be. A white ticket grants you marriage and children. A blue ticket grants you a career and freedom. You are relieved of the terrible burden of choice. And once you've taken your ticket, there is no going back. But what if the life you're given is the wrong one?

When Calla, a blue ticket woman, begins to question her fate, she must go on the run. But her survival will be dependent on the very qualities the lottery has taught her to question in herself and on the other women the system has pitted against her. Pregnant and desperate, Calla must contend with whether or not the lottery knows her better than she knows herself and what that might mean for her child.

An urgent inquiry into free will, social expectation, and the fraught space of motherhood, Blue Ticket is electrifying in its raw evocation of desire and riveting in its undeniable familiarity.

©2020 Sophie Mackintosh (P)2020 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"The cool intensity and strange beauty of Blue Ticket is a wonder - be sure to read everything Sophie Mackintosh writes." (Deborah Levy, author of Hot Milk and The Man Who Saw Everything)

"Strange and luminous, beautifully spare and precise: Sophie Mackintosh constructs her disturbing premise with such skill that I found myself forgetting that the world of Blue Ticket is not (quite) our own. A thrilling and nuanced exploration of what it means to follow one’s own longing to the point of destruction and beyond" (Rosie Price, author of What Red Was)

"Blue Ticket manages to be both claustrophobic and expansive, dream-like and heart-stoppingly tense. Lushly textured and stunningly written, you will want to languish in its world for a very long time." (Lara Williams, author of Supper Club)

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What listeners say about Blue Ticket

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I will no longer trust book reviews

Every problem you might have with a book I had with this book. The author gives you 0 story, background or reason for why they are living this way. It also lacks depth. I am upset i wasted a credit on it.

5 people found this helpful

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disappointing

Decent, albeit sightly unoriginal story line. The insufferable writing style detracted from the themes (free will, reproductive justice, bodily autonomy, toxic masculinity, etc).

2 people found this helpful

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Couldn’t stop listening

It was way more than I was expecting- the writing is exquisite and raw. It was heartbreaking and detailed.

2 people found this helpful

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disappointing ending

I loved the story and the writing and how close I felt toward Callah. I wanted more for her in the end, but as well as in life, we can't always have what we want.

2 people found this helpful

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Good... but no backstory

This was a good/frustrating book. I am a huge fan of Handmaids Tale, Vox, Masterclass, and pretty much anything dystopian with a strong female lead. A major draw to the dystopian genre is the “can I see this happening?” The reader connects with the book because they see how or why the society was formed and it makes them stop and think. Not this one. I could not even pin point what time period it was at first. I would have enjoyed it much better had I known more about how they got to the point of having the lottery. Was there a decline in birth rate? Did a fanatical group take over? How did the neighboring countries know about their system? Is it just their country? Very frustrating.
The main character is hard to like. You still root for her but cannot stand the decisions she makes. The author describes all of her thoughts and actions almost to a point of losing the reader in the scene to unnecessary details. That is why I didn’t understand why there was no backstory.
Overall it was a decent read. The narrator did an excellent job.

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ALL MOTHERS & WOMEN MUST READ!

This book was written so well and poetically, I couldn’t have enjoyed it more! Would read or listen to this again 10/10.

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The idea was interesting - the story was not.

I did not enjoy this book. The idea of the book was interesting, but the questions were answered too late for me to care, or not answered at all.

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mediocre at best

This book feels like a very dark and slow low budget indi movie. The narrator is not very likable. The story can be hard to follow and doesn't feel like they provide very good closure. Wouldn't recommend. Try the book When She Woke or Vox instead and you'll be much happier.

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Love this type of dystopian book

I wish I could give this a sold 4.5. It was a new idea and made me think. Sometimes a bit slow and I wish there was more, but a refreshing story!

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Interesting and disappointing

This review will contain some spoilers.

1. We never know what happens that causes this dystopian world to emerge. Was it just always like this?? Why do the men get to choose a blue ticket or a white ticket life? Was there a reason that population control was necessary? There wasn’t enough development in these areas for me.

2. Where did Marisol come from? I honestly don’t remember that part at all and I even went back to listen to an entire chapter again.

Likable characters that were worth pushing on for during a story that was really slow moving.

Calla’s dream at the end.....was it real? Did she ever get connected with her daughter and if not, did she just return to a blue ticket life like nothing happened?