Book Club: Stung


It's been a while since my last book club post! I feel compelled to let you know that I have still been reading books, as if you care and are judging me about my lack of demonstrated reading.

For my IRL book club, we just read Stung by Bethany Wiggings. Spoiler alert: this post contains spoilers.

The Receptionist's Book Club: A review of Stung by Bethany Wiggins. Contains spoilers! Also, I don't recommend it.

The world: 

Within the span of four years, the world has gone post-apocalyptic. It's because of the bees. You know how the bees are dying? Well, that is basically the beginning of the end and everything they try to do to fix it ruins something else until the most elite children in society have turned into something akin to fast-moving, super-aggressive zombies (but this isn't a zombie story).

Our main character wakes up in her bedroom, where everything is destroyed and years have gone by. The last memory she has is being a happy thirteen year old.

The rest of the book follows the basic template for young adult fantasy fiction: she is Born Sexy Yesterday, falls into the hands of someone who uses her ignorance for their own means before she is captured by someone else. Then her and her captor fall in love with each other, he risks everything to save her, it turns out she is The One, and together, they will fix the world. (But this is book one in a series, so we don't actually see them do that.)

The Worst Parts:

The love story. I don't have anything against a love story as a concept, but this one is everything that's wrong with the genre. At first, he treats her like an animal, laughs when she gets hit in the head with a gun, and calls her 'it". Then, before he even starts treating her like a human, she's waxing poetic about his eyes, "the colour of summer." Blech.

Honey. In a flashback, our heroine remembers her sister predicting that as the bees go extinct, honey will become the rarest, most precious food on the planet, worth more than gold. Then - mercy me! - it comes to pass! Listen, I love honey a lot. So much so that I only eat it if it comes from my aunt and uncle's bee farm. Yet, if bees go extinct, I will not line up to trade vials of honey as currency. I think we'll be too busy worrying about pollinating crops, and maybe will trade food or medicine instead.

It's also kind of rapey. I mean, I get it. Rape is a weapon in war, and this is a war scenario. Women who aren't protected by the system (in this case that means getting married at age 14 and starting to make babies asap, so fun times for them), tend to get sold into the black market for all the usual reasons. It just sucks when a part of the love interest demonstrating his goodness is the fact that he wants to try not to rape her.

And yet:

All that aside, I ate up the book. I ate it up like a bag of chips. Not fancy chips like Miss Vicki's Apple-Smoked BBQ. No, this book is a giant bag of No Name Sour Cream 'n Onion. They remind you of better-tasting chips and go down easy, but they aren't special, aren't well-made, and every once in a while you question your life choices while you're eating them.


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