I rate books based on the way that they make me feel. I’ve read things that I know are relevant culturally and have hated them (i.e. Love by Toni Morrison). The Bees is similar in that, while I enjoyed it far more than any Toni Morrison book that I’ve read, it didn’t leave me contemplating my life. The Bees is a great work of fiction and I honestly see it being referenced years from now as a classic. It stands out and stays true to the nature of honey bees. The bees in this book aren’t human and the reader is hyper aware of this throughout the entire book. They don’t think like humans, they don’t operate like humans…save for the theme of love at the end of the book. But that’s spoilery territory.
For me, The Bees was more of an experience than mindless entertainment. It was incredibly new and refreshing from anything I’ve ever read. Laline Paull’s writing is beautiful and lyrical. While I did give this book three stars on Goodreads, I am anticipating another novel from Paull. The Bees wasn’t an amazing roller coaster ride but I appreciate it for its very different perspective and tone. Surprisingly, it wasn’t that hard to imagine the story either. It kind of gave me James And The Giant Peach vibes. Or Disney’s A Bug’s Life.
This book deserves more buzz and I encourage everyone to step outside of their comfort zone and experience the story of Flora 717. You will also learn a thing or two about honey bees.
Maybe if I had read it before ACOMAF I’d be a more enthusiastic about it.
TLDR; If you love challenging yourself or simply enjoy unconventional stories then this book is the way to go. It lulls in some parts but you won’t be bored with the ton of information you will consume about bees. Very easy to read and not saturated in idle details.
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