Book Review: Shades of Grey

Shades of Grey
Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Gah! The Ending! What?!? My brain can’t stand it, and my heart is limping along all hurt and crushed and stuff. Dis book!

Okay, let me start from the top. This is the story of a dystopian future world where most people can only see one color or some not any color at all. The Greys are looked down on and oppressed by the Colorgentsia, and everyone’s place in society is determined by the percentage of color they can see.
There’s definitely a “1984-Big-Brother” vibe going on with the government controlling every aspect of the citizen’s lives.
In the middle of it all is Eddie, a high-color Red with a bright future, until he meets and instantly falls in love with a Grey named Jane. Jane is involved with some very deep revolutionary stuff, and Eddie gets dragged into it all, somewhat against his will, but mostly because he’s too good-hearted, kind, and morally upright to cheat and play the system like everyone else does.
Oh, Eddie… you lovable idiot. I want to strangle you, then hug you and kiss it better.

The convoluted plot reminds me a little of Wodehouse’s plots, with all these crazy and weird situations coming together in unexpected ways. The writing is hilarious and dry, but also with a lot of serious themes; death, disease, oppression, conspiracy, and murder all mixed into the same sentence with silly pranks, friendship, family heritage, desire, and even the nature of love.

The writing is absolutely brilliant with a clever and acerbic sarcastic humor. It’s definitely original and forceful and fun! I was totally involved in all the social games and political connections, especially because all those supporting characters are so weird and interesting. The world-building is absolutely wild and I was amazed with the imaginative details, and then as the story goes along, we learn more about the world, the history behind it and the dark underbelly of the government and society. So good!!!

I only gave it 4 stars because there were way too many characters for me to keep track of, and I kept forgetting who people were. Towards the middle, I started keeping a list in my head though, and I remembered mostly everyone.
I also gave it 4 stars because, the ending!!! I hate you so much, Ending. You are not nice, Ending. I don’t like you. You are brilliant and perfectly written and exactly right for the tone of the book, but I still hate you. hmpph. So there.

Now I have to read the rest of the series! So much love!

View all my reviews

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