A thriving black market—fueled by healers convinced of their supernatural medicinal properties—created an uncontrollable demand for the most grisly commodity to obtain—
the body parts of the colorless people.
After the murder and maiming of countless people afflicted with Albinism, the South African government realized that they had to intervene. Out of the desire to protect even the poorest of the afflicted people, the Humane Harvest Compounds were established.
Fifteen years later, in a rapidly changing post-Apartheid nation, Anytha and Tabitha—two young women living completely different lives—are found questioning the motives of those in power, setting their minds to look beyond their spotless reputations, good deeds, and popularity—unaware that what they discover may make them question what they believe about life itself.
Originally going into this book, I was worried that it would be very text-book like. But I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised right from the beginning. It was nothing like the impression I got while reading the first little bit of the book, about The Regulations of Humane Harvest Act. Going into this book I was a little apprehensive of it considering the premise of this book, but as I read more I grew to realize it was very similar to previous books I had read and loved.
In the time period in Africa where this book is set, it is believed that the bodies of albino men, women, and children could be used to heal the sick. So in order to keep these people safe, the government created compounds for them to live in and be safe, but in return the government would do monthly humane harvests, of which included the hair and nails. The novel is from the point of view of two young women: Anytha (an only child who lives in a safe, loving environment where they are active in the religious practice of Blue) and Tabitha (who lives in one of the harvesting compounds). Though these two young ladies seem to be complete opposite you will be surprised while reading this book just how similar they really are.
I felt like this novel did a really good job of building itself. Although there were many unexplained things in the beginning, they gradually grew to make more and more sense. I also applaud Jackson on all of the risks she took in this book. There were a lot of uncomfortable topics that I thought she did a good job of covering, but not going into too much detail about. This book constantly surprised me by taking plot twists that I never saw coming, but instantly chastised myself afterward because the foreshadowing was right there. Something else I really enjoyed about this book was that although one of the characters did have a love interest, the book did not completely center itself around their relationship.
This book did not hook me from the very beginning, I’m afraid. Don’t get me wrong it; it was never to the extent that I considered putting down the book. It just took me a while to get into it. Something I thought Jackson did extremely well was character development. I felt like I was growing with the characters as I was reading, but it wasn’t too overstated that that’s what was happening. I felt like a lot of the book was building up the climax of the story but that the story ended RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF IT! I completely understand why the author did what she did, but I am a very frustrated right now because I NEED to know what happens next! The book got extremely enticing towards the last ten or so chapters, but I felt like there was too much left to resolve when it ended. With that said, I really enjoyed what she decided to do with it. It was a very well thought out ending. I am just a frustrated fangirl because I need the next book because I need to see how everything plays out!
For her debut novel I thought Kasey Jackson did a spectacular job with this book, and I would definitely recommend it to a friend! I loved how much I began think about my life, and all of my liberties that I take for granted and it truly inspired me. I really, really hope the Jackson plans on writing a sequel to it (and soon), because I cannot wait to read that as well. For all of these reasons I give Blue a 4.5/5 star rating.