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The Blondes

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3.02  ·  Rating details ·  2,760 ratings  ·  514 reviews
A breakout novel for a young writer whose last book was shortlisted for the Trillium Prize alongside Anne Michaels and Margaret Atwood, and whom the Toronto Star called a "force of nature."
 
Hazel Hayes is a grad student living in New York City. As the novel opens, she learns she is pregnant (from an affair with her married professor) at an apocalyptically bad time: random
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Hardcover, 386 pages
Published August 14th 2012 by Doubleday Canada (first published April 24th 2012)
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3.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,760 ratings  ·  514 reviews


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karen
here- enjoy one of the few pictures of me as a blonde that exist, and know that if i were a character in this book, i would totally attack you...



this is one of those books whose reality you just have to accept. otherwise, you are going to hate it and your brain is not going to be able to get over the "that's not how science works!!" elements.

because to a biologist, spec. a geneticist, this book is cuckoo-bananas. a "plague" descends on the world, but it only affects blonde women and girls. there
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Maya
Jan 19, 2013 rated it it was ok
This book was advertised with far too much hype. The "next Margaret Atwood" - I wish!
The biggest problem with The Blondes is the heroine. She did not engage me in any way - no, that's actually not true, she irritated me on numerous occasions. What drives her through the events, is her desire to abort an unwanted pregnancy; one wonders if she knew how babies are made in the first place. She did not give any thought to a possibility of becoming pregnant when she started an affair with a married ma
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Laima
May 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
The Blondes by Emily Schultz

This is a story about a virus which suddenly befalls women with blonde hair. It doesn’t matter if the hair is naturally blonde, dyed, highlighted or if the female is young or old. The illness causes those afflicted to become violent with rage, attacking everyone in their path. The military is called in to control and quarantine those suspected with the Blonde Rage. Although the plot is quite farfetched, the atmosphere and feeling of panic and suspicion which builds in
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Carmen Blankenship
The Blondes is one of those books that draws you in by the cover and the book blurb. You dive in with high expectations and soon find yourself a little disappointed and then you just want it to be over. You start skimming a little while thinking of those other books on your To Be Read list that you've been so pumped to read.

The Blondes was hard to enjoy because I could not connect or like the main character. Now,please understand... I don't HAVE to connect and agree with characters in a book bu
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Ron Charles
Emily Schultz’s new novel sports a platinum B-movie premise: All the blonde women on Earth are suddenly at risk of contracting a rabies-like disease that turns them into raving killers.

Don’t laugh. We’ve suffered meteors, the Rapture, nuclear war and the zombie apocalypse. The time seems right for a really bad hair day.

But of course, the hapless characters in “The Blondes” don’t know that. The first time the fur flies, New Yorkers are waiting for their subway when a businesswoman with Barbie hai
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Lela
Sep 22, 2012 rated it it was ok
Broken into three parts, the narrative moves forward and backwards in time as the main character, Hazel, speaks to her pregnant belly, relating the events of what brought her to be where she is. The world is in chaos as a strange epidemic has taken over women, targeting blonde women in particular. It causes a rabid-like effect, where the victim's mind is effectively "bleached", and what ensues are random attacks on innocent bystanders. Sounds like an action-packed novel, but to be honest, I real ...more
Cynthia (Bingeing On Books)
With a premise about a plague that affects blonde women, you would think there would be plenty of excitement. Eh, not so much. I actually spent the majority of the book in a state of boredom. Then something exciting would happen . . . and ten pages later, I was bored again. When the book opens, Hazel is already pregnant (it appears that she is quite late in her pregnancy) and she is alone in a cottage owned by the wife of her baby's father (Grace). The world is being ravaged by the plague and sh ...more
Cortney LaScola - The Bookworm, Myrtle Beach
I enjoyed this book... I was a little hesitant to read it given it's reviews, but I'm glad I did.

Hazel, the main character, isn't very likeable or sympathetic, but at the end of the day, I cared what happened to her. This story was mostly about her, her life before and during the epidemic, and her pregnancy. The "Blonde Fury" was a minor part of the book. I would have much rather had more of that than Hazel. I wish we had more of an explanation about the disease and an epilogue. I might not have
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Emily
Apr 20, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley from the publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

I was quite excited to read this book, as well, being a blonde myself (most of the time anyway), I thought the premise sounded interested. Blondes go crazy and rabid and start attacking people, hey why not! From the blurb this book sounded like a zombie-ish post-apocalyptic type book that I might enjoy. However, this was not to be…

Unfortunately I just could not engage with this boo
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Kristen
Jun 11, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
You guys, this book. Never has a book had so much potential in my mind that it utterly failed to reach. The premise is fascinating - a plague/virus that only affects women with blonde hair (even those with dyed blonde hair). A main character suffering from personal troubles caught in the midst of this outbreak. You'd think there would be so much potential for character development with a background of chaos.

But then.... there's not. There are literally maybe 4 kinda-exciting points in the book.
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Avery Aster
Sep 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
I'd read about this book on a blog and was really fascinated by the plot. New York blondes go cray-cray? I'm in! I ordered the hard cover edition because I love to read horror novels on paper verse my Kindle. Don't ask me why. This novel started slow, which worked, because the heroine is pregnant. I'd never read a book before where the narrative voice is talking directly to the baby growing inside her. I liked The Blondes a lot. It had a level of sarcasm and humorous tone that I hadn't expected. ...more
Lina
May 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Hazel Hayes has a complicated life. She has just arrived in New York from Toronto to complete her graduate studies. On the same day that she finds out she is pregnant by her married advisor, a crazed blonde woman pushes a young girl on to the subway tracks. The next day another act of violence caused by another crazed blonde woman occurs. Then another. Then another. The Blonde fury has arrived and the first world is up in arms.

Well, more than usual.

The plague, which only affects blonde women (na
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Chaitra
It's an odd little book, The Blondes. I think I was more amused at the reason why this book was conceived, the murderous looking blondes in a Gucci ad, than I was by the book itself. That's not to say that Emily Schultz cannot write, she can. There are a few very effective scenes. But, the main character we're asked to follow and care about, that she's having a baby is basically all there is to her.

She is, conveniently, a red-head. Red is an in-between color for this blonde virus, there haven't
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Sarah
Apr 15, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review by NetGalley.com and St. Martin's Press.

I was excited to read this one, as the premise sounds interesting. A new virus appears and only affects blondes, who become impaired and exhibit violent behaviors to those around them. There doesn't seem to be a cure, although some women dye their hair and/or shave it off. The main character, at one stage, is in a drugstore shopping for hair dye, and the girl working there points out the "Sable
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Mandy P
*Disclosure: I received an advance copy of this book as a Goodreads Giveaways winner.

The synopsis alone got me. A world gone mad? Check. An examination of gendered assumptions about beauty and relationships? Check. Plucky academic female protagonist? Check.

I can't express how hard it was to put this book down once I started reading it. Schultz's examinations of the paranoia surrounding disease (think Swine Flu, only worse), reproductive rights (Hayes doesn't tell the father of her child that she
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Corey
Aug 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Because Blondes is every fashionista's worst nightmare come true. A mysterious virus begins infecting women with blonde hair (even those who've gained blondedom through dyeing), turning them into violent mindless people who attack at random, and kill without a second thought. Kind of like a zombie novel with split ends. Ba-zing!

Schultz being Schultz, however — which means, being the author of Joyland: A Novel and Heaven Is Small, that she is a damned talented individual — there is far greater de
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Alissa
Feb 16, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Before reading this book you should know that the author employs an odd narrative style which involves the protagonist telling her story to her unborn fetus. It is uncomfortable to watch Schultz try to come up with new and interesting nicknames for unborn babies for almost 400 pages. I did not carry this story to term, and aborted the mission 300 pages in.
Lydia Laceby
Jul 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: canadian
Originally reviewed at Novel Escapes

I loved this novel. With a unique premise – blondes becoming rapid killers (think zombies, but exchange the ugly for beautiful blondes) - and fabulous social commentary (think The Handmaid’s Tale), The Blondes is an absorbing read.

Hazel Hayes is an ordinary girl who moves from Toronto to New York City to finish her thesis on women and vanity when she finds herself pregnant just as the world becomes consumed with hysterical, raging blondes wreaking havoc and at
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Nina
Aug 31, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-fiction
Is this book super action-packed? Not really. Super-original? Meh. Scientifically accurate? Not in the slightest. BUT BUT BUT. I still really enjoyed it. It's more the story of one woman in a weird time than the story of an outbreak. There weren't that many scenes throughout of attacks, and it's very very introspective. But the overall themes... about beauty and women and how we treat each other... were interesting and all I needed to keep going. Hazel is a very realistic character, at times str ...more
Carole
Sep 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
While I was reading this book, I was thinking how reminiscent of "The Handmaid's Tale" it was. Then, when I went to enter it on my books list, I read the blurb about it and it said the same thing!

This by no means takes away from the creativity, the cleverness or the readability of Schultz's book. Her story focuses on a young woman caught up in the terrorizing throes of a world-wide pandemic that seems to infect only blondes (think SARS multiplied many, many times). She has the misfortune to have
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Minty McBunny
Aug 28, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: august-2015, 2015
This book was utterly dreadful. I'm not super scientifically inclined and I'm willing to be open minded about things in novels that are unrealistic. But in order to buy into the premise of this book, I would need to be so open minded that my brains fell out on the sidewalk. The whole idea of "blonde rabies" is so absurd and so ridiculously presented it was just embarrassing.

Add to that the fact that our main character is so disinterested and dispassionate about everything it's hard to care about
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Cheryl
Aug 12, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book that I was really hyped to read. So when it arrived I picked it up right away. Just knowing I would be in for a fun ride with this book. Yet I got to chapter six which is 123 pages into the book. I put the book down and have not come back to it for a few months. As I picked the book up again to attempt to read it further, I was left wondering just how I made it to chapter six in the first place. The only explanation I could come up with is that I kept hoping that the story would p ...more
Mairzi
Feb 22, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ok--so here is a great plot idea. Blonde women around the world suddenly are afflicted by a virus which causes them to violently attack at random. Could be a wonderful scary sci-fi thriller or bitingly funny satire on our fascination with beauty . BUT THAT IS NOT THIS BOOK. This book is a dull mismash of ideas and a collection of poorly drawn but really unappealing characters. Don't waste your time.
Tina Panik
May 03, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: creatures, fiction
This was terrible. I wanted to love the premise of blondes causing a pandemic, but the plot never really launched...i kept reading, and kept being disappointed.
Paul Lima
Read two positive promo blurbs for this book: one by Steven King (mostly don't like his novels) and one by Margaret Atwood (like many of her novels). So decided to read the book, and I was straight down the middle.

Liked the premise -- some kind of virus or disease hits only blondes, be they natural or dyed. It turns them into violent maniacs. They kill themselves, generally taking others with them.

Didn't like the execution -- focuses on a pregnant university student (a married prof with whom she
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Wendy Bunnell
This must be my month for reading books about murderous, psychotic women that are sadly slow-paced and a little boring. I will tell you that I liked this better than The Girls, which I now regard as the most boring book about a murderous cult ever. But, the pacing of this book was weird and choppy, and the “spoiler alert!” aspect of starting out by telling us that our narrator ends up third trimester pregnant and hanging out alone with her baby-daddy’s wife in Canada kills almost all of the pote ...more
Deanna McFadden
Feb 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I have no words for how much I loved this book--it's a mash-up for sure, of pop culture, of literary fiction, of satirical horror (is that even a genre?)--but Emily Schultz's writing is just terrific.

The Actual Blog Post:

In The Blondes, Emily Schultz has written a terrific, original novel. I think, in my perfect pop culture world, it's exactly my kind of book. The writing is great, the story is compelling, and it's fresh in its tone. Hazel, a Phd student in film, embarks upon post-grad work in
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Emily
Aug 16, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Wow, I was really disappointed with this one.

I think I went into this expecting one thing and got something completely different, which sometimes can end up being alright in the end. That is not the case with The Blondes. I thought it would focus on the “disease” more than it did, but we really didn’t get much of that. It was mostly our main character Hazel telling her unborn child how she ended up in a cabin in the middle of the woods during a pandemic. There were a few mentions of the disease,
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Leah
Apr 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2017
Yes! Finally an original book with an original premise and one that you didn't see the ending coming a mile away. I really can't say much without giving it away but I thought the writer really took something that seemed a bit 'out there' as a premise and really brought it all home. I was both thrilled to get to the end but then also so disappointed it was over. I think many of us could find something in this work that connects to us!
Carmen
The thing about the first months of pregnancy is that they're almost incapacitating. You incapacitated me - like a vampire. I'm not exaggerating. I felt as limp as if I'd lost blood. Even the smallest errands exhausted me. I feel no animosity toward you now, my little parasite, but really, truly, it was as if you planned it, this tactic.

I remember one night I dreamed you were scratching me, clawing your way out through my abdomen, and eating my innards on your way. I turned over onto my stomach
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Book Club: The Blondes - April 13 to April 19 3 7 Jan 27, 2016 08:05AM  
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Emily Schultz is the co-founder of Joyland Magazine, host of the podcast Truth & Fiction, and creator of the blog Spending the Stephen King Money. Schultz’s novel, The Blondes, released in spring 2015 from St. Martin’s Press and was named a best book of 2015 by NPR and Kirkus. Her new novel is Men Walking on Water. Her writing has appeared in Elle, Bustle, Vice, The Walrus, Today's Parent, Bla ...more
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“I’ve always wondered why people who love you do that to you – give you photographs where they look beautiful, you not so much.” 0 likes
“The pregnancy test was called First Response, as if an emergency were already waiting for me inside the pink box. Little pink firefighters with little pink ladders waiting to climb up me.” 0 likes
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