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Blue Ticket

3.25  ·  Rating details ·  4,432 ratings  ·  793 reviews
In a world where women can't have it all, don't underestimate the relief of a decision being taken away from you.

Calla knows how the lottery works. Everyone does. On the day of your first bleed, you report to the station to learn what kind of woman you will be. A white ticket grants you marriage and children. A blue ticket grants you a career and freedom. You are relieved
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published June 30th 2020 by Doubleday Books
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Average rating 3.25  · 
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 ·  4,432 ratings  ·  793 reviews

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Nilufer Ozmekik
Oh no! For a long time I didn’t give any book two stars and I didn’t get disappointed by a book but well you cannot always get what you wish for.

For celebrating empowerment of women I chose this reading for this special day and of course that beautiful, haunted, effective cover stole my heart from the first look but as soon as I flip the pages and try to get lost in this dystopian, disturbing, eerie story, I didn’t get the special and rare taste that I was looking for.

Maybe I wanted to be charm
Amalia Gkavea
''We lined up, waiting to pull our tickets from the machine, the way you would take your number at the butcher's counter. The music popular that year played from speakers on the ceiling. Just gravity enough. Not necessarily such an important thing, after all.''

Calla is waiting for a ticket. Blue ticket, white ticket. A lottery for a life without children. A lottery for a life as a mother and a wife. What passes as a game of chance between a ''care-free'' way of living and a full-blown respon
Aug 05, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dystopia
I should have listened to my intuition and skipped this one. I couldn't though. I loved Sophie Mackintosh's The Water Cure so much that I had to read her new book.

I'm sorry to say I found it boring.

It's a book about women's choice to choose and is set in (probably) present day England. The majority of women are not allowed to have babies though we are never told the reason. 

A lottery determines who will have a procedure to stop them from getting pregnant, and who will be forced to have babies.

Apr 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3-4 stars

This is Calla’s story, in an unnamed country, place or time. She lives with her father until her first menstruation and then is taken with other girls to The Lottery where she receives a blue ticket which is placed inside a locket. She is also painfully fitted with an IUD coil and dispatched to the city to live a childless life of freedom. White ticket girls go on to be able to produce children. The states will is enforced by Emissaries so there is no way of avoiding your fate. She even
Roman Clodia
The thing is, bookshops are over-packed with 'feminist dystopias' obsessing about babies and motherhood. Yes, reproductive rights remain a contested issue but Atwood nailed the topic and this feels like one of many, many also rans. I loved the twisted fairy tale aura of The Water Cure but this feels unoriginal in comparison. It's hard to buy into the simplistic premise that has minimal world-building to convince and the writing is merely workmanlike. Overall, this lacks conviction and energy: di ...more
May 19, 2020 rated it did not like it
This is...not fun to read. I DNF'd about halfway through and couldn't force myself to continue.

Reasons you would enjoy Blue Ticket

- You don't like characters or characters talking
- You are interested in hearing a single character tell you she's sad, but like, for the whole book
- You are bored by things like "world building" or "character interactions".

Imagine picking up a diary written by someone from what I would call a mild dystopia. That's it. That's the book. When you are a teenager, you a
Emily B
Mar 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was really excited about this book and I knew I wanted to read it as soon as I heard about it.

Much like when reading ‘The Water Cure’ I easily found myself immersed in the world that Sophie Mackintosh creates. I love that you never really know where it’s set or what year it is.
However, another part of me is dying for more information. Specially regarding the lottery and the blue and white tickets.

I’ve read other books regarding the issue of fertility and women’s reproductive rights but found
Dannii Elle
There are two paths a girl can take in life, and both are governed by a lottery. A white ticket will see her with a baby, a husband, and a loving home. A blue ticket will see this future disallowed to her and she will be cast out into the world to make for herself what she can. For the teen girls who receive their lottery ticket the latter feels like freedom, but to some of the women they become it feels more like a nightmare.

Calla is one such woman. She spends her days at repetitive work and he
Jessie Sedai of the Black Ajah🥀🐍
This book is seriously disturbing.

This book is feminism nightmare fuel.

I finished this book at 4 in the morning because I needed it to be over and there was no possible way of DNFing it because I just needed it to be cleansed from my headspace, out of my soul.

The only way out was through.

If "The Road" and "Handmaid's Tale" got together and had a baby, this is what it looks like. Both stories, in comparison, feel a million times more uplifting then this dark, twisted, traumatizing brood.

You know
Gumble's Yard
Apr 25, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
Published today 27/08/2020

That’s how your life becomes a set thing, written and unchangeable. It was an object that did not really belong to me, and to wish for any other was a fallacy at best, treasonous at worst.

Blue ticket: Don’t underestimate the relief of a decision being taken away from you.

Blue ticket: I was not motherly. It had been judged that it wasn’t for me by someone who knew better than I did.

Blue ticket: There was lack in my brain, my body, my soul, or some thing. There was a
First things first: Mackintosh’s prose has gotten even better since her debut, which I already enjoyed a lot. There is something mesmerizing about the way she constructs her sentences and I am always in love with her metaphors and allusions. On a sentence-by-sentence level, this is excellent and cemented what I said after reading her debut: I will always be reading what she writes even if this reading experience was uneven for me.

Her depiction of female longing and female friendship worked excee
Nenia ✨️ I yeet my books back and forth ✨️ Campbell
Sounds like a cross between Handmaid's Tale and The Giver ...more
Aug 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: best-of-2020
Spare and haunting. Lovely writing. Odd in the very best kind of way.

RTC if I can gather my scattered thoughts......
Ellen Gail
Mar 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Incredibly strange and hypnotically beautiful, Blue Ticket was nothing like I expected and I'm not mad about it.

While reading the first few pages of Blue Ticket, I had a sinking feeling in my stomach. The writing style was deeply reserved and flighty. I honestly thought I would hate it. On any different day I might have. But something about it just clicked for me. It eschews structure in favor of ephemeral glimpses of thought and feeling. It's a novel that really doesn't give a fuck about being
Possibly in Michigan, London
Aug 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I'd read anything Sophie Mackintosh writes, and so it was always going to be, at worst, four stars (if we have to use this grading system!)

At times, I was like there are a lot of weird ideas here about women who draw the blue ticket as part of a lottery system at puberty that determines whether women can have children or not. It's not super detailed how this came about, but that's kind of irrelevant to this project (and I don't care). Not only can they not have children - being fitted with cont
The good: Mackintosh’s writing is atmospheric and evocative, with a subtle note of violence.

The bad: Plotting, character development and world-building were a disappointment for me. The book also gets too many logistical and medical details on pregnancy and birth wrong (Examples: no post-birth lochia (!); a character manages to wear the same pair of jeans for the duration of pregnancy; the timing of the "first kick" is unrealistic in relation to size of belly etc etc).

A pity, as the first 50 p
Happy publishing day!

I went into this book not knowing much about it and I was surprised with a quick and flowy read. I was absorbed in the story and needed to know what would become of Calla. Though the writing was easy to follow, it almost seemed to lack emotion even at times when it was supposed to be an emotional moment. This made it come off as robotic and not real.. not sure if that makes sense. I think that’s just my personal problem of wanting quotations when someone is speaking.

I do w
Max Lau • Maxxesbooktopia
“My husband found out. He didn’t believe it was an accident. He was disgusted with me. But it wasn’t his body.” – Blue Ticket, Sophie Mackintosh.

So, I was expecting to savour this novel like I savour the taste of Mcdonald’s French Fries but alas, I did not. I was severely disappointed in the content of the novel that the author had handed to me because I can recognise so much potential in the idea and the world the author was trying to create but somehow, both of them managed to get lost in the
Apr 25, 2020 rated it it was ok
I talk about the book in a YouTube video aswell.

This book is bemusing, to say the least. It has such an interesting premise but I felt let down by the actual story. We're told pretty much from the beginning that the assigning of tickets is from a lottery, so I'm not sure why after the lottery happens we're subjected to 95% of Calla's ramblings and how she was *meant* to be a mother and how 'x thought' or 'y thought' meant she was good enough or not. It's a damn lottery and it wasn't based on a
M.  [storme reads a lot]
Why does everything I read by Sophie Mackintosh scare the living daylights out of me? Someone please tell me the answer because I am nervous every single time one of her books lands in my hands. She just has a way with the scary feminist nightmares found in Margaret Atwood books, I think Mackintosh will be right at home amongst all the other dystopian authors of the genre.

I stayed up super late because I could not tear my tired eyes away from this novel.

Mackintosh weaves together dystopia worlds
Peggy Jaeger
This was without doubt the weirdest book I've ever read. Not only because of the subject matter, but because of the book's composition.

There was no dialogue, just the narrator saying things like she said, he said. There was no paragraph structure or time line. It was almost like a free expressive thematic writing.

I'm sure some people will say this is just one more book about female disenfranchisement in a futuristic dystopian society. Some may even hail it at the next Atwood-like tale.

I just sim
Karen’s Library
I've always been a fan of dystopian novels. 1984, The Handmaid's Tale, etc. When I read the synopsis of Blue Ticket, I knew it was a book I had to read.

When Calla bleeds for the first time, she is given a blue ticket along with 3 others of her group of 5 girls. She then immediately undergoes a procedure to keep her from getting pregnant and sent off to make her way to her new life in a city. Blue ticketed woman can choose how to live their lives except for that one little thing of ever having c
Mridula Gupta
Aug 23, 2020 rated it liked it
A totalitarian government that tries to control their women isn't an innovative theme, but Mackintosh takes up the challenge to give us a story that is pedantic and yet, leaves you with more questions.

"That's how your life becomes a set thing, written and unchangeable. It was an object that didn't belong to me, and to wish for any other was a fallacy at best, treasonous at worst."

In this world, Women are divided into two groups via The Lottery - the ones with a White Ticket, who are 'allowed
Carlene Inspired
Find more reviews at Carlene Inspired.

Calla goes against everything the blue ticket defines her life to be, but she doesn't do it in the way one might expect. She isn't motherly, she has no natural instinct to care about a child, let alone herself. She's unreliable, a drinker, selfish, and at times I questioned her mental stability. She is determined though and with determination comes an interesting, albeit difficult to picture, journey to try to chase the life she wants to create for herself a
Jun 03, 2020 rated it liked it
I loved The Water Cure and was really looking forward to Sophie Mackintosh's second novel. I think it's good, but not as good as I had hoped it would be. I do love Mackintosh's writing style -- it is concise and evocative, and always clear. However, in this case, the narrative could have been shorter, even though the symbolism and themes are all well developed. While I don't think an author needs to spell everything out, there is a lot that is unsaid here, like why the fathers are the ones pushi ...more
May 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
"In a world where women can't have it all, don't underestimate the relief of a decision being taken away from you"

Sophie Mackintosh's feminist dystopian tale has a setting that is sorting hat in Gilead. Every woman enters a lottery on her first period where she is assigned either a blue or white ticket. White ticket means you get a family and blue ticket means you get your complete freedom but you can't have a child.

Calla, a blue ticket rebel, reaches the age of 30 and she gets the 'dark feel
Spring finally feels like it's here and I'm planning my garden (zone 4 gang rise up!), so I kept visualizing chili peppers while reading this. The kind that deeply burn your mouth but keep you coming back for more. This book wrecked me - but I had to keep going.

Calla's fate is decided by lottery once she hits puberty. If she chooses a blue ticket, she is "free" from having children and is forced to receive a copper implant. If she chooses a white ticket she is allowed to have children eventuall
Nov 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A haunting read about our freedom, our right to choose and our free will. In this dystopian society where a lottery ticket’s color determines your lifelong destiny of womanhood to bear children or not. A decision thought left to chance is actually controlled and decisions made.

Sophie Mackintosh writes a haunting tale that is both disturbing and intriguing in this troubled world she built. In Calla, a character who questions how her world works and the decisions made, is definitely a character th
Dec 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Such a good read.
Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight

So, this one was a bit of a mixed bag for me. It was definitely more good than bad, and I am glad that I read it, but there were a few things that left me wanting a bit more. Let's break it down! 
The Things I Loved:

► The whole concept was intriguing, and not all that farfetched. I mean look, we're going to be in a situation of overpopulation, it's just the facts. And we'
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Sophie Mackintosh was born in South Wales in 1988, and is currently based in London. Her fiction, essays and poetry have been published by Granta, The White Review, The New York Times and The Stinging Fly, among others. Her short story ‘Grace’ was the winner of the 2016 White Review Short Story Prize, and her story ‘The Running Ones’ won the Virago/Stylist Short Story competition in 2016.


Articles featuring this book

"Oh, we are living a dystopian reality!" You've heard it, you may have even said it. But despite what's happening in the world—or maybe because...
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“All my life I’ve been told I can only be complete if I grow something inside of me and bring it into the world. Whereas you are whole and perfect as you are.” 1 likes
“Having a child is both the most rational and irrational decision possible, in this world. This fucking awful, beautiful world, which I can't stop loving, though I have considered it, I have evaluated and counted the ways.” 0 likes
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