Julia | Sandra Newman

fiction | dystopian | feminism

First published 2023

book cover of the noverl, Julia by Sandra Newman on blog and books grey spiral backgraound

Julia is supposed to be a feminist retelling of George Orwell's dystopian nightmare novel 1984. The protagonist is Julia, Winston Smith's love interest in Orwell's original, and in this book, we see the story from her point of view. If you're acquainted with the source material, then all of the characters, language and ministries will be familiar to you. If you're not, go and read 1984, enjoy it, and forget that this book was ever written.

When we are introduced to Room 101 and the torture inflicted by the Ministry of Love on dissidents and non-believers, the book takes on a tone reminiscent of The Hunger Games, or other, more contemporary dystopian works. This makes Julia even less convinicing than she already was in the first half of the book.

My Verdict: I'm a big fan of dystopian fiction, and 1984 is one of the greatest books in the genre. Orwell's original is so shocking and realistic in its description of totalitarianism, that it changed the vocabulary we use in everyday life. It is so ingrained in the minds of readers that once you read it, you will never, ever forget it. This novel, however, does the exact opposite and you just want to forget that you wasted your time and money on such a shallow and almost embarrassing attempt at what is, in fact, bad fan fiction. I did not enjoy this book, and I really would not recommend it. A disappointing read to end the year!

Review Award | 2/5

Published 21.12.2023

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