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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

Pop culture, chaos theory and matters of the heart collide in this unique novella from the Hugo and Nebula winning author of Doomsday Book. Sandra Foster studies fads and their meanings for the HiTek corporation. Bennet O'Reilly works with monkey group behavior and chaos theory for the same company. When the two are thrust together due to a misdelivered package and a run of seemingly bad lu…


by Connie Willis

Overall Book Review:

Witty and clever dialogue makes Bellwether by Connie Willis sizzle.  More satire than science fiction, Bellwether follows Dr. Sandra Foster, a socialogist, as she studies fads, dabbles in chaos theory, and oddly, embarks on an experiment involving sheep. The book is light on plot and nothing much happens until the mid-point of the book.  However, the reader doesn’t mind too much because there is plenty of humor and some very Dilbert-esque moments in the meantime.  Each chapter of the book opens with a vignette documenting the life-cycle of a fad.  Also sprinkled throughout the book are references to scientific discoveries and breakthroughs illustrating the serendipity of the scientific process.

Bellwether is the second book I have read by Willis, but with her intelligent dialogue and fresh voice, it will not be the last!

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  1 religious exclamation

Violence/Gore:  ***

Sex/Nudity:  Characters kiss and feel attraction for one another; as part of research, a character scans personal ads.

Mature Subject Matter:


Alcohol / Drug Use:

An adult character smokes cigarettes.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

An accountant and CPA by profession, I found myself a book reviewer for Squeaky Clean Reads by happenstance. When the opportunity came to transform that website into Compass Book Ratings, I was excited to seize it and meld my business background with my love of books. As the mother of three teenage sons, I have read a large number of children and young adult books and I believe that there is great value in a content review service. As much as we would love to read everything our children read, there just isn’t enough time. I also appreciate being able to select books for myself that are really worth my precious and limited reading time. I believe there is a book out there for everyone–they just have to find it!