Hope you’re all good and enjoying your Sunday. It’s certainly been a funny old week for me, I can’t remember the last time I felt this tired. Everything; work and otherwise has felt relentless with zero chill so I am definitely due a few chilled days. I am adamant I will get them during the four day weekend next week.
I was obsessed with the debut from @evecsmith (you can read my review of The Waiting Rooms here). So naturally I have had her second book; Off Target in my TBR list since I heard that it was being published.
In the not too distant future, parents will have the option to make huge decisions about their unborn baby’s futures. In a world where genetic engineering is the norm and natural conception is old fashioned, people have the ability to ensure that their children are perfect.
Susan has been trying for a baby with her husband for years (the natural way) but it is an out of character one night stand that makes her dreams come true. She is desperate to keep this baby and for her husband to not find out about it’s paternity so she is prepared to do the unthinkable.
Fast forward in time and governments across the globe are in a genetic arms race and their are children experiencing all kinds of strange symptoms; some of them even killing themselves. All of these children have one obvious thing in common. How long will Susan’s secret be safe for?
General Thoughts 🤔
I tried so so hard to avoid spoilers for this book and thankfully I managed to succeed. I didn’t want to know anything about it before I started reading it and I’m so glad that I didn’t and that everything was a complete surprise. The subject of this second book from Eve Smith was thought provoking, sensitive and most importantly it could be a very close reality.
I lost count of how many times I thought “what would I do?” whilst reading this book and I still don’t have an answer. I don’t know if I would/wouldn’t alter my child’s genetics. If it meant that they could avoid serious illness it seems like a complete no brainer. But how would you know what was truly being edited? I am quite a strong believer in nurture over nature, but there are some things that are simply just in our DNA. If given the choice, would I really want to change that? It feels like an impossible decision to make and I loved that this book made me think so hard about it.
I think that I liked Susan, but there was a niggling feeling I had about her throughout the book. She committed the ultimate betrayal and took the cowards way out in my opinion. However, as I learnt more about her and her family life, I think I started to empathise with her a little more. I think that Susan would have been a fantastic and fiercely protective mother regardless of what route she had taken to motherhood and the woman deserved to be happy.
Zurel was the star of the whole book for me. She was so sweet, without being too innocent. I loved how considered and mature she was in her own decision making and my heart broke for the girl as she set off on the rollercoaster to find out the truth about herself. I can’t imagine how confusing that would be for a girl of her age.
Writing Style ✍️
I continue to be amazed by this author. The amount of research that most go into a book like this blows my mind. It didn’t feel like I was reading about a dystopian future. It felt like I was reading about now; current day and current possibilities. There was nothing unbelievable about the subject matter of this book and I find it so impressive that Eve Smith has again managed to not only make me think/panic/dread what the future may hold for humankind, but consider if there is anything I should do right now. Yes. I read this book and immediately deleted my data from 23&Me.
Conclusion & Scoring 🎖
Eve Smith is very quickly making her way into my favourite authors list. I loved this book just as much as her first one and I cannot wait to see how she is going to top it. If you like to walk away from a book and not be able to stop thinking about it and asking yourself question after question….read Off Target as soon you can. You will love it.