Emily Schultz has done it again. She’s delivered a quirky novel that examines our society and values through whacked-out, supernatural situations. The Blondes takes you on a ride with Hazel Hayes, displaced Canadian living the hazy, wandering student life in New York. After a breakout of a new strain of rabies-like disease, affecting only blonde-headed (dyed or natural) upper-middle-class women, Hazel goes on a cross-nation journey with many bumps along the way.
The character of Hazel is both endearing and frustrating, as she makes cavalier decisions, often quite ill-thought, that can turn out well or not. She seems to go with the flow, never popping up as a unique person with strong convictions. Instead, she seems very adrift in life. The outbreak gives her stronger resolve, and it’s quite surreal reading a story in which the protagonist gains strength of character living through a “blonde fury” epidemic.
The story moves along smartly, and I was riveted to this book. I hope it gets nominated for an award this season!