September 23rd, 2018

REVIEW – XX By Angela Chadwick

XX by Angela Chadwick

I really enjoy popular science books so when a novel combines science with an intriguing plot I have to read it!

Synopsis on Goodreads:

Ovum-to-Ovum technology offers a breakthrough for reproductive rights but also has fierce opposition. When it is leaked that Rosie is one of only two women to become pregnant from the treatment, her relationship with Jules is put under a microscope. Who close to them leaked the news?

I remember years ago reading about the potential for a baby to be produced using two women’s eggs, bypassing the need for sperm. So when I saw that this book followed what could happen if/when this becomes a genuine option for women I knew I had to read it.

Researchers in the UK have found a way to fertilise a human egg without the need for male DNA – instead using DNA from another egg. This is called ovum-to-ovum fertilisation and will always result in a baby girl. The story follows a lesbian couple who are one of the first to conceive using this method.

The most interesting part for me was around the media attention and speculation. As much as I would like to think in today’s world it would not be so nasty and scathing, I know that is just wishful thinking. The political point-scoring and the impact on couples’ personal relationships is also covered in detail. It’s very topical in light of the ongoing debate around “fake news”.

The downside for me is the book felt a lot longer than it actually was. The writing was very dry and as interesting as it was following the journey, nothing much really seemed to happen. I found I didn’t particularly care for the characters because I didn’t really get to know them. I understand it’s a sensitive subject, and not one that needs or deserves any cheap twists, but I did find myself struggling to keep going at times.

Regardless this book deserves to get a lot of attention and I look forward to reading more from this author.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Verdict: 2/5!

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