The Binding by Bridgett Collins

917E1m61fkLThe binding was a dark fantasy tale, transporting you to a time and a world where people would use bookbinders to take their memories away. It is a practice associated with magic in the small communities, but in the larger one it’s already considered a business. People would take their memories out to sell the books further, leading to trouble. The story follows Emmet, a hard-working boy, trying to maintain the good-working of a farm when he is more than sick. What brought him that sickness and how’s he going to get to be a bookbinder, considering it is one of the darkest professions one could have?

I liked the story, I loved the characters (who had well-contoured, round and complex personalities), the world-building was delightful, and the mysterious element of the story was just what gave the lecture the extra flavour it needed. The story has a nice evolution, and I honestly appreciated that what started with the life of a boy on a farm, away from the rest of the society, got to be put in a bigger context, making me wonder about how the whole society worked, how it was wrong with it, and made me wonder about philosophical questions that I wouldn’t ever have thought about otherwise. It was captivating.

Not only the world-building efforts of Bridgett Collins payed beautifully off, but the story itself was mesmerising. Trust me or not, this whole book is actually a love story! And what a love story… the forbidden one, trust me! It falls within the LGBT culture and I truly enjoyed it (not to say I usually find those stories a bit much, this one was perfectly balanced within the told story, not forgetting about the importance of the rest due to too much romance). It was something new, that I didn’t read before (although I heard there are 2 or 3 more books that say similar stories that I didn’t get to read so far. You can tell me if there’s any other better than this one).

The story was dark. Honestly, as it was divided in 3 parts, the first and the third ones being full of misery. It didn’t bother me, I thought that was just how it was supposed to be. I read other reviews saying that they were actually a bit bothered, but that didn’t get to me. What bothered me though was the fact that I felt like the evolution of the story was a bit slow, and I didn’t really feel like reading it when I was tired or stressed, I needed to really have the mood to get back to lecture.

There were plot-holes though. I will not mention them as I don’t want to spoil the lecture for you. And, although the characters were well contoured, there were some actions they did that didn’t make sense to me, it felt like the change in views were a bit too abrupt (as in the love story, from totally reluctant to totally in love). I found those bits disruptive, but not in a manner to make me stop reading the book.

However, I really recommend it as a lecture with a complex storyline, a book that would enhance you within its binding.

PS. I can’t miss this: the book itself! I have the Hardcover edition and I truly love it! The attention to detail underneath the dust jacket, the details within the covers, the nice little drawings… I loved it all. The guys from Borough Press really cared for this book, trying to make it look as special as possible!