Blog Tours, Book Reviews

Book Review: The Willing by Lindsay Lees

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This is my post during the blog tour for The Willing by Lindsay Lees. In The Willing 15-year-old Gypsy Capone soon will be considered a woman. To save her body and even her soul, Gypsy chooses a dangerous path—to single-handedly confront this scary and unpredictable world.

This blog tour is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours and the tour runs from 16 August till 5 September. You can see the tour schedule here.

The Willing book cover
The Willing
By Lindsay Lees
Genre: Dystopian
Age category: Adult
Release Date: 14 June 2021

In less than a year, fifteen-year-old Gypsy Capone will be considered a woman in Ovoidia, a “utopian” city-state where every woman can be approached for immediate sex by any man, where curving architecture adds weird whimsy, sporks are the only cutlery, and true intimacy between the genders is a sign of suspect subversion. After all, if a woman just plays along, she’ll also do her job and have children, with the reward of a fine home in the “Communities,” where she and the other “Mamas” live together in harmony with everything they need. Right?

The irony: Diam and Isis, the two leaders of Ovoidia, are themselves females. Fun, yes! And just below the surface, perversely sinister. They personally execute these precise sacrifices by women to establish their “happy,” absurdly totalitarian utopia, and are backed up by their chosen army of male “crusaders,” enforcing a crime-free, fully controlled society.

Men are relegated to work in the “City” where they may “enjoy”—right there on the street if they wish—any woman they want and are welcome to satisfy their sexual and emotional needs at establishments called Gaje Clubs where only the most “gifted” among women are chosen to work.

Not surprisingly, in Ovoidia women have evolved until they feel nothing of sexual pleasure. But in Gypsy’s deepest heart, she realizes her own dark secret: she is the exception. Next she discovers to her horror that her secret, if known, could result in the ultimate punishment—genital mutilation.

To save her body and even her soul, Gypsy chooses a dangerous path—to single-handedly confront this scary and absurd world. She has the support of her allegiant sister Sadie and Miles Devine, a rogue, secretly gay crusader, and also “Doctor,” a morally questionable physician to help her. But none of them fathom the levels of paradox, incongruity, and twisted evil they will soon face, and the ride becomes something even Gypsy could have never imaged.


Author picture Lindsay Lees
About the Author:
Lindsay Lees is originally from Los Angeles and holds dual citizenship in the U.S. and the United Kingdom, and while growing up and later in college, she split her time between the two countries. Lindsay earned a B.A. in 2008 from Manchester Metropolitan University, and next an Creative Writing from California College of the Arts. The Willing is Lindsay’s debut novel. She currently lives a quiet Southern life with her husband and a houseful of pets.

Author links:

Lindsay Lees dedicates her book The Willing to the victims of human trafficking and sexual exploitations.

At the end there is also an acknowledgment explaining how she was inspired to write The Willing.

The Willing by Lindsay Lees absolutely has a shock value. When I read the back I knew the story would have interesting and disturbing ideas. I was curious how the author was going to deal with these issues.

From the start we are introduced to a dystopian atmosphere with a broken system, a broken world as we now know it. Lindsay Lees does this creatively, giving the world and characters life.

In the end, I found the book to be captivating and I wanted to know more about the characters’ progression in their world. It is an easy, quick read and a page turner. The author has created a world, a society that basically has evolved seemingly to survive. As sickening as some of the details were to me, I realize the author has a reason and is trying to bring awareness to real life issues. If it is upsetting to read in a fantasy book, then it is far more upsetting to know women and girls are exploited in real life!

The Willing, is the good ole authoritarian rule being spread over society like a sheet of sh*t. Making everyone believe that their sacrifice is for the good of all. Gypsy is fighting against that rule. The authority, in this case the Heads or Head Gajes, work diligently to make it appear no one has to unwillingly do anything they do not want to do. However, everything comes with a price. And in this story the price is horrific.

Many scenes might make a reader boil, they did me. Nothing is too detailed but there is enough information given to make the reader aware of what this Utopia really is. I wanted a better ending for Gypsy.

The story is very good. Even if it makes the reader upset with how this society behaves, or what they believe. The horrors will keep the reader wanting to see change in the story and change in the world as a whole. To find hope.

It is a good book but it also makes me very angry, as it should. The Willing is a unique approach and I’ve never read a book quite like this one.

I recommend this book to adults, mature readers, those that read fantasy and enjoy dystopian reads.

The book has a feel to it like Hunger Games and A Handmaid’s Tale.

Why does it feel like a series to me?

The first half of the book had me hooked. The story progressed nicely, everything flowed and I started to feel a connection with the characters. Once Sadie, Gypsy’s sister, turns sixteen and moves to the city, everything speeds up and a lot happens. Many of the characters would have been deeply affected by some of the happenings. I wanted all of that to slow down and provide more detail, more depth of those characters and situations. The end for Gypsy is a sad one. I really wanted to see her win and triumph over those tribulations. I feel it is certainly a cliff hanger though.

There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of The Willing. One winner wins a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card (winners choice).

Click the link below to enter the giveaway.

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2 thoughts on “Book Review: The Willing by Lindsay Lees”

  1. A powerful & well written book – evoking unexpected deep emotions at the turn of the page, speaking to hidden or unrecognized passions surrounding this subject matter, defying even those with well crafted defended intellects.


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