Book Review: Parable of the Sower

PARABLE OF THE SOWER | Octavia E. Butler
(Earthseed #1)
04.30.2019 (First published 10.1993) | Grand Central Publishing
Rating: 5/5 stars


The early 2020’s have arrived, bringing with them global climate change, economic crises, and social chaos. California has become a world of dangers filled with masses of vagabonds who will do anything to survive in this scary new reality. Fifteen-year-old Lauren Olamina lives inside a gated community sheltered from the anarchy surrounding her. In a society where vulnerability is a risk, Lauren must hide her weakness. She has hyperempathy, a debilitating sensitivity to others’ emotions. As the danger builds around her home, Lauren must work to make her voice heard and help get those who mean the most to her ready to survive should things go wrong.

All that you touch you change. All that you change changes you. The only lasting truth is change.

WOW!!! That’s basically the summary of what I’m about to tell you! 

Meet my new favorite author Olivia E. Butler, the mastermind behind PARABLE OF THE SOWER. I honestly think Butler was way ahead of her time writing this book in the early 1990s about a world that is now our present day life. Everything about PARABLE feels eerily realistic and possible with the direction we find our world headed. 

Butler completely blew me away with her poetic prose and vivid imagery. Everything about Lauren’s world came to life on the page. I could feel the deep emotions of Lauren, her family, and those struggling around them. This isn’t a world you would want to find yourself trapped in, but it is one that captivates your mind. Butler makes you question what your actions would be in Lauren’s shoes and whether or not you think her decisions are correct, which is exactly what I want from my dystopian fiction.

That’s all anybody can do right now. Live. Hold out. Survive. I don’t know whether good times are coming back again. But I know that won’t matter if we don’t survive these times.

Speaking of Lauren…I was blown away by this young woman. There were so many times when I found myself forgetting just how young Lauren is when we first meet her. While the story does progress in years, Lauren is still in her teens making decisions I can’t imagine making. Her strength and her humility make this book what it is. Lauren is the type of person you want in your life and watching her navigate the world, standing for what is right, is truly magical. 

I don’t know how to continue gushing about my love for this book, so I’ll just ask that you go buy a copy! Buy the sequel while you’re there because you’re going to miss Lauren the minute you hit that last page! I cannot wait to read PARABLE OF THE TALENTS soon and then continue to explore all that Butler wrote in her lifetime!

This book is available to buy from: Amazon | Book Depository

Disclosure: What Jess Reads is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to This in no way influences my opinion of the above book.

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