Book Review Wednesday: Bad Blood

I've been using my new iPad Mini as an e-reader but mostly through the Nook and Kindle apps. I haven't read on iBooks in years but I downloaded some free eBooks that I had stored on my computer to the Apple app so I figured I'd check out the book store.

To my surprise, there was a big sale happening on that particular day (I've learned that iBooks is always having deals and you can score some amazing books!) and I saw a book I had been wanting to read.

Bad Blood by John Carreyrou is all about Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos. It's the book that started the hype two years ago, the book that started the HBO Documentary, 'The Dropout' podcast, and a 20/20 special.

I had never heard of Theranos before the media brought it back up but I was instantly hooked. I wanted and needed to know everything about Elizabeth Holmes and her scam of a company. It was so interesting, a different type of 'crime' and not the usual murder & mystery that true crime lovers are used too.

I always knew that I was going to read this book, I just didn't know when. Well, I finished it in a matter of days and enjoyed every last bit of it.


Publisher's Summary

In 2014, Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes were widely seen as the female Steve Jobs: a brilliant Stanford dropout whose startup “unicorn” promised to revolutionize the medical industry with a machine that would make blood testing significantly faster and easier. Backed by investors such as Larry Ellison and Tim Draper, Theranos sold shares in a fundraising round that valued the company at more than $9 billion, putting Holmes’s worth at an estimated $4.7 billion. There was just one problem: The technology didn’t work.

A riveting story of the biggest corporate fraud since Enron, a tale of ambition and hubris set amid the bold promises of Silicon Valley.


My Thoughts

I will admit that this book was really hard to understand and follow at first. There is a lot of technical talks and if you are not in that world, it is very difficult to connect with the story. However, once you pay closer attention to what is being said, you're able to catch on.

What I appreciated about this book was that it didn't dwell too much on Elizabeth's childhood and pre-Theranos so you weren't exposed to a lot of useless information. Everything included in the book was very calculated, in the best way possible.

One of my favorite parts of the book was toward the end when the writer, John Carreyrou, linked his personal journalistic experience with Theranos to the novel. He told the story of how he discovered Theranos and how he broke the story in the news... he talked about his legal battle with Holmes and how it affected his job and his sources. 

The entire story, if you don't know, is very interesting and a pretty wild ride. Elizabeth Holmes set out to start a medical tech company that was going to create machines to test blood for thousands of diseases with just a finger prick of blood. Too bad that is virtually impossible and a lot of people told Holmes it wasn't possible.

She didn't care to listen and wanted to become the next Steve Jobs -- the comparisons to Jobs are pretty intense in the book. Theranos became a very toxic work environment and the stories that are included in the book make me cringe and worry for those peoples' mental health.

Carryrou takes you through the inception of the company, all the legal troubles, and the implosion of what was supposed to be the next great invention. It is a wild ride from beginning to end and truly an interesting read. I was gripped from the first chapter and really enjoyed it.

I have watched and listened to everything related to Theranos and Holmes but I really found the book to be eye-opening to things that were skimmed over or not included in the podcasts and TV specials.

If you love true crime but need something without murder or kidnapping, I highly recommend looking into Bad Blood. If you are interested in Theranos and Elizabeth Holmes, you definitely need to read this!

xoxo
B