Monday, June 5, 2017

American War and What I Read in May

Have you heard of this book?  It's only been out for a few months now.  I could not put it down.  American War takes place in the future, beginning in 2074 with the second American Civil War.  The book follows one family, specifically Sarat Chestnut, who is six years old when the war begins.  After her family settles into a refugee camp, she meets a figure of power who basically turns her into a terrorist.  This novel is not a page-turner in the classic sense, but more so a book you sink your teeth into.  I didn't want it to end.

As much as I enjoyed this book, it wasn't without flaws.  The dialogue was somewhat unrealistic and difficult to interpret as the author did not indicate the speaker's tone or intent.  I feel like this improved throughout the book or I simply became used to it, but it was a bit distracting in the beginning.  This is the author's first novel and I found his creativity and take on the future world intriguing.  Due to rising oceans, the capital of the country is now in Columbus, Ohio and most of Florida is under the sea.  I hope he plans to continue to write books (he's a journalist) as I would definitely read more.

The girls all read the young reader version of this book over the winter and after Allie decided to write about Misty Copeland (the first African American principal ballerina at the American Ballet Theatre) for her biography project at school, I was curious and picked up the adult version.  I've actually seen it listed under young adult but that doesn't matter, it's still a good read for us old adults.  My girls, especially Allie, were really inspired reading this.  It's an inspiring book for anyone.  Here's someone with undeniable talent who has had to overcome challenges - injuries, and judgements on her race and body type.  She was 13 years old when she took her first ballet class.  13!  How crazy is that?  If you have any interest in ballet or what it takes to be a professional ballerina, give this one a read.

Yes, another suspenseful, can't-put-down page-turner.  Zoe, a 17 year old convicted killer, is performing at her first piano recital in a new town with a new family.  By the end of the night, her mother is dead.  Who killed her and why?  How does Zoe's past and secrets play a role in her mother's death?  I really like how the book flipped between the past and the present.  You sort of feel like you know where the plot is leading to, but there are some twists and turns and you'll just want to keep reading.          

This was the first book I finished reading this month.  I've already mentioned it in an earlier post, but I thought it was worth noting again.  If you enjoy suspense, check it out.  

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Erika said...

I've just put American War on hold at the library- that sounds awesome! I always love your reviews!

Bernice said...

Have started reading again, forgot how enjoyable and relaxing it is. I would like to recommend a book that I had a hard time putting down,
"The Train-Escape from Hell's Kitchen", it is written by Keith Schafer, he writes about the worse slums of New York City in the 19th century, where he introduces you to two young teenagers who thru no fault of their own were left on the streets to fend for themselves.
I am going to copy down and begin reading the books you recommend.

Teej said...

I put American War on hold at my library too! Thanks for the recommendation!

Christi said...

I'll definitely check out Find Me and The Perfect Girl.

I keep hearing good things about American War. I'm not a huge fan of dystopia so I'll put it on my maybe list.

I just finished Measure Twice by JJ Hensley. Really good suspense/thriller. I've read so many "meh" books lately it was nice to get lost in the twists and turns.

Bree at Clarity Defined said...

These look great! I didn't know Gilly MacMillan had a new book.

May wasn't my best month for reading, but I did read Off Balance (Dominique Moceanu's memoir) and it was interesting. I didn't love the order of narrative (felt a little disjointed - almost like the chapters were short stand alone stories), but I did enjoy learning more about her life and experience as a young elite gymnast. She was always one of my favorites.

I've had Misty's book on my wish list for awhile, just need to finish a couple other books that recently came up from holds first. :)

Sarah said...

Thank you for the recommendations!