This book is a dystopian novel.
It takes place in the near future in the year 2074.
There has been a second American Civil War that has broken out and significant portions of the South have basically been like ruined it seems like.
The main character in this story is named Sarat.
She is born in Louisiana which is at this point mostly under water.
Her and her family get sent to a what’s basically a refugee camp in what I believe to be is what we would consider like Georgia area.
And while she and her family are at the camp a bunch of things occur.
I won’t go into all of it because I think part of what’s interesting about this novel is seeing what occurs.
But she does meet someone there who shows her sort of another way of living or a way that she could do something about the situation that she’s in.
And also sort of fight against some of the in justices that she is seeing and facing.
Although I say that slightly hesitantly and I will get into that a little bit as we go into the review.
So yes, I really enjoyed this one.
I gave it a four out of five stars with a couple of caveats to that rating.
This book is broken up into four parts and for the first part a significant portion of that goes like really, really slow because Omar El-Akkad is really sort of like laying down the groundwork for what will happen later on and he’s also providing the reader with a lot of sort of history about what the United States has been through between like what we currently know and what happens in this book through 2074.
I originally thought I was going to DNF this book around the 10% mark but I decided to keep going through partially because this was the book that I was reading on my train and so I just had train ride to fill.
So I decided to just keep pushing through and see how I felt by about the 20% mark and that was really sort of was the turning point for me.
So if you have read this book and you gave up on it early or if you decide to pick this book up just know that it gets off to a slow start.
And I would say push through the first part because I feel like once you get into the second part it really starts to pick up.
And I also feel like the book builds on itself so the ending is like really, really strong.
But it sort of needs that time to build to that point.
So that is definitely one of the flaws I could see a lot of people sort of getting frustrated with this book.
But like I said, I ended up really enjoying it.
I think it’s mostly because it made me think about a lot of things that I don’t normally think about or made me sort of like contemplate sort of the way I view the world right now.
I don’t read a lot of war novels partially because they don’t interest me and partially because I find them really upsetting. Seeing what people have to deal with when they’re in war-torn countries is just so heartbreaking.
And so while I was reading this book, obviously it takes place in 2074 in a fictional United States, a lot of what is talked about in here is a reality for a lot of people in a lot of different countries currently.
Sarat as a character is really interesting because she is extremely complex and extremely flawed and she makes some really – I don’t wanna say she made poor decisions but the decisions that she makes are not ones that I think most people necessarily would make.
And Omar El-Akkad doesn’t try to apologize for them.
He just sort of like presents it as it is. And I feel like in another world or if this book was placed in another setting or something along those lines, Sarat would be considered like a terrorist basically.
And so seeing the world through her perspective I feel like was just so interesting because it’s a point of view that obviously I will never have.
It sort of the idea of like seeing how and why someone could take that extremist action sort of becomes a little bit clearer in this book.
Not that it’s ever okay and not that I think that Sarat’s actions were justified, but I can at least slightly understand her perspective a little bit better.
It lays it all out there in terms of like violence and death and destruction and pain and the personal sort of destruction that people have to go through when they’re in these sort of war-torn countries.
I think it does a really good job of providing a perspective on war that isn’t normally given just because – So the way this works is setup is every other chapter there is like an excerpt from like a history book or like a news article or an interview or something along those lines that provides sort of like broader context to what we’re reading about in these specific situations.
And I feel like those chapters especially provided me as a reader with a lot of sort of understanding of how like we read things in books, like history books, or read about these sort of events that unfold after the fact.
But the way that they affected individuals is so completely different than the way that it’s portrayed in news articles or the way that it’s portrayed in history books or the way that it’s portrayed even in like a broader sense of like when you think about major wars.
We very rarely think about the individuals who are affected on a day-to-day basis and what their lives are like.
And I feel like American War just present all of that and provides you with that contrast of like here’s the bigger scheme of things the ways that we would look at the war, and here’s it sort of on just an individual level and the way that it’s affecting day-to-day living.
I really enjoyed it.
It’s a bit of a slower read.
It’s definitely more character-driven.
It takes a little bit to get into but I feel like there’s so much to unpack here.
It’s completely worth picking up. I highly recommend it.
Again I gave it four out of five stars.
So yeah, that’s everything that I have for you guys in this post.
If you’ve read American War, definitely leave a comment down below letting me know what you guys thought of it.
I know a bunch of people picked that one for the Book of the Month box for whichever month it was it came out.
So definitely let me know down below if you’ve read it and have what you thought of it.
I know a lot of people were sort of like 3-stars reads for that one but I just love to hear your perspective on the book.
=========================================================Purchase Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LXK1HBB