Karen's Reviews > When We Were Vikings

When We Were Vikings by Andrew David MacDonald
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“Everyone is a hero in their own lives,” he said. “That’s by default. But I wanted you to see that sometimes the world thinks something is not possible, but it turns out that they can be wrong. Even fancy scientists can be wrong.”

“Sometimes the most important things don’t fit on lists,” I said.

I dislike it when a book is compared to other books I've read and loved. Especially when it turns out that the comparisons aren't accurate. This book is compared to The Silver Linings Playbook and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. I think it's like neither.

This is the story of Zelda, who has fetal alcohol syndrome and is living with her brother Gert. She's a huge fan of Vikings and rules. The book is her quest to try to save her brother. It is a heart-warming book but it also has a lot of very serious topics and trigger warnings.

For some reason, I thought it would be a sweet, cute book. It is not.

It's a touching book but it is serious. It has violence, it has parts that made me angry and parts that made me sad and also parts that made me hopeful. But the whole time, the hardest part was to get past the expectation that this book would be lighter than it actually was. So I want to set the expectations right in case you're like me. This is not a light and fluffy book. It threw me off that there are a lot of quirky parts to this story and the characters come off a bit like quirky and yet the subject matter is so so serious and the topics covered are also very serious and not at all quirky. I guess this is where it tried to be like Silver Linings Playbook but I didn't feel like it hit the mark as solidly.

It did gave me a lot to think about and I am glad I read it.

with gratitude to Gallery/Scout press and netgalley for an advanced copy in return for an honest review.

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Reading Progress

December 20, 2019 – Started Reading
December 20, 2019 – Shelved
December 21, 2019 – Finished Reading

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