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American War
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April 2018: Strong Women > American War by Omar El Akkad 3 stars

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Rachel N. | 1612 comments It's 2074 and global warming has caused sea levels to rise and much of the coastal U.S. to be submerged. A new civil war has broken out over the use of fossil fuels. Sarat Chestnut is born in Louisiana but when she is six her family relocates to a refugee camp in Mississippi, part of the rebelling red states. Sarat is eventually trained in terrorism tactics to fight for the southern cause. The book takes a long time to get going and the beginning is a bit of a slog. The second half was much more interesting though very depressing.


message 2: by Jason (new) - added it

Jason Oliver | 2098 comments Rachel, If it does not ruin the story, I'm interested in how the US is split in regards to the issue of fossil fuels. You insinuate it's north and south.


Rachel N. | 1612 comments Jason wrote: "Rachel, If it does not ruin the story, I'm interested in how the US is split in regards to the issue of fossil fuels. You insinuate it's north and south."
It's explained in the early part of the book so I don't think it's a spoiler. Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina object to the ban on fossil fuels and form the free southern states. There's a lot of fighting in Texas and they have been mostly taken over by Mexico, something bad happens to nearly everyone in South Carolina (too say more could be a small spoiler) so the resistance is mainly in Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. Florida is completely submerged and no longer exists. Louisiana and a few other southern states are "purple" because even though they are part of the blue northern states they have a lot of citizens who support the red south.


Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7784 comments I really enjoyed this book a bit more than you, but also thought the beginning was a little slow.

I actually thought "civil war" part took a backseat to the influence of ISIS on the story. While the division between oil-producing and nonoil-producing states set the stage for the conflict, I thought it was more of a statement on training young impressionable kids to be ruthless killers. And how the socioeconomics of a region that is framed by war can contribute to the type of environment that allows that type of recruitment and training.

While the story itself was interesting, it was the themes interwoven throughout that really made this book a great one for me.


Rachel N. | 1612 comments Nicole R wrote: "I really enjoyed this book a bit more than you, but also thought the beginning was a little slow.

I actually thought "civil war" part took a backseat to the influence of ISIS on the story. While ..."

I agree that the main focus of the book is how do you make a child a killer. I feel like that part was very realistic.


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