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Buddy Reads: Current & Upcoming > Nović, Sarah-- Girl At War informal buddy read starts January 27, 2020

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message 1: by Moderators of NBRC, Challenger-in-Chief (new)

Moderators of NBRC | 30933 comments Mod
This thread is open to discuss Girl at War by Sara Nović.



Synopsis
Zagreb, summer of 1991. Ten-year-old Ana Jurić is a carefree tomboy who runs the streets of Croatia's capital with her best friend, Luka, takes care of her baby sister, Rahela, and idolizes her father. But as civil war breaks out across Yugoslavia, soccer games and school lessons are supplanted by sniper fire and air raid drills. When tragedy suddenly strikes, Ana is lost to a world of guerilla warfare and child soldiers; a daring escape plan to America becomes her only chance for survival.

Ten years later Ana is a college student in New York. She's been hiding her past from her boyfriend, her friends, and most especially herself. Haunted by the events that forever changed her family, she returns alone to Croatia, where she must rediscover the place that was once her home and search for the ghosts of those she's lost.


message 2: by Moderators of NBRC, Challenger-in-Chief (new)

Moderators of NBRC | 30933 comments Mod
r


message 3: by Moderators of NBRC, Challenger-in-Chief (new)

Moderators of NBRC | 30933 comments Mod
r


message 4: by Jenny (new)

Jenny | 4943 comments Starting this on my mom's birthday. That should be easy to remember.


message 5: by Laura (new)

Laura | 9707 comments Happy early birthday to your mom.


message 6: by Jenny (new)

Jenny | 4943 comments Thanks. Now I just have to remember to send her a present!


message 7: by Stacey (new)

Stacey | 559 comments I got my book today. Look forward to starting!


message 8: by Laura (new)

Laura | 9707 comments Stacey wrote: "I got my book today. Look forward to starting!"

Wahoo! I have my copy too.


message 9: by Jenny (new)

Jenny | 4943 comments Me too, we should be good to go!


message 10: by Jenny (new)

Jenny | 4943 comments Hey, we are starting this today. I forgot the date, but I will read a bit tonight...


message 11: by Stacey (new)

Stacey | 559 comments Well, I know I read more slowly than you two so I started a bit early. It is definitely interesting getting a child's perspective of the events.


message 12: by Laura (new)

Laura | 9707 comments I agree with Stacey, a child's perspective is definitely different. I'm not far in. I read the first 3 chapters. I'll read more tomorrow. It's a little after 11 pm here so I'm going to call it a night.


message 13: by Jenny (new)

Jenny | 4943 comments I got about 2 chapters in and then my sister called, so I will read more tomorrow.
I do like it so far. I remember this war going on, but it makes me realize how much I was not paying attention at the time. Research in my future.


message 14: by Stacey (new)

Stacey | 559 comments I just started part 2 and all I can say is wow. Don't look at the next part until you finish part 1.

(view spoiler)


message 15: by Jenny (new)

Jenny | 4943 comments I just finished Part 1. Wow is right.
(view spoiler)


message 16: by Laura (new)

Laura | 9707 comments I’ll catch up!


message 17: by Stacey (new)

Stacey | 559 comments Laura, glad to hear from you. I am about 1/2 way through and it is definitely interesting. I don't want to slow down unless I need to as I know you two are much faster readers than me.

Jenny, where are you now? I know you learn a lot of the answers to your questions early in part 2. It has really made me feel like the stereotypical American in ways that I don't necessarily like.


message 18: by Jenny (new)

Jenny | 4943 comments Yes, there is some level of uncomfortable going on in reading this book. I am not quite halfway through. I planned to get farther last night, but there was another book that I finished instead. Tonight. I will read more tonight.


message 19: by Laura (new)

Laura | 9707 comments Stacey, go at your own pace! Don't worry about us. I'm planning on catching up tonight.


message 20: by Laura (new)

Laura | 9707 comments I finished part 1. That was definitely hard to read.

(Eeks, sorry I picked a hard read! ) I agree with both your comments. I’m definitely interested in seeing what happens next.


message 21: by Jenny (new)

Jenny | 4943 comments Don't worry about choosing a hard read. Sometimes those end up being amazing. This one is compelling enough to want to keep going alright!


message 22: by Laura (new)

Laura | 9707 comments I agree. Sometimes those turn out to be the best reads. I don’t mind a messy cry... that means the book made me feel something but some people do not like that!


message 23: by Stacey (new)

Stacey | 559 comments It was hard but it is a book about war. It wasn't completely unexpected. It definitely makes you feel and think.


message 24: by Jenny (new)

Jenny | 4943 comments Yeah, I am the one who cries at AT&T commercials. So, ugly crying while reading is no big thing.

Since we have all made it through Part 1, I can say that I was too shocked to cry at the end of that. But, I 'm sure it is coming...


message 25: by Laura (new)

Laura | 9707 comments I'm halfway through part 2! I'm making slow progress.


message 26: by Stacey (new)

Stacey | 559 comments I'm going pretty quickly. Helps that I am enjoying it. Not sure if that is the right description but I want to keep reading. I'm a good way through part 3.


message 27: by Jenny (new)

Jenny | 4943 comments I just started part three as well. I plan to read tonight, and I may finish it. I am enjoying it as well. It is keeping my interest for sure.


message 28: by Laura (new)

Laura | 9707 comments I finished part 2
(view spoiler)


message 29: by Stacey (new)

Stacey | 559 comments I finished! Wow, this is definitely one I wouldn't have picked on my own but I'm glad I read. Laura, let us know when you finish. There are a few things that I think would be interesting to discuss.


message 30: by Laura (new)

Laura | 9707 comments I finished.

It abruptly ended but I didn’t mind that. I actually liked the ending. I think Ana was able to at least accept what happened and able to start rebuilding her life. This was extremely difficult to read but war is bleak, harsh, ugly- it’s death. I thought the ending gave a sense of hope which was a really nice contrast.

Even though difficult to read I gave this 4 stars!


message 31: by Jenny (new)

Jenny | 4943 comments I'm done with it too!
I thought it fizzled out a bit at the end, but I did like it a lot until then.
Off to work, I will write some more thoughts later.


message 32: by Stacey (new)

Stacey | 559 comments I really liked it. I do agree that the end was a bit short, but it was good. I was actually expecting Parts 1 and 3 to be a bit more difficult and I do feel that there wasn't as much put into her time after her parents death. Her time with a gun seemed to be a very short description that didn't warrant her missing it or the UN talk. My guess was that it was more than was presented.

I really liked how childlike the beginning of the war felt. How easy it was to get over things and her perspective. Kids definitely don't have the same way of looking at things. I'm amazed at how they can find happiness even in tough times. I liked that it cut between the war and the present, it let you breathe and not stay too upset. I even liked how it portrayed Americans. I don't like to think of myself like that but I am sure it is true. A good reminder of how different other peoples experiences can be.


message 33: by Jenny (new)

Jenny | 4943 comments I did like it. What I wanted was more. I think it easily could have been a couple hundred more pages. I felt a little cheated by the glimpses we had of her relationships with many of the characters instead of getting more depth.

The parts where the author was describing Ana, and how she dealt with war, and her personal tragedies were really moving. I agree, Stacey, that the child in wartime descriptions were stellar.
And, I also liked the move to the present, but I think that could have been fleshed out more too.

Overall, I enjoyed it. When I am left wanting more, that is a good thing. I would perhaps read more by this author.


message 34: by Stacey (new)

Stacey | 559 comments I wonder if part of the reason I liked it more was that I listened to it. The narrator was a really good match and it really felt like I was listening to Ana. I definitely agree with both of your points but they don't bother me as much as I would expect them to.


message 35: by Jenny (new)

Jenny | 4943 comments Yeah, that sometimes makes all the difference. I'm curious now. Did the narrator change her voice to sound more childlike or more adult?


message 36: by Stacey (new)

Stacey | 559 comments Jenny, for most of it it sounded like her talking about the past but when she read the dialogue she did change her voice to be more childlike.


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Books mentioned in this topic

Girl at War (other topics)

Authors mentioned in this topic

Sara Nović (other topics)