Sep 16, 2015

Book Review: Girl at War by Sara Nović

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Review by Suze

Ana is a happy girl. She's living in Zagreb with her parents and baby sister. They spend their summers at the seaside and even though they aren't rich their life is good. In 1991 the civil war breaks out and it changes a lot for Ana and her family. Food is getting scarcer, there won't be any holiday that summer and Ana and her friends play war games in the city that's slowly changing. When Ana's sister gets sick her parents are desperate. There's no good medical aid and that is what their child needs to survive. They're willing to do anything to make their baby better and that means they're taking risks.

Ten years later Ana is living in New York, she's a student and nobody there knows where she's from originally. They think she's American. They don't know what she's been through and they think she's a normal American girl. She's still having nightmares and can't make peace with everything that happened to her. She has to face her troubling past to be able to deal with the future.

Girl at War is a beautiful story about a girl who's seen too much. Ana's life has changed so much because of the war and I think Sara Nović described everything that happened to her in such an impressive way. It was like I could see it. This isn't a light and happy story. What happened to Ana is awful. I greatly admired her, she's brave and she's a survivor. Even though nothing is easy for her she keeps fighting. Sometimes literally. It made me angry to read what happened to Ana when she was still such a little girl. 

This book is raw and it made me feel so many things at the same time. I think Girl at War is a story that has to be read. It's a book I will remember for the rest of my life. It's impressive and definitely worth reading. War is terrible and traumatizing and it's something that people should never forget. I learned a lot about the Yugoslavian civil war and about war in general. Girl at War is such a good book, it's emotional and Sara Nović's great writing makes everything come to life really well. I can't stop thinking about Ana and her story, in my opinion this book is a must-read.

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