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Girl at War
Girl at War: A Novel | Sara Novic
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY BOOKPAGE,BOOKLIST, AND ELECTRIC LITERATURE ALEX AWARD WINNER LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE FINALIST For readers of The Tigers Wife and All the Light We Cannot See comes a powerful debut novel about a girls coming of ageand how her sense of family, friendship, love, and belonging is profoundly shaped by war. Zagreb, 1991. Ana Juri? is a carefree ten-year-old, living with her family in a small apartment in Croatias capital. But that year, civil war breaks out across Yugoslavia, splintering Anas idyllic childhood. Daily life is altered by food rations and air raid drills, and soccer matches are replaced by sniper fire. Neighbors grow suspicious of one another, and Anas sense of safety starts to fray. When the war arrives at her doorstep, Ana must find her way in a dangerous world. New York, 2001. Ana is now a college student in Manhattan. Though shes tried to move on from her past, she cant escape her memories of warsecrets she keeps even from those closest to her. Haunted by the events that forever changed her family, Ana returns to Croatia after a decade away, hoping to make peace with the place she once called home. As she faces her ghosts, she must come to terms with her countrys difficult history and the events that interrupted her childhood years before. Moving back and forth through time, Girl at War is an honest, generous, brilliantly written novel that illuminates how history shapes the individual. Sara Novi? fearlessly shows the impact of war on one young girland its legacy on all of us. Its a debut by a writer who has stared into recent history to find a story that continues to resonate today. Praise for Girl at War Outstanding . . . Girl at War performs the miracle of making the stories of broken lives in a distant country feel as large and universal as myth.The New York Times Book Review (Editors Choice) [An] old-fashioned page-turner that will demand all of the readers attention, happily given. A debut novel that astonishes.Vanity Fair Shattering . . . The book begins with what deserves to become one of contemporary literatures more memorable opening lines. The sentences that follow are equally as lyrical as a folk lament and as taut as metal wire wrapped through an electrified fence.USA TodayGripping . . . Novi?, in tender and eloquent prose, explores the challenge of how to live even after one has survived.O: The Oprah MagazinePowerful and vividly wrought . . . Novi? writes about horrors with an elegant understatement. In cool, accomplished sentences, we are met with the gravity, brutality and even the mundaneness of war and loss as well as the enduring capacity to live.San Francisco ChronicleIntimate and immense . . . a writer whose own gravity and talent anchor this novel.The New York TimesAn important and profoundly moving reading experience.The NationalRemarkable.Julia Glass, The Boston Globe[A] powerful, gorgeous debut novel.Adam Johnson, The WeekAn unforgettable portrait of how war forever changes the life of the individual. . . a writer working with deep reserves of talent, heart, and mind.Gary Shteyngart, author of Super Sad True Love StoryFrom the Hardcover edition.
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Sarahreadstoomuch
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Pickpick

Finished this audiobook this afternoon (#24b42020) and it was so good! I started a new puzzle just to keep listening until the end. Very intense story of the main characters experience during and after the Croatian War for independence. #wintergames #teamnutcracker #tbrread #readmyowndamnbooks

Bookworm54 16 points :) 3w
LoverOfLearning Love this cover! 3w
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suvata
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Pickpick

Continuing my TBR project:
This is one the oldest selection on my TBR list - Originally added December 16, 2015.

Ana is a college student in New York in 2001. She is haunted by her memories of the 1991 Yugoslavian civil war that that took place when she and her family lived in Croatia. This is a powerful coming-of-age story about the impact of war on a family. This debut novel is beautifully written and memorable.

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suvata
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cariashley
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Sobering but a really excellent debut. I‘m so glad I read it as I was visiting the Balkans for the first time. Croatia is a wonderful place and I can‘t believe how recently the conflict happened here. I took this photo from our hotel in Hvar Town. 🇭🇷

Bibliogeekery Great shot! 8mo
cariashley @Bibliogeekery thanks! ☺️ 8mo
52 likes2 comments
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cariashley
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I‘m in Dalmatia, Croatia and Montenegro for the next week and had started this book right before leaving. It‘s excellent but sobering - I didn‘t realize how little I really knew about the Yugoslavian conflict. Here‘s a photo of Diocletian‘s Palace in Split. This country is beautiful and amazing so far. 🇭🇷

Tanisha_A Beautiful! Enjoy your vacation! 😍 8mo
cariashley @Tanisha_A thank you! ☺️ 8mo
TrishB Enjoy 💕 8mo
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BookishTrish ❤️Have a great trip! 8mo
zezeki How long will you be staying in Split? That is the town where I go to uni. 😁 8mo
cariashley @zezeki no way!! I didn‘t realize. We only stayed there Friday night and are in Hvar now before heading to Dubrovnik on Tuesday. Loved Split, though! 8mo
64 likes7 comments
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sissynrg
Pickpick

Was very surprised how much I enjoyed this book. I usually don‘t read historical fiction, but the first part of the book sucked me in and grabbed hold. Though the ending was one to be desired

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plemmdog
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Mehso-so

The first third of this was great. Terrific writing, but the first-person narration eventually felt emotionally ingenuine. I wish the author had stuck to one time period.

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Valeka
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Went to the Dollar Store for a few gift bags and walked out with three well-rated books! Yay me!

Reviewsbylola Win-win! 11mo
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GinEyre22
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Current status of 2019#LitsyAtoZ

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Readaholics
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An amazing story about a Anna - a 10-year-old girl who survives the Serbian-Croatian war. She moves to the US after her parents are brutally murdered in front of her. The aftermath of the conflict continues to haunt her throughout her life.

MallenNC I really liked this one too! 12mo
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Readaholics
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This story of a girl growing up in war-torn Croatia, watching her parents get shot and trying to piece together a new life in America is haunting. I loved the honesty and raw emotion written into the protagonist by the author. Truly a book everyone should read to understand how the UN/US can‘t stop the horror of war reverberating through a woman‘s life. Very brave.

Jennick2004 😞 12mo
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Readaholics
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I‘m blown away by this story of a girl growing up in war torn Croatia and then learning to survive as an orphan displaced in the U.S. The author highlights the long term affects of war on the youngest survivors and the complexity of emotions around the UN and our government in helping resolve the conflict. Very timely today as we continue to debate immigration policies. And frankly, the story of her parents‘ death is heartbreaking and haunting.

BookFreakOut Great review, I picked up a used copy of this ages ago so it's nice to hear it's worth reading. 12mo
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BritanyA
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⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️: Let the Balkan vacation commence. This was a heartbreaking account of the Yugoslav breakup and I really enjoyed it. Looking forward to more from Ms Novic. #HistoricalFiction

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hes7
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"Zagreb seemed both smaller and more beautiful than the simulacrum I'd constructed in my head. Red and yellow tulips bloomed in beds across the city, and the cobblestone walkways, soaked in summer sun, looked cleaner than I remembered."

The history that haunts Ana is mostly new to me, and it has been fascinating—heartbreaking and tragic, too—to see Croatia through the lens of her experience. It‘s a great story.

#BackpackEurope: Croatia ✔️

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hes7
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“‘What are you looking for?‘ said Luka. ‘You just need to follow the signs for Dubrovnik.‘”

In 1991, Dubrovnik came under siege for seven months. It suffered significant damage and has since undergone restoration. Like the city, Ana does not survive the war unscathed. Damaged and haunted by all she has lost, she must learn how to come to terms with her past, her memories, and who she will be as a result.

Landmark for #BackpackEurope

SqueakyChu Dubrovnik was such a lovely city. It hard to imagine it in a war. 1y
Itchyfeetreader I visited a photography exhibition last year of Dubrovnik at war. The images were heartbreaking 1y
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hes7
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I‘m moving on to Croatia now, and I think it might break my heart.

#BackpackEurope #MountTBR

Itchyfeetreader This was my Croatia pick interested to see why you think 1y
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Itchyfeetreader
Pickpick

At times uneven this was a moving story of a young girls caught up in civil war and genocide. Not sure if it was because the main character is young but at times it felt like a YA novel. #backpackeurope @JenP

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MallenNC
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These #AugustIsATrip posts have been so fun, and I've found some great books through it. I've read the tagged book, set in #Croatia, but I found the other two when search for something for this post. More for the #TBR

@Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @vkois88

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I have the tagged one on my shelf!! I‘m thinking of doing another prompt like this one! 💗 1y
MallenNC @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks It has been fun! I like reading books set around the world so I've found some good additions or remembered some that I enjoyed already. (edited) 1y
vkois88 They all sound good 1y
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erzascarletbookgasm
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vkois88 Sounds good. 1y
minkyb This is an excellent book! 1y
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Bookzombie
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#24in48 Hour 12 Challenge: A Whole New World - I think Girl At War and more recently A Land Of Permanent Goodbyes gave me a different perspective on war and the people that are impacted. I recommend reading both.

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Literaturenut
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This was an emotional read, especially in light of current events. Simple, but beautiful prose, and a compelling story. #booked2018 #getreading2018 #refugeemaincharacter #8of36 #audiobook

Cinfhen I need to get to this one 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage Great pick! 👏🏻👏🏻 @4thhouseontheleft 1y
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LaurenReads
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So good, but so sad!
I had students that were refugees from this area and I only knew a little bit about what they had experienced. We had to change our bells because they thought they were air raid sirens. I‘ll never forget comforting a 5 year old that saw more than a grown up could even handle.

PenguinInFlight 😢I can‘t imagine being an adult and living through this, let alone a 5 year old. That‘s heartbreaking. 2y
Tanisha_A 😔 Scarring! 2y
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FernsAndFairyTales
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Pickpick

Simple and sad and lovely. I appreciated that this book ended when it did. It was willing to leave some questions open and didn‘t feel the need to extend the story into an epic quest for answers.

sofiaga I really enjoyed this book too. 2y
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erinreads
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How does anyone get any reading done in a doctor‘s office waiting room? My husband was called like 15 minutes ago and I‘ve maybe read like 3 pages. 😭

Kaye I always bring a book but never read it. I‘m always too nervous at the Dr to pay attention to a book. 2y
erinreads @Kaye I‘m generally fine when it‘s my appointment, but I think I was a little anxious for my husband. Plus the waiting room would get so quiet and then one of the office people would just start talking really loudly. It was so jarring and annoying. 2y
Reviewsbylola This happens to me sometimes too. I hope everything is ok with your husband! 2y
cherinium I always have a hard time reading anywhere public. I guess I'm just too easily distracted. It doesn't stop me from trying, though! 🌺 2y
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emilyhaldi
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Ana grows #tiredoftalking after she witnesses horrific wartime events in her home country of Croatia. She is adopted by an American family and introduced to a new life of stability but takes years to feel comfortable confronting her past or speaking of her trauma to anyone. I found the story of her childhood in a war-torn country fascinating. The latter half less so, but worth the read for a perspective on a war I know little about.
#aprella

BarbaraBB Sounds interesting! 2y
Reviewsbylola Never heard of this one. 2y
L_auren Ah I‘ve been wanting to read this one for so long! 2y
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Tove_Reads I liked it! 2y
mrp27 This was a good one! 2y
emilyhaldi It's a pretty quick read! @L_auren 2y
Mdargusch Nice one! 2y
Cinfhen This is on my #passportLitsy for #Serbia 🌎 2y
ValerieAndBooks This is a good one! 2y
minkyb On target review @emilyhaldi I thought this was well written and should have received more attention. 2y
emilyhaldi @minkyb thanks you're the sweetest 😘 2y
LauraBeth I‘m with @Reviewsbylola - haven‘t ever heard of this one. Sounds stackable! 📚 2y
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erinreads
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A blurb from Anthony Marra? I think I‘m going to love this one. 🙌🏻

saresmoore Heck yes! I‘ll be interested to hear how you like this. 2y
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erinreads
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Well, change of plans. While I‘m eager to get back to Lilli de Jong, I was in bed watching a movie and then my husband fell asleep and now I‘m too warm and comfy to get up, so time for a new book on the Kindle, I guess. I have a physical copy of this one, but I got the ebook from my library just now to read a planned book from my #Booked2018 TBR. Probably won‘t add much more time to today‘s #25infive count at this rate. 😴😴😴

Captivatedbybooks I need to stop finding e-versions of the books im reading because than im up all night reading. I want to have a letter out to you soon. I hide the one you sent so damn good i cant find it! Thank god i have a photographic memory 2y
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SarahRotenberry
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Feb ‘18 reads. A very enjoyable month for reading! My favorites of these were Girl at War and The Hate U Give

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ValerieAndBooks
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Pickpick

Excellent debut novel about the Yugoslavian civil war; how 10-yo Ana (Croatian) endures it, and how adult Ana deals with life in the USA (not easily).

The PB edition includes an essay by the author about what it‘s like to be a Deaf author. I‘ll be going back to it again and again. Fortunately, this essay is also online: https://theguardian.com/books/2015/may/23/what-its-like-to-be-a-deaf-novelist

Bookzombie Thank you for sharing this. I read this in hard cover from the library so it didn‘t have the essay. 2y
sofiaga I really loved this book too 2y
ValerieAndBooks @Bookzombie you‘re welcome. If you google her, you‘ll find other excellent essays by her 👍 2y
ValerieAndBooks @sofiaga I thought it was very well-done. She succeeded in showing hardships without being too graphic. 2y
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ValerieAndBooks
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First line: “The war in Zagreb began over a pack of cigarettes.”

I‘ve been curious about this novel after finding out the author is deaf (as am I). Ordered it when I found it at bookoutlet.com!!

Starting this now, while waiting for son to have a cavity filled.

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REPollock
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Oh wow, I made it past 1000 and didn‘t notice! I realize that‘s small beer compared to most of you but I‘m pleased to see it! Thanks for sharing all this reading with me!

2BR02B Congrats! 👏👏 2y
Ash.on.the.line Congrats! 🎉 any milestone is worth celebrating! 👏🏼🎊☺️ 2y
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REPollock
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Oh hearts.

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iamjillsid
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I swear she likes listening to me read aloud.

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IndianaRed
Pickpick

Sarah has written a nice novel about a young girl named Ana. Ana lives in Croatia. In 1992 she is 9 years old when the civil war breaks out across Yugoslavia. This story gives an in depth look as to what her town, friends, and family experienced during the start of it.

Loved it!

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Lacythebookworm
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A stop by BN resulted in two books from my TBR and a card game!

cariashley In Order to Live is so good - harrowing though! 2y
Foxyfictionista I loved Girl at War 2y
emtobiasz Hmmm, I'm intrigued by the card game! 2y
See All 7 Comments
youneverarrived I just finished In Order to Live. Heartbreaking read 💔 2y
Lacythebookworm @Foxyfictionista I‘m so glad to hear that! It‘s been on my TBR for a while, so I was stoked to get it for $6! 2y
Lacythebookworm @cariashley @youneverarrived I‘m so intrigued by stories of North Korea. I‘ve heard such great things about this one! 2y
Lacythebookworm @emtobiasz I‘m planning to play the card game tonight, I‘ll report back! 😊 2y
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Centique
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#rocktober #knowyourenemy

In a civil war your neighbour could be your enemy. Ana, a 10 year old girl living in Croatia in the 90s notices tensions rising in town as a shopkeeper asks her “Serbian or Croatian?” and suddenly that question is everywhere.
This was a great book about a war I knew very little about. Highly recommend.

Cathythoughts Sounds good & that cover is so beautiful 😍 2y
Cinfhen This is my choice for #Serbia #PassportLitsy ~ looking forward to this one 💖 2y
Centique @Cathythoughts it is! Hope you love it 🤞 2y
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Centique @Cinfhen that‘s great! I think you‘ll really like it. 😊 2y
BarbaraBB What a good choice. I‘ll check this book out! 2y
Libby1 My son was asked by other children at the park the other day whether he was a Catholic or a Protestant. Sigh. We live in Northern Ireland. 2y
ChasingOm I love reading books (historical fiction or nonfiction) about historical events I had never heard of. 2y
emilyhaldi This has been on my TBR for a while! The historical events are something I know little about, so I‘m looking forward to learning! 2y
Centique @Libby1 oh man! It‘s rough isn‘t it? 💕 2y
Centique @ChasingOm me too! It‘s a great way to learn. 2y
Centique @emilyhaldi it certainly puts you right in the middle of it. Hope you enjoy it. 2y
lynneamch I definitely need to read this one. Many refugees from this war came to our city and I had several as students at the community college. For the most part they did not want to talk about it and, of course, we respected that. 2y
Centique @lynneamch that‘s fascinating. I think you would be really moved by this book after meeting them. 2y
cajunsyd Great book!! 2y
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Onioons
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Harrowing at times, this novel gave a great insight into the human consequences of war. The carefree life of ten year old Ana begins to fade as she becomes more aware of tensions between her Croatian and Serbian neighbours. And as confrontations grow, her family face new and unexpected dangers...

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sofiaga
Pickpick

I sympathized with Ana from the start. Novic made this a beautiful nostalgic book. It tell the story of a girl who suffered greatly at war without being overdramatic. Instead she focused on the things that can help you find home in spite of the pain.

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sofiaga
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I love having lunch by myself and get time to read in the middle of the work day.

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everfree7

Starting Girl at War!

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Foxyfictionista
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Pickpick

🇭🇷 🇭🇷 🇭🇷🇭🇷🇭🇷 This book was stunningly beautiful. I've never read a book that took place in Croatia before so it was great to read something that takes place somewhere that is unfamiliar to me. In the early 90s I didn't really pay too much attention to the news so I vaguely knew that something went on in that part of the world but I wasn't curious enough at the time to pay attention. I want to learn more. My N selection for #LitsyAtoZ

minkyb Totally agree. 3y
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feminismandyoga
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Pickpick

This was a great book. Its heart and gut wrenching, but really well done. My only issue was the end felt a little abrupt and open ended, like it wasn't really leading to something but the author just picked where to end it. Maybe that was the point though, not treating her life as if her story is over so early. I don't know, but it was good.

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Suelizbeth
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Pickpick

The author chose as narrator, a child of ten, which gives the story of the war she survives, an odd slant. At times, it becomes a game for her, but of course, as she ages, it comes back to her in horrible detail that she must learn to sort through and live with. Still, it is a relatable novel and though it is open ended, we have the important answers. #litsypartyofone

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rachelwill
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Pickpick

Book 11: Not quite a thriller, not quite a historical fictional memoir but Girl at War sure is an engaging read. The story follows Ana through two timelines in parallel - her traumatic childhood during the Yugoslavian civil war and in college in America where, try as she might, her past will always follow.

For a period of history from within my lifetime, it made me realise how little I knew about this time - something I'll be rectifying.

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Skybariline
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Mehso-so

Good story about the civil war in Croatia, but I would have liked more depth. It also seemed unfinished.

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prowlix
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This has been on my tbr since I first heard all the buzz when it was first published. Now there doesn't seem to be any good reason not to cave into #kindledeals

OffTheBeatenShelf.com It's super good! 3y
prowlix @OffTheBeatenShelf.com excellent! I'm going to visit my parents next week and need to have my kindle full of options 3y
35 likes2 comments