American War by Omar El Akkad
(Alfred A Knopf – April 4, 2017)
“Come now,” said Yousef. “Everybody fights an American War.”
This quote is just one on the miles-long list of lines that hit me at my very core as I was reading this searingly powerful book. A book that touches on every aspect of modern culture as well as American history of the past 200 years. “American War” is almost impossible for me to review because it is just so immense and culturally significant, not just for America, but for the middle East and the rest of the world as well.
Set in the US from the 2070s – 2090s (and later), this book has war at its heart, but also family and survival and climate change and refugees and torture and the constant clash of the American North and South. This line in particular chilled me: “I drove past dust farms and shack-towns, places riddled with postwar poverty and the occasional three-star flag hanging limp from trailer-side posts – reminders that in so much of the Red, the war stopped, but the war never ended.”
Young adult literature may be churning out dystopian stories left and right, but never have I read a futuristic America so chilling…….and so possible. It isn’t an easy read and it isn’t a happy read, but it is a required read. I will be ruminating on this book for years and years to come. And praying it doesn’t come true.
Add this to Exit West Mohsin Hamid and you’ll have my two MUST READ books of the first half of 2017.
This (and Exit West) was one of my Book of the Month Club selections, and I won’t lie – I’m obsessed with BOTM. I post about them constantly on Instagram and I hoard the special editions on a special book shelf. OBSESSED. If you are at all interested in joining, and want to use my referral link, I have linked it here. If you join by using my link, I get a free book credit and you get 3 months for $9.99 each and a free tote. BOTM has an amazing Instagram community too – just check out the #bookofthemonth posts! I’m sure you’ll see me there…….