Swamplandia! by Karen Russell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
There is so much to say about this book, but I'll try to limit it to non-spoiler comments. The first 50-60 pages really suck you in, and then there's a slight lull in the middle. After finishing, though, I feel like the majority of what was in those pages was necessary for plot and character-development. A coming-of-age tale that spins in some magical realism (or does it?) and also provides a great social commentary, this is a great book club pick because I felt like it was after discussion that I realized how much I liked it.
It may be one that I read again, but not for awhile. There's a lot to think about and digest, but it's wonderfully written, and there are so many places that give the reader pause. Will you get sucked into Ava's voice and naivete, or will you remain skeptical with all of your adult knowledge? I definitely found that I'm a cynic (but only because I've seen the worst too many times). Travel deep into the swamp to be introduced to a world that will seem magical, if only because it's foreign, Swamplandia! is sure to make you start googling alligator parks you can visit in real life!
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