When this book popped up in my Edelweiss feed, I read the synopsis and hit the request button because it seemed interesting. I liked the premise, and since I've read a few too many popcorny YA books lately, I was ready for something meatier. As I opened the file, I checked the box to show it as currently reading on Goodreads and scrolled down to see if there were many reviews yet.
That seems silly now. There are reviews all right:
What The New Yorker thinks
and finally from the author herself.
What did I think?
I'm not a fan of anyone writing a review without reading the book. That seems obvious.
Simply put I enjoyed it. I kept getting interrupted and couldn't wait to get back and see what happened next. I don't usually know anything about the author before I read a book. Some books I don't look up the author at all. Naturally, I knew about the objections that people had about this book before reading but honestly, I just don't care about that stuff. That is a simplified answer as there may be cases where I do care- but in this case, I enjoyed this book for what it is- YA fiction set in a dystopia where Muslims are being sent to internment camps and are trying to escape that fate by sneaking over to Canada.
If anything this story reminded me a bit of The Handmaids Tale (trying to get to Canada, not knowing what side people are on).
The MC Sarah-Mary is fifteen years old. Fifteen-year-old humans do not know it all, they can be unlikeable, and biased and generally, they still have a lot of learning to do. In this case, Sarah-Mary does grow as a person and has to go back to a less than an optimal living situation. I found the plot unfortunately plausible in these days of Trump supporters. We all like to think that we would do the right thing in this situation but we won't know for sure until we are in it.
Homeschoolers- I think the workbooks that Sarah-Mary has to use at her cottage Baptist school are a veiled version of Abeka. Which made me giggle cause they are mind-numbingly dull.
Verdict- Buy it. Adults and teens will enjoy this one. I've preordered a hardcover since my digital preview copy will go poof into cyberspace soon.
I received a DRC of this book from the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
American Heart By Laura Moriarty January 30, 2018