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There was a short reprieve but the book reviews are back. This time it is this one:
I got really happy when I opened the package containing this book because I opened it to discover that it has yellow sprayed pages. I love a sprayed page (it may or may not sometimes be my sole reason for a buying book sometimes…). But looks aside the book itself is a good’un, plus it’s actually been banned from some schools for being controversial and I love me a banned book.
I read it in like a day, which I still get a little thrill out of. It was easy to read but at times nothing like an easy read. Alexie’s writing style felt almost familiar when I started the book, which was odd because this is the first time I have read a book by him, but then it was also kind of comforting. It is part of what makes the book so easy to read for the most part. The way it was written also aided the reader in getting invested real quick. It definitely helped that it was based on events in his own life because it all seemed so real from the get go and you instantly wanted to see the journey that Junior would go on during the narrative.
Junior himself was a very interesting character because of the way that he straddled this two different worlds and the way that he interacted and dealt with this. Alexie did a great job of getting the conflict that Junior had throughout the narrative of trying to move away from life on the reservation whilst also still wanting to be a part of that community.
The book didn’t shy away from anything which considering the audience it is aimed at (not someone in their mid-2o’s) I was surprised by and then could also see why there were all censorship issues with it. In the relatively short amount of pages it covers a lot of topics including sex, violence and death. The inclusion of the last one in particular was a surprise and I did have to double check and re-read some of the pages because I almost didn’t quite believe that it had happened. But it did and the fall out of that was handled so beautifully by Alexie and just further cemented my appreciation for him as a writer.
As a book it also raises a lot of issues for discussion and it makes you think about things. There’s the obvious issues of race and the way that people interact with that on both sides. Then there is a discussion of friendships and relationships within families that change over time and how that affects things. And it does it all through the lens of comedy. I mean it’s a dark kind of comedy and in some ways it almost comes across as a tad insensitive because the book covers serious issues and it seems like it is being made light of through comedy but it also in some ways makes readers pay attention to what is being talked about. If it feels a bit uncomfortable when you’re reading it then it’s probably a good thing in some ways.
Overall, I would definitely recommend giving this book a read if you get a chance. It’s well written, with a great principal character and it handles some serious issues. Also it’s funny.
Parentheses count: 2. See you tomorrow, with another one of these!
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