A Land of Permanent Goodbyes

by Atia Abawi
First sentence: “You were born to die.”
Support your local independent bookstore: buy it there!
Review copy provided by the publisher.
Release date: January 23, 2018
Content: There are some disturbing scenes of violence in the book, both due to war and due to extremists. It will be in the Young Adult (grades 6-8) section of the bookstore.

I’m going to say this up front: I couldn’t finish this one. It’s not because it was bad; it’s actually an important book, being about the Syrian civil war and the things the refugees go through to survive. It’s stark and unflinching.

And it’s narrated by Destiny.

Which is my problem.

Much like The Book Thief, I just couldn’t get into a book narrated by an ephemeral, all-seeing third entity. I just can’t. I tried. I gave it half the book, and I’d be okay with it for a while, but then Destiny would stick its nose into the story and pull me back out of it.

I was in the minority with The Book Thief, and I suspect I’ll be in the minority with this one. As I said, it’s important. It’s a book about an important subject, written by a person of color. I just wish I could have finished it.

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