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War and Watermelon: Review

Title: War and Watermelon
Author: Rich Wallace
Release Date: June 2011
Published By: Viking
Pages: 192
Goodreads Rating: 3.93 stars

Review: It's the summer of 1969, and twelve-year-old Brody lives in sheltered New Jersey, worrying only about the top ten hits on the radio and how much play time he'll get on his football team. But when his older brother brings him to Woodstock, for the first time, his eyes are opened to the changing surrounding around him, and what he sees scares him. Because this world just might steal his eighteen-year-old brother away from him.

WAR AND WATERMELON is a fast-paced, easy read that sucks in your attention from the first page and doesn't let go. Brody has an honest and engaging voice that at once has the immaturity of a twelve-year-old and the maturity of a boy starting to grow up. Although topics like his football team and his attempts at getting girls are covered, a large part of the story deals with serious themes of hippies, war, and family, making this both an entertaining and meaningful novel.

If I had to make one complaint, it would be about the ending. Perhaps it's just me because in other reviews I've come across no one mentioned this, but I felt that the ending was a little abrupt and didn't satisfy me as much as it could have. I was actually rather surprised when I read it and then turned the page and saw it was, in fact, the end.

Other than that, WAR AND WATERMELON was an enjoyable read. It's a deceptively small book with simple, clipped prose but a wealth of themes and a unique story taking place in a time of upheaval and change. Brody feels like a real person, with a developed character and innocence that translates well across the page. Though I wasn't the biggest fan of the ending, this is a coming-of-age story that I would recommend to anyone.

Check out the rest of the tour here.


heathertlc said...

I'm glad that you can still recommend it even though you didn't love the ending. Thanks for being on the tour!

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