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Read All The Things! Reviews

A mini-me version of Read All The Things!

Swamplandia!

Swamplandia! - Karen Russell A family of alligator wrestlers goes on a quest to save their island theme park and themselves. Chief Bigtree, the father, is delusional about the future of the park. Ossie, the older sister, needs to get to the underworld to marry a ghost. Kiwi, the older brother, is trying to survive on the mainland. Ava, the younger sister, is left alone in the swamp with the creepy Birdman.

This book started weird and ended terrifying. It was definitely a strange story. The setting was one of the most vivid settings I've ever read. The setting had its own backstory. The characters were complex, unusual, and interesting. My favorite character was Kiwi. I loved his horrible name and huge ego. The plot was crazy and unexpected: I didn't see that ending coming. The writing was beautiful and quirky.

My only complaint was the pacing. It felt like it took me forever to get through the book. The story floundered in places and didn't feel like it was going anywhere. I was just reading for Kiwi and the author's amazing writing. Those things weren't really enough to keep me going, and several times I considered putting the book down and reading something else. The ending also felt slightly rushed.

This story makes you think about the murky space between the end of childhood and the beginning of adulthood. I'm glad that I didn't give up on it. Despite its pacing, this was a wonderful, dark, and messy book.