Reviews for Let's Go Swimming on Doomsday, by Natalie C. Anderson

dostojevskijs's review

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4.0

Well, fuck. Just... fuck.

stephisbranded's review against another edition

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3.0

I wanted to love this book more, but I had a difficult time getting drawn into it. It was slower paced, but the details were interesting. I also have some issues with it being written by someone not of the culture. However, she wrote in the Editor's Note that she knows that there are issues with this and that she took a lot of her information from first hand accounts and spoke with many people who were dealing with the issues described in the book. I appreciate that she added that in the book.

carriebohnert's review

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5.0

Simply un-put-down-able. A compelling story, a nuanced narrator, and nail-biting action.

ejoyce's review against another edition

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4.0

3.5 stars

msschaake's review against another edition

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4.0

A very timely, emotional, and realistic story about war, religion, and how the choices we make shape our identities.

libscote's review against another edition

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4.0

Although not an own voices novel, I did really enjoy this one. It tells the story of Abdi, a boy forced by the CIA into being a Lost Boy. His brother had been kidnapped by the Lost Boys earlier, and the CIA grabs the rest of Abdi's family to make him become one and feed them information. The narration flips back and forth between the present and the past. Abdi ends up having to do some horrible things, and feels a lot of guilt about them. With the help of a UN worker named Sam and students at a local girl's school, he slowly opens up.

This is a hard story. It doesn't make the US look good, or the Lost Boys, or the Somali government. There's no real winner in this book, just a bunch of grey areas. That's not always my favorite. Here, though, the context made it easy for me to see. I heard that the structure was hard for some people, but I didn't find it difficult. I think teens will learn a lot from it.

kpuranik's review against another edition

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5.0

{ Book Recommendation}
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Let's go swimming on doomsday.
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The Black and white Kindle cover does not do justice to how pretty the actual book cover is. I have been reading such amazing books lately and this one falls under the bucket of 'Must read' category. Let's go swimming on doomsday is a story that sheds light on how horrible the Somalian refugees' situation has been over the years. But more importantly this book is about Abdi who is the protagonist and goes ahead to break our hearts into a million little pieces.
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When Abdi loses his father to the terrorist group, he faces one tragedy after the other. He has to do unthinkable things to save his family who have been kidnapped. In his pursuit of freeing his family, he becomes part of Al-Shabaab, a ruthless group of young boys who resort to violence to get rid of the Americans. Dahir, his brother is already part of that group who was taken forcefully few years ago and Abdi tries seeking his help to rescue his family. The boys at Al-Shabaab trust Abdi completely and now he has a job of sending messages to the Americans to help them capture the leaders of the group.
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The book is split into NOW and THEN sections, which was initially a little hard to get used to. But few chapters in, I knew I was hooked. Abdi, still a teenager has a tremendously big heart as he takes the burden of releasing his family, freeing his brother and also keep everyone safe around him. The characters in the book are so smartly developed including the Social worker, Sam who sticks around to help Abdi. This is the kind of book that you will feel compelled to finish in just few sittings.
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A lot has been said and read about Somalian refugee scenario but this book helped me in truly understanding how horrendous it is in reality. You read to learn and this book was very educational by also being a splendid read. The world needs more people like Abdi.
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Five stars all the way.

betweentheshelves's review against another edition

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4.0

Read the full post on between-the-shelves.com!

Wow, let me first say that Let’s Go Swimming on Doomsday tackles an extremely difficult subject. For many, it’s a window into a culture not seen in YA lit. Abdi struggles with what happened when he was a part of Al-Shabaab. We get his experience in snippets, flipping between the past and present. While this is a bit difficult to follow at first, the inclusion of dates helps in keeping the reader straight throughout the book.

Anderson paints a light on the horrors that have happened in Somalia through the eyes of a teenager. We feel for Abdi as he tries to cope with the actions he’s committed, and the consequences of those actions. The book moves smoothly from past to present, giving readers a fuller picture of the status of events in Somalia.

Though the author isn’t from Somalia, the detail provided in the text shows that it is thoroughly researched. Anderson creates vivid images that illustrate her attention to the facts, and making parts of the book difficult to read. In the author’s note, she mentions interviewing refugees; while she hasn’t actually been there, she worked to gain the information necessary to create an authentic story.

Overall, the book is well-crafted, featuring an important topic. For me, it was a page turner. I just desperately needed to know that Abdi turns out okay. Well, as okay as can be expected.

harasnicole's review

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5.0

So many fucking tears were shed, holy shit. I think I'm going to take my time writing a longer review because I want it to be "perfect", but just know that I very much highly enjoyed this and it was written with the utmost care by the author. Even if I hadn't read the author's note at the end, I'd still say so.

tabby2920's review

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4.0

Although hard for me to get into at the very beginning, as soon as the story progressed, I had a hard time putting it down. The realistic storytelling will draw in any engrossed reader. I was captivated by the good writing, a unique aspect in YA literature. It was so good that there were times I forgot I was reading a YA book. Some people may have a problem with a fact that the author has never visited the country and that may impede the impact this book gives. However, I think readers need to take into consideration at her experience in refugee work and the writing talent she used to make this one into one amazing YA book. It may not be #ownvoices, but it is a book I feel teens should read to encourage them to learn more about the outside world.