Top critical review
Okay Read (SPOILERS in the review)
Reviewed in the United States on October 5, 2015
This was an okay read, but I agree with another commenter who said the relationships and characters weren't developed as well as they could have been. There are references to 17/18 year olds having sex (nothing graphic or explicit, but it's not glossed over) and underage drinking, but neither is glorified. The female lead dealing with the impact of a traumatic injury was not gone into in great detail, but it wasn't made all rosy and perfect either - I especially liked that she showed fam
For me, the thing that derailed the story was the sister going to fulfill her brother's dream of joining the Army.
The author notes in the beginning of the book that she did research military stuff, but that she made changes to tell the story she wanted to tell. However, I feel like she went too far on the vague factor when it came to the female lead's military time - she never even tells us what kind of job she has in the military, or where's she's stationed (it's always called "the base" and it seems to be the same place that she did her training). The military part just didn't work at all, and basically is only there to provide the major trauma of the story - I think the same thing could have been accomplished by letting her join the Peace Corps.
I also found the whole idea that Somalia is, in any way, a peaceful place to be a little jarring.
There's no real clues to tell you when the book takes place, other than a few pop-culture references, which I found distracting.