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Sara Nović

Author of Girl at War

4 Works 1,554 Members 82 Reviews

About the Author

Includes the name: Sara Novic

Works by Sara Nović

Girl at War (2015) 937 copies
True Biz (2022) 589 copies
America Is Immigrants (2019) 26 copies


Common Knowledge



This book was so disappointing on several levels. It was an extremely slow, boring, and tedious read. The book comes in just under 400 pages, which is too long. At least 150 pages should have been cut to make it a much tighter and less rambling book.

There are many craft issues in the book. The dialogue is confusing. There are very few dialogue tags and NO quotation marks used to mark the dialogue. This is confusing when multiple people are in the conversation and you have no clue which one is speaking. Fortunately, the verbal communication and the sign language communication are differentiated by the author putting the sign language in italics. But still, with several deaf people signing at once, it is impossible to know who is communicating.

The story is not told in a clear manner. The chapters alternate between those following Austin, Charlie, and February. But the time lines do not match up and the time frame of the chapters is often unclear. There are many POV shifts, even in the same paragraph. For example at one point, the story is following Charlie and then all of a sudden we are told what Austin is thinking. How would Charlie know Austin’s thoughts? An editor should have caught these errors. There was no discernible plot in the book. The characters just existed.

The story reads more like a newspaper account than a work of fiction. This happened, then this happened, and then this happened. This writing style became boring quickly. There was too much telling the reader what happened and not enough showing us. The book rarely described the setting or what the characters looked like, their mannerisms, or the body expressions.

The character development was nonexistent. The characters were no more than words on the page. I never felt I knew any of the characters, and as a result, could not emphasize with them or pull for their success. There were too many characters, many who made a single appearance and never returned. I counted almost 50 characters.

The worst part of the book is that it was obvious the author used to book and the characters to express and further her personal beliefs and her stand against Cochlear Implantation Surgery. If the author feels so strongly against CI surgery, she should have written a nonfiction book, not forced her personal views in a novel.

One aspect I found unrealistic was when February caught three of her students committing a felony (attempting to blow up a building), but did nothing about it. She covered for them and did not report them to the police. She is the headmaster at their school and let them off without punishment. As a reader, I could not accept that she would act in that way.

The ending was unrealistic and a major disappointment. The book ended suddenly with no resolution of several threads. What happened next between Mel and February? Did they resolve their differences? Did they have to move out of their home? Was the school closed? If so, what happened to Austin and Charlie? Did Sky get the CI surgery? Were Charlie, Eliot and Austin ever punished for their crimes? So many loose threads were left hanging.

Many of the chapters had a page or two at the end showing how to sign different words, or a history of deaf schools, a history of the development of sign language, or of movements on behalf of deaf individuals. This was totally unnecessary and added to the bloat of the book. These pages should have been cut. That would helped reduce the size of the already too long book.

This is not a book I recommend. It was a struggle to finish and I almost DNF’d it several times.
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dwcofer | 28 other reviews | Nov 17, 2023 |
This strory is about the students at River Valley school of the deaf. Charlie and Austin students and February the schools headmistriss who is fighting to keep her school open. I learned alot about deaf culture in this book but I found the end so unsatisfying and I felt the story could have continued a bit longer.
janismack | 28 other reviews | Nov 8, 2023 |
4.5* This book was an amazing read...more than I expected. It is a fictional story set in a school for the deaf in Ohio. While there is an underlying story, the author used this platform to discuss the spectrum of experiences of deaf children in the education system and in their personal lives. Interspersed throughout the book are explanations of ASL with illustrations, copies of relevant news reports and other "extra" information that gives context to the story as it evolves. I thought the structure was brilliant and the story was enough to carry the reader along to the conclusion. I learned a lot and am grateful for the experience.… (more)
beebeereads | 28 other reviews | Oct 6, 2023 |
I don’t know how to rate this book - some aspects of the book were a two, some aspects were a five….
battlestara | 28 other reviews | Oct 4, 2023 |



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