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  1. Hey guys Jorge Chirino here,
    My overall opinion of “Girl at War” is that this book is really good, if you also take World Lit, I enjoyed this book more than the previous book we had to read “Exit West”. I wanted to talk about the transitions from the past during the Yugoslavian civil war to the “present day” in 9/11/2001. I liked how the past and presents segments are spilt into different parts. The only problem I had with it was while I was reading the story, I didn’t know what was going on until I figured out that the story skipped a couple years in time. It would have been better if they made the time change would have been more apparent. I did like how instead of telling the story from beginning to end, the author chose to start in the past, then went to the present then back.

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    1. Jorge,

      Maybe it’s the wealth of time-travel shows I’ve watched but the change in time was fairly noticeable to myself. Although, again, I watch too many time-travel shows.

      More importantly, I think I can agree with the sentiment you hold about the story’s structure. It is more intriguing, so to say, it holds your attention better by changing between the two different times, seeing the main character as an adult is also an interesting change of pace.

      As critical as I was of Exit West, I think I actually enjoyed it more than Girl at War. The more artistic writing of Exit West was, while frustrating at times, more appealing to my senses as a reader. Although, I would have to say that is mostly a personal preference. On their merit as books and whether they deserve the praise that’s been lauded on them in the past, well, I’ve not read recent literature enough to even say anything. Were I to compare them to my average read, several decades old fantasy and science fiction books, I might find them lacking but that is not necessarily their fault.

      – Hudson B DeLoach

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  2. Howdy y’all,
    I just wanted to focus on one very specific paragraph in the book that can be found in Chapter 2 on page 27.

    “As a side effect of modern warfare, we had the peculiar privilege of watching the destruction of our own country on television. There were only two channels, …, both were devoted to public service announcements, news reports, or political satire, …”

    While not inherently full of depth, this line speaks to something that has become more true about modern warfare as we have moved further into the modern age. While most of us will never have the displeasure of such an acute experience, war has become or has the capacity to become the staple crop of the daily workings of the news media. News interviews with Prince Harry cut short by a perimeter firefight. Reporters in the midst of war acting as correspondents with some group of persons, friendly or otherwise dying just out of sight, right over a horizon or just out of range. More than any other generation, we have one of the widest windows through which we can look to see what is happening while still being safe and at the same time many have become somewhat detached from it.

    – Hudson B DeLoach

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Hudson,
      I do not think that in the modern age we are exposed to as much warfare from the news media as much as people were ten years ago. I do agree that we may be detached from war because we are safe and secure in our homes, but I do not think that the media is responsible for that. Currently the modern mainstream media is more worried about fake stories like the current president Donald Trump colluding with the Russian government to rig the election back in 2016, and call Brett Kavanaugh a rapist without any evidence to those claims.
      There are ways we can be more attached to war. Those ways include movies, TV show, and video games. A good example is Call of Duty: World at War which takes place in World War 2. It shows a more realistic depiction of war even including body part flying off from explosions and shotguns. Since this is in a video game, we can experience what war is like without being apart of it. We have a connection because we are the ones in control of U.S and Soviet Soldiers during one of the biggest and most deadliest wars of all time.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Jorge,
        While I can agree that video games are absolutely capable of producing a more realistic depiction of war, I don’t think they compare in how they relate us to war. At the end of the day, the player realizes that the people within the game are just NPCs with no thought or drive to them. In the same way that I can play a game of Stellaris, a 4x strategy game, and destroy a planet with billions of people on it without remorse, it’s easy to feel no remorse when playing a game. In my personal opinion, the largest games in the FPS genre that focus on war, be it the Battlefield or Call of Duty franchises, often have lacklustre storytelling which hampers their ability to communicate with reality. Shows and movies can have a better crack at the genre simply because they possess fewer demands to satisfy, I think of the German series “Generation War.” However, many continue to focus on the spectacle of war over the real cost. That’s not to their discredit as I consume a lot of such “war media” but it is an absolute reality.

        My claim isn’t necessarily an accusation of the news media, rather an observation of people’s reaction to the ability to simply turn on the TV and watch war unfold in front of them. It’s absolutely true that at the moment the hawk of the media is asleep, it’s been losing speed for a long time now, but its potential is real. My real claim is exposing the fact that many weren’t pressed by real depictions of real war into re-evaluating why we are fighting what are, ostensibly, undeclared wars. I realize it’s a very politically grey area to talk about but I think it’s worth thought.

        – Hudson B DeLoach

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  3. INEXPLICABLE by The Correspondents

    -Part One appears as a reply to another comment-

    With so few words left to type, given my other comment handily blows past 100 words, I’ll talk briefly about the relationship between the song I chose and the book. I won’t claim that this relationship is perfect but I think it fits fairly well once all is considered.

    The song is primarily about the main character becoming disillusioned and realizing how powerless they are to commit the change. The story begins with them construing a tragedy, a car wreck, with them obtaining a superpower. Eventually, they attempt this power in self-defence only to realize it had never existed. Throughout the song, the pessimistic attitude erodes the character.

    I think it relates, at least slightly, to the hopeful innocent of Girl at War’s main character being eroded. Her journey into pessimism later in her life.

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  4. Hello Hudson,
    The problem with Stellaris is that the game is not supposed to make you remorseful about things that happen within the game. Looking back at my comment I should have used a better example like Spec Ops the Line. In the game, you use white phosphorus to make sure the opposition doesn’t get further into the city but then your squad goes and sees the aftermath of the use of the chemical on the civilians in the city.

    The song I wanted to use for the representation on Girl at war is Breaking the Habits by the band Linkin Park. The part of the song that I want to use is in the introduction.

    “Memories consume like opening the wound
    I’m picking me apart again”

    I wanted to show how things we take for granted like shooting fireworks in the fourth of July can be scary for someone like Ana who escaped a war torn country and who had to deal with air raids almost every day. She dealt with that the same way she always knew to.

    Link for Song (With Lyrics):

    Liked by 1 person

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