Wednesday, July 15, 2009

107 - The God of War; Marisa Silver


Okay first off, I can't hold back any longer: I LOVED this book!!! I was not sure I would, when I looked at the cover and read the title but, "don't judge a book by its cover"---trust me on this one, and the story is not about war either.
The God of War, by Marisa Silver is actually a coming of age story. It is one of those rare gems that I did not want to put down once I started it, and, when I turned the final page (just 271), I had wished it was longer.
The story takes place in 1978, and is narrated by twelve (almost 13) year old Ares (God of War - Greek Mythology), Ramirez. Ares, lives with his unconventional mother Laurel in a run down trailer in a remote desert community near San Diego. Laurel loves the Salton Sea (actually a polluted lake near San Diego). She tells her twelve year old son she wants to be buried there and her ashes spread into the sea. Laurel does not trust: government, corporations or schools, and she has even warned her son, Ares about religion. The boys are pretty much free to do as they please while their mother works or spends time with the latest man in her life. Still there is no doubt Laurel loves her sons.
Ares is a sensitive but conflicted boy who feels responsible for his brother Malcolm. Ares had dropped his brother Malcolm when he was just one year old. For six years he has lived with guilt as a result of that accident.
Malcolm is almost seven year old now and appears mentally disabled: he cannot speak, reacts inappropriately, acts out in school, and cannot read or write. When Malcolm bites his teacher, it seems to be the final straw for him in a regular classroom. However, Mrs Poole, the school librarian agrees to work with Malcolm at her home on a weekly basis.
Ares visits Mrs. Poole's home while she is working with his brother, and seems to enjoy being there. The stability of a seemingly normal home appeals to Ares, but The Pooles have problems of their own -- Kevin is a troubled foster son who has been in and out of residential treatment facilities. Ares and Kevin begin to spend time together when tragedy strikes.
The God of War is an intense story with memorable but flawed characters that most readers will not easily forget. One of the best coming of age stories that I've read in years. I look forward to reading more books by this talented author. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Thank you Simon & Schuster for sending this wonderful book my way!
RATING - 5/5; COMPLETED - 7/15/09; REVIEW


18 comments:

  1. Wow, this book sounds fantastic! I'm adding it to my wish list.

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  2. I gave you an award! You can pick it up at my blog!

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  3. I gave you an award. Head on over to my blog to pick it up!

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  4. Highly recommended. I like that! I'm adding it to my TBR List - sounds good. :)

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  5. Oh, this definitely sounds like a book for me even though I would have to put it off for w hile since it sounds emotionally engaging.

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  6. I am glad you enjoyed this one, Diane. It's in my TBR pile and I admit I was a little worried about it. You make it sound so good though!

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  7. This sounds great. Adding it to the list right now.

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  8. This sounds like a very intense and unique read - I'm going to look for it!

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  9. Another highly recommeded book! I have just nominated you for the best general review blog for the BBAW, as the number of books you add to my TBR pile is about 3x more than any other blog! Thank you so much for all the bookish inspiration!

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  10. Ooh, this one does sound good! Thanks for the recommendation.

    --Anna
    Diary of an Eccentric

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  11. Great review, Diane! I've had this book on my shelf forever and am glad to hear you really enjoyed it. Maybe I'll have to move it up on my stack! :)

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  12. Wow, this book sounds really good, and what a stellar review. I have a bad habit of judging a book by its cover sometimes, but I'll pick this one up if I see it. Thank you. =)

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  13. Hi Diane,

    Just passing by again to say there's something waiting for you to pick up over at my blog. =)

    http://bambireads.blogspot.com/2009/07/lets-be-friends-award.html

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  14. On the contrary, I actually find the cover appealing :)

    Nice review Diane, the story sounds interesting. I like coming-of-age stories. Thanks.

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  15. Wow, you really loved this book! I must say it must be pretty impressive, Diane. I would not have picked up this book at first glance either, but your review has given me cause to reconsider. Thanks for the review!

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  16. I love coming of age stories... and this is a new to me book. Thanks so much for reviewing it.

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  17. I saw a galley of this at my work. I haven't felt compelled to read it yet, but perhaps I'll give it a try.

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  18. The title and cover wouldn't have caught my either, but it does sound good. Thanks for the review!

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