Cannonball Read IV: Swamplandia! by Karen Russell
The book fluctuates between the real world and delving into the fantasy world. At times it is hard to tell what is real and what is fantastical, but that is the joy of the book, as the characters skirt the fine line of their psyche. The difference in how a 13 year old girl, Ava, and the 18 year old boy, Kiwi, deal with the collapse of the park and their impending future is stark. They both have a sense of self righteouness with a mission of goodness. Their well intentions remind me a bit of Russell Banks characters, but with more humor and levity.
The dual journeys of Ava and Kiwi spiral on the verge of out of their control, but they both manage to find their own path towards the salvation of the park. They both have the, unrealistic, end goal of a return to earlier and happier days. The journey is not really about their destination, but rather them both realizing how their world works.
All in all it was an enjoyable ride and the book definitely took some unexpected turns. Fun characters and clever writing kept me hooked all the way through the story.
Worth a paperback or library read.
(Note: Any revenue generated from purchases made through the amazon.com affiliate links in this review will be donated in entirety to the American Cancer Society.)