Crystal Rose and her brother JD’s names pretty much sum up their parent’s attention to them. Crystal Rose Rock, named after a drug and JD, named after a popular brand of whiskey. Both children suffered from foetal alcohol syndrome, with Crystal being very underdeveloped and JD afflicted with learning and behavioural disabilities. Their mother was an addict and an alcoholic, while their father was a convicted felon. Fortunately the two children had been abandoned by their mother with their maternal grandparents and had been brought up in a small, Alaskan town, surrounded by love, but also some measure of deceit and lies about the past. Seventeen-year-old Crystal is appalled by the behaviour of her fellow male high-school pupils toward girls in general. They are just there to provide eye candy and easy sex for the boys. The girls, sadly, also seem to play along to the only game in town and Crystal becomes determined to make a difference and change the attitudes toward girls and women. A talented musician and singer, Crystal starts a blog and writes songs about sexism, chauvinism and abuse of women. The boys of the town and even some of the girls hate what she is doing, but she is a fighter. So begins the adventure in The War Blog by Glen Sobey.
As a reviewer, every so often a book crosses my Kindle, especially from a debut author, that makes me sit up and take notice. The War Blog by Glen Sobey is definitely one of those books. Sobey has taken an incredibly powerful and (in today’s environment) a very topical subject and forcefully made us, as readers, address the issues faced by Crystal and all young women today. The author tackles the hard questions head on, through the eyes of this young warrior, Crystal Rose. Although the book covers such angst ridden topics as sexual abuse, alcoholism, drug addiction and the objectification of woman, by viewing these topics through the eyes of a beautiful spirit, such as Crystal, the ugliness of them is softened by the love and warmth of the characters as well as the beautiful poetry of the songs written. I have no idea whether the author is male or female, but either way, I felt Sobey could not have done a better job of highlighting the often meaningless feelings of the younger generation at this time and more importantly, the idea of being trapped by the cultural norms and being judged by how they look and whether or not they “put out”, felt by young women everywhere. This is a powerful novel that all Adult (Young and otherwise) should read. I will be looking for more from this very talented author, in the future.