Free Reading When We Were Vikings –

A Heart Swelling Debut For Fans Of The Silver Linings Playbook And The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night TimeSometimes Life Isn T As Simple As Heroes And Villains For Zelda, A Twenty One Year Old Viking Enthusiast Who Lives With Her Older Brother, Gert, Life Is Best Lived With Some Basic Rules A Smile Means Thank You For Doing Something Small That I Liked Fist Bumps And Dabs Respect Strange People Are Not Appreciated In Her Home Tomatoes Must Go In The Middle Of The Sandwich And Not Get The Bread Wet Sometimes The Most Important Things Don T Fit On ListsBut When Zelda Finds Out That Gert Has Resorted To Some Questionable And Dangerous Methods To Make Enough Money To Keep Them Afloat, Zelda Decides To Launch Her Own Quest Her Mission To Be Legendary It Isn T Long Before Zelda Finds Herself In A Battle That Tests The Reach Of Her Heroism, Her Love For Her Brother, And The Depth Of Her Viking Strength When We Were Vikings Is An Uplifting Debut About An Unlikely Heroine Whose Journey Will Leave You Wanting To Embark On A Quest Of Your Own, Because After AllWe Are All Legends Of Our Own Making Zelda s mother drank too much when she was expecting her Zelda is developmentally disabled The world views her as limited her own brother feels he must always protect her, especially from a deviant uncle In the long run, Zelda, who embraces the Viking code and philosophy, fares far better than her other tribe members She sees herself as a hero living out her own legend At the age of twenty one she has decided to have sex with her emotionally immature boyfriend She fears monsters she calls grendels, named for the monster Beowulf fought and killed Gert, her brother, continually makes bad choices and eventually Zelda becomes involved with his business associates filled with grendels Slowly through much pain for her and the people she loves, the members of her tribe, she evolves, realizing what a true Viking hero is Andrew David MacDonald has written a sad novel about the broken people we see in our society, at the same time affording us the opportunity to cheer them on as the story progresses This is realism at its best. Thank you, Netgalley, for an ARC Wow, what a good read A story I was into, with real daily life problems being address by an unlikely heroine you can only root for, with her Viking philosophies quick at hand and a desire to write her own legend.I d certainly compare this to the Curious Incident of the Dog inasmuch as a young, mentally different protagonist leads the story, and the blunt narration made it easy but also immersive to read But this was a young woman s story, one I was infinitely invested in by only a few pages in This was a novel full of heart Zelda s struggles are framed through her love of Viking culture, and it really showed how she could be just like the rest of us Her grand Viking legend might have begun with simple goals like get a job, help her tribe family with money, and defeat growing challenges and villains in her life, but it didn t make it any less important a Viking tale Zelda s bluntness and unflowery narration was really refreshing, and easy to read Living as one on the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum, she s frank about everything from sex and periods to telling off gangsters, and she never seems less than despite her cognitive differences As someone with a brain that also works differently sometimes, I found her sensitivity to smells, noises, and traumatic memories refreshing and relatable to read about Her brother was an interesting guardian, a rough looking thuggish type who nonetheless tries his best to keep her living in her comfort zone and goes to school on scholarship His girlfriend, known as AK47, was a stellar supporting character Like the title implies, Zelda s love of Viking culture guides most of the plot, and is simultaneously quirky, charming and so cool I love that it gave her impetus to study something, to focus hard and absorb so much complex information she uses norse phrases in daily life and it was cute I like how she framed her life by Viking guidelines when her brother and her get off the wrong page, clan meetings are in order her boyfriend is the fair maiden in her legend she can be the heroine of her own story and emulate the honored Viking warrior she reads about and there are villains to defeat in the form of her the drug gang her brother has fallen in with This book checked a lot of boxes for me A quirky and cognitive challenged female protagonist, thorough dissemination of Viking culture throughout the plot in an organic and education manner, relatable life problems beyond Zelda s obvious challenges, and heartwarming moments of a girl navigating her own quest through a world that doesn t always understand her The diversity aspects, the girl power, the frank narration I loved it all. You wouldn t know it by reading the legends of our own making blurbs, but this is not an upbeat, uplifting story At best it s a intellectually and socioeconomically disadvantaged heroine can kind of cope in the world with a lot of help from savior characters after going through a bunch of really awful stuff I m a bit surprised everyone is so overwhelmingly effusive Is it the novelty of the FAS narrator Or the tidy ish ending after what is, mostly, a depressing story As fond as I am of the f word myself, the language began to grate on me, and quickly Innocent but disastrous first time sex is fine, but attempted rape not so much In any case I started reading what I thought would be an analog to the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time although I read that a million years ago, I loved it then and ended up alarmed that survivors of abuse and rape will be triggered by this heart swelling story Seriously, marketing people Seriously Thanks to Scout Press for the ARC at BEA 2019 This was an interesting, enjoyable, and honestly, empowering book MacDonald gives us the story of Zelda, a young adult on the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum, who loves Vikings, honor, legends, and wants to have sex with her boyfriend Marxy, who is bit less independent as her Zelda grapples with her desires to be like the legends of old, while dealing with problems at home that show how classic stories of good and evil are complex in real life Her brother Gett, their friend AK47, and her doctor Dr Laird are all interesting and well thoughtout characters and give this book life and relevance Warning this book does discuss issues like sexual abuse, rape, and includes some slurs used against Zelda and some of her friends Overall, a great book that tells an important and different perspective Highly recommend for all ages, as we should all learn to be as brave and bold as Zelda