The War Blog

Young Adult - Social Issues
315 Pages
Reviewed on 12/01/2018
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Glen Sobey taught and lived in Alaska Native villages for many years and continues to live in rural Alaska with his wife, three dogs, and a forest cat. He plays several musical instruments, hikes, kayaks, catches fish (sometimes), builds things, repairs more things, gardens, shovels lots of snow, splits too much wood, enjoys his family, and writes as often as he can. Though he has written many musicals and songs, The War Blog is his first novel.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite

In The War Blog by Glen Sobey, Crystal and her younger brother have been raised in Alaska by their devoted grandparents since the death of both their parents in a car crash 15 years ago. When their father suddenly makes an appearance, Crystal discovers that her father has just been released from prison after causing the death of their mother. As she tries to come to terms with the return of her malicious and racist father and the deception of her grandparents, Crystal realises the shocking reality of her late mother's past, as a victim of rape, resulting in her fall from grace and into the arms of their drug addict father. As Crystal discovers a society which forces women to believe that they are only worthy if they look a certain way, she begins to fight for the rights of women to believe in themselves. With the help of her best friend and secret love, Kato, they launch The War Blog to help victims of sexual harassment and rape tell of their experiences. As Crystal faces attacks for her views, she escapes with Kato to a Native Alaskan village. Together they form a band and through Crystal's powerful songs against injustice against women, they become a mighty voice for women all over the country. ‘Silence was like ignorance, easy to hide behind but useless as a tool for change.’

This powerfully emotive story tackles the subject of sexual harassment and the rape culture in today's society. The characters have been excellently created and the dialogue is very moving in parts. Crystal is such a great character, fearless and strong minded. The whole story triggers you to question relevant subjects such as the image of women portrayed in the media as sexual objects, the epidemic of drug and sexual abuse and the effects of cyber bullying on social media. There are many twists to the plot and the author cleverly keeps the plot moving forward at a great pace, slowly revealing aspects of the characters' personalities that make for a very engaging read. I definitely feel this would be an excellent book for every teenager who is discovering their true self. Crystal makes a great role model for all teenage girls who have bigger life goals and aspirations than worrying about external appearances. The ending was superb and the song lyrics throughout were quite thought-provoking.

Grant Leishman

Crystal Rose and her brother JD’s names pretty much sum up their parents' attention to them: Crystal Rose Rock, named after a drug, and JD, named after a popular brand of whiskey. Both children suffered from fetal 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 with 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 women, 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 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 cultural norms and being judged by how they look and whether or not they “put out,” which is felt by young women everywhere. This is a powerful novel that all adults (young and otherwise) should read. I will be looking for more from this very talented author in the future.

Romuald Dzemo

The War Blog by Glen Sobey is about the rise of a star that fights for the rights of abused girls and women. Seventeen-year-old Crystal Rose is a high school junior, a girl who was abandoned, together with her FASD brother, by her drug addicted mother, an experience that has haunted her over the years. But then she’s just discovered a little secret of her mom that may change the way Crystal looks at her — she was raped in high school. Crystal decides to start a blog to fight the crimes committed against women and young girls, crimes that reduce them to 'things.' Supported by Kato, an intelligent boy and her crush, she invites young girls to share their stories of harassment and assault. Can she help expose the culprits behind so much suffering with her blog and songs, and how can she shield herself against a society that is ruthless and protects the perpetrators rather than the victims?

Glen Sobey’s novel deals with social issues that need serious attention. If a president of the United States is being accused by many women for sexual harassment, how about men in low places? This story is timely and it addresses a social ill that is detrimental to women. The story is entertaining and while it is character driven and filled with a lot of excitement, it offers powerful insights on how women can stop sex predators from getting away with sexual assault and other crimes against women. They can learn to speak out — boldly! Crystal is an iconic character, a role model that readers would like to encounter in real life. The book is filled with realism and readers will love the characters. The War Blog is engrossing, written to give a strong warning to sex predators and hope to victims of sex crimes. It is ingeniously plotted and accomplished with skill and intelligence. A book that every young girl and woman should read.

Divine Zape

The War Blog by Glen Sobey is an engaging story with a social and geographical setting against the backdrop of a Native village in rural Alaska. Seventeen-year-old Crystal Rose and her younger brother, JD, were abandoned by their mom at a very tender age to chase another man. Now a high school junior, she still finds it hard to forgive her mother. But the revelation that her mother has been a victim of rape pushes her to start a war, a movement that will create a powerful consciousness among women. She is poised against a society that treats women like objects. Follow her story as she teams up with Kato, the guy on whom she has a crush, to create The War Blog website and how she uses music to take the fight to liberate women even more. The War Blog is a tale that explores themes like love, family, racism, the inequality of society, parenting, and self-worth.

Glen Sobey got my full attention with this story, creating characters who are as real as the next door neighbor. Crystal is a character who is really human — she has been hurt so deeply that her pain has become a source of inspiration for her work. The idea of freedom is one of her strongest values and, in this narrative, her work becomes a powerful tool to provoke reflection on social and women's issues. The writing is glorious, composed with a simplicity that defines the elegance of the writing. The War Blog is well imagined and well plotted. While the story is filled with emotionally intense moments, it’s the strength of character development and the beauty of the setting that captivated me the most. This is a narrative that is as relevant as it is enjoyable.