American Pop by Snowden Wright Review
When I first read the premise of “American Pop” written by Snowden Wright I was very intrigued. When I found out I had won a copy in a Goodreads giveaway I was even more excited. I could not believe I had won this book and I was so excited to get it in the mail.
Having read it, I can honestly say if I did not feel the obligation to read and review this book, since it was generously given to me, I do not know if I would have finished it or finished it right away. I found bits of it slow and some parts I really wondered why the heck they mattered. Personally, I also have a hard time with long chapters and a lot of this book was made up of long chapters, often made into various sections but still difficult for me to trudge through. As someone who does not drink soda the main subject is also not that exciting. I had wanted to read it more for the family aspect as well as some possible history. With the family though, everyone has super tragic, heartbreaking lives that I had a hard time trucking on, as there was almost nothing happy for the family or for you the reader to look forward to. The one thing that kept me going was I wanted to know what the secret ingredient was.
The secret ingredient does bring me to some aspects of the reasonstorecommend the book. I really loved the last line. It is subtle yet beautiful. I loved the scene earlier in the book where members of the family are out collecting straws in the field. I am so happy that is where the book ties up. The cover is also gorgeous and very well done. It snags the readers eye and entices them to pick the novel up to find out more. Lastly, I do like that this book covers several generations over many, many years. I do love stories that do that. You are able to see the rise and fall of the family, as well as how characters change and develop due to the world around them, time, and place. Another section of the book takes one of the siblings on an exciting adventure across the globe to try various soft drinks, sodas, or other countries equivalents. To see the various flavors that cultures make and enjoy, that American’s would never think to drink, is very interesting. Reminds me of the global soda fountains at Epcot where you can test various sodas from around the world. Lastly, if you have read several of my blog posts, you probably know that sometimes I have a hard time keeping track of multiple characters very well, but Wright did a great job of being very clear with who everyone was, who was talking, and the family tree chart helped tremendously.
Overall, I wrestled whether to give this book a 2 or 3 star rating. I decided on 2.5 because I did have a hard time enjoying most of the novel, but I have to tell you the very last line helped save it along with a denser period of time covered. It is not that it is a bad book, it is just not the right book for me. I think many people, with different reading styles and interests will enjoy this.
I think for people who do not mind super tragic books you may really enjoy this, or if you have a fascination with the soda industry, especially the early times of it, you may enjoy it much more than I did. I do not mind some tragedy but for me it was a bit heavy-handed and too much.