All Fair in Love and War

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With world instability, much thought is given to foreign policy and how to come to peaceful resolutions for potentially turbulent issues. Love, Sex and Other Foreign Policy Goals by Jesse Armstrong looks at the unrest experienced in former Yugoslavia in 1994.

In a group of friends taking a peace play and limited supplies into a war zone, Andrew would like to stop the war, but is ultimately more concerned about Penny and his feelings for her, and more importantly her feelings for him and her feelings for his poet-rival Simon. Surrounded by students, Andrew feels a bit out of place as the lone working man of the group who is out of touch with the things his peers discuss. As the group crosses Europe and meets new people, their conviction in helping to stop the war is tested with hurtles to their entry into the war zone, as well as threats to their lives.

The narrative was thought-provoking and it had a feel of a bildungsroman; however, the plot dragged on to an extensive degree where I wondered when it would end. The characters didn’t really do much or change too much either, leaving them as more annoying than worth rooting for. I was also a little frustrated with how the text touches on but doesn’t fully engage the situation in Bosnia and how it affected its people.

Overall, I’d give it a 2.5 out of 5 stars.

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