Miss Ex-Yugoslavia by Sofija Stefanovic was a good book. Sofija is a good writer with lots of potential. She has an enthusiastic writing style that matches her youth. The book was at times not dissimilar to reading through a young girls diary and I get the impression, perhaps that’s where some of the material was found.
I also liked the structure of the book and how it was wonderfully set up with a small amateur beauty contest, which returned for the reader at the end of a fascinating story. There was a risk in doing this, considering the recent decline of beauty contests in the media, but Sofija carried it off well.
I frequently thought of the old saying, “everyone has a good book in them” and there is no doubt, Sofija has had an interesting start to her life. She has also shown great resilience and emotional stamina. The death of her father, the war in Yugoslavia along with the deaths of thousands including relatives and friends could have broken many but from the book, one get the impression she has a quality that allows her to push through this grief.
The background Sofija has provided on the split of Yugoslavia was very useful for me, a white Australian male who heard of the war but felt no effects personally. It’s always good to get context and what better way than from someone who lived through it. But more interesting was the push and pull from Sofija’s friends and environment as she moved back and forward from Yugoslavia to Australia.
This clearly shifted her allegiance several times but Sofija had the intelligence and maturity to work though this and take it for what it was. She is like many people in Australia who have a home in and away from Australia. I believe this is more a positive trait more than a negative.
I would recommend Miss Ex-Yugoslavia to a friend.
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