A theme in the book that I believe stands out over all is that we go through many drastic changes in life and sometimes they can really impact us and the way we act. For instance, Cora was very shy in high school and didn't have many friends but when her mother died and her neighbors mother died, they connected and then she was introduced to more people. Another drastic change was with Shahzad, who had to move from Pakistan all the way to New Jersey to work for a government agency. Shahzad liked to stay in his internet cafe and alienate himself from the world. Now Shahzad is doing the same job but he is now more involved and closer to the action. You can see that this is important to the theme because they are building stronger character and finding themselves in this journey. The setting is typical for this book because it was post 9/11 and it hits home to many families who were close to tragic scenes that occurred on that day. It this took place in another setting the overall story would be the same but it wouldn't have that extra touch. I felt like the beginning was very boring at first.
Streams of Babel took a while to sit in and get the plot started but then it became really interesting. The end was amazing and shocked me completely. Streams of Babel had many different first-person views. I would be reading about Cora and then the next chapter would be Owen and then Shazad. Chapter by Chapter they would be linked closer and closer. It came off as confusing but then when I settled down and re-skimmed a little, it was intense and had me wanting to read more and more.
I believe when the author writes "Yo, Expensive! We can read the online newspapers ourselves"(pg.77, Plum-Ucci) she is trying emphasize the way Americans can be so condescending to other nationalities. Another interesting sentence is when Cora says "We had a zombielike conversation"(pg.243, Plum-Ucci). I think this was a way to make the book relatable to teens. She could have easily said awkward or dull but instead she chose zombielike. I also think that the way Carol Plum-Ucci uses 6 different characters in first person shows how she wants us to see different views. For example, Cora is sitting down at her mom's’ funeral and in her neighbor's point of view she says “Look at Cora sitting so perfectly” (pg 110, Plum-Ucci). As Cora thinks to herself, she says “I don't know what to think or what to do, all i can do is sit here and watch” (pg,112, Plum-Ucci). This is important because it really details the personality of each Character.
The effect of Alesse dying was that Owen and Cora met because his mom died as well. This is major because now that they're friends, they try to figure the reason why theirs mothers died. When Shahzad comes to America he gets more involved. He later finds out that the terrorist aren't from another nation at all but in fact, the terrorist is Cora’s father. another important effect is that, because Cora And Owen couldn't reach the lobby floor in time, the terrorist got away. On goodreads.com Josamarie said “Fast paced and mildly interesting, everything wrapped up a little too neatly for me”. I agree with this because it was a good read but it was also an easy read. I agree with “The switching between characters every chapter kept the pace racing along and kept me at the edge of my seat”(goodreads.com, Katrina). It was neat the way the characters would transition, it would keep climaxing and then it would switch to another character. I disagree with this “I was unsatisfied with the ending. Interesting premise, but poorly carried out”(goodreads.com, Erin). I disagree with this because the best part of the book was the ending.
In conclusion, Streams of Babel was interesting but wasn't a top tier book. It took awhile to build up but ended with a cliffhanger. there is a sequel out and I don't think I would personally go out and read it. My book was also suppose to be relatable to teens and I didn't really feel that way. Overall, I think that a theme from the book that can be taken out is that there are many dangers that lurk in our world and if we help each other we can stop it.