My dad, who I believe would be an "end of the world prepper" if he ever took himself seriously enough to do so, gave me The Country of Ice Cream Star by Sandra Newman for my birthday. Surprise, surprise, it's about the apocalypse. A bigger surprise for me, it took me longer to read than any other book this year.
I will compare the experience of reading this book with my own personal experiment of reading a book in Spanish for the first time. I understand basic Spanish thanks to years of public school education, but the rules of the textbook go out the window when you get into the literary domain. Though Country of Ice Cream Star is written in English, it is written much like it's setting: recognizable but not 100% familiar.
At being said, once I got over the humbling experience of having to closely read every single passage, I found myself letting go of my need to comprehend every detail and get into the story. I developed a sense of kinship with the main character and her constantly evolving situation while deciding on my own which characters to trust.
To be honest, I am still not completely sure I understood everything that went on, but it was a very enjoyable read that forced me to try something new and rewarded me for sticking with it.