It took me a while (mostly because I was reading other books in between), but I finally finished Neil Gaiman's epic novel, American Gods.
I'm a little bit obsessed with Neil Gaiman and I've read about half of what he's written so far, so it was only a matter of time before I tackled this massive tome. Here are some tips for when you're brave enough to try this one yourself.
1) Pay attention
Obviously, you want to pay attention to any book you're reading, but American Gods requires a special focus. There are a lot of characters and a lot of little events that will become relevant later on, so pay attention! Jane actually warned me about this before I started, and it was definitely a good piece of advice (thanks, Jane!).
2) Part Two is slow, but it gets better
I slogged through part two because it felt like it dragged forever. It was like those endless chapters in Deathly Hallows where Harry/Ron/Hermione are camping and nothing really happens and there's a lot of exposition. Don't worry, it gets better.
3) Prepare for plot twists
There is a particular god that shows up about two-thirds into the book and you realize you've met him before in a different form. It's shocking and part of you feels stupid for not figuring it out yourself, but the other part of you is too awe-struck by the way it was pulled off to really be upset.
4) American geography is not for everyone
I'm one of those Canadians who would not be able to label a map of the States. In fact, I probably wouldn't even be able to tell you all 50 states (there's a bunch in the middle that sort of blur together). So while Shadow is road-tripping around the country, I was struggling to keep up with him. The book does a good job at situating you, but I can't even begin to imagine how many miles he travelled, since I got lost many times along the way.
5) The end is bonkers
Make sure you're not doing anything else by the time you reach the latter half of part three. It may take its time getting there, but the ending is full of plot twists and the tying up of loose ends, and you'll have no idea what's going on but at the same time, everything is finally making sense. Here's where you'll thank me for warning you to pay attention earlier.