Today I'd like to welcome Katelyn who blogs at What's Up Fagans? She is sharing a book review of Unbroken which is one of the books on my "to read" list. After seeing her review, I'm excited to read it! Don't forget to check out the end of the post to follow Katelyn on her blog and via social media.
It is not too often that I read a book that completely amazes me, entertains me, and leaves me better off. So, it is with excitement that I share my book review of Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand.
Unbroken is the true story of Louis Zamperini. Louis is a hot-tempered, troubled youth, who gets excitement from stealing, breaking into houses, fighting, and skipping school. He's heading down a path sure to lead to a troubled future, when his older brother becomes determined to help Louis become something great - an Olympic runner. At first Louis is resilient to his brother's encouragement, but sure enough, he soon begins breaking local, state, and national records, on track to break a four minute mile. Louis trains hard and competes in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Germany. However, after the Olympics, war breaks out, and the 1940 Olympics are cancelled.
Louis enlists in the Air Force after Pearl Harbor is attacked and becomes a bombardier. He bonds with his flight crew, and completes drills and missions on airplanes that are dangerous to fly even on a clear day in friendly territory. However, one day on a routine rescue search, Zamperini's plane unexpectedly crashes into the middle of the Pacific ocean. He's now left on a small inflatable raft with two others survivors, drifting along in the middle of the shark-infested Pacific Ocean with practically no provisions on board. And surviving for weeks on this raft is just the beginning of the troubles Zamperini is about to face over the coming days and years, because he is not found by the Allies. He is found by the Japanese. And they do not treat their Prisoners of War well... not well at all.
Why I loved it:
Unbroken is an amazingly true story, excellently written, and awe-inspiring. I am not one to read war books usually, nor do I read many biographies, but this book might change my mind about these books going forward! I honestly do not know much of anything of the war in the Pacific during World War II, nor the conditions that POW faced in camps. The abuse and suffering is eye-opening. It is frightening. It is horrendous. And yet Zamperini continues on, always somehow clinging stubbornly to his dignity despite his never-ending misfortune. Zamperini is clearly an amazing individual. And after the war has ended, and as he faces the hard task of adjusting to life after the war, he has to figure out his life all over again, and it proves almost too much to bear.
I will be recommending everyone read this book. It is a longer read, but I believe it one book you should definitely read in your lifetime! 5/5 Stars!
Katelyn is a stay at home mom to twin preschoolers and a bouncing baby boy. She loves reading books and attends two different book clubs each month. Katelyn writes a great parenting, family, frugal-living blog called What's up Fagans? where she hopes to help herself and her readers live each day better. When not reading or writing, she is often found running, cleaning, teaching preschool lessons to her girls, and attending church. Visit her blog, and connect with her on Social Media: Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter | Google +.