{Book Review} Unbroken

Summary [no spoilers!] - Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand, is a true(!) story about Olympic runner and WWII vet Louie Zamperini.  After his bid in the 1936 Olympics, Zamperini was drafted into the Army Air Force and became a bombardier based in Hawaii.  In 1943, Zamperini's plane goes down in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and from that point on his life would never be the same.  (Obviously a detailed summary... #sarcasm.)

Pros - First of all, this is the first Laura Hillenbrand book that I have read and I must say that I am quite the fan of her writing style.  This story contains many, many characters and many, many backstories.  Hillenbrand avoids creating confusion by distinguishing each person distinctly so the readers can keep the story straight.  

Also, just the story line itself.  It's intense, insane and definitely eye-opening.  I learned a ton about the United States military system, WWII and human nature and instinct.  

I was engaged through the entire book (I read it in less than a week!).  I never had to take a break because the book was moving too slowly or I was bored with it.  It was more like I had to find out what was going to happen next.

Cons - At some points, the torture that Louie and the other POWs go through was so brutal that I was literally cringing and had tears in my eyes.  The language isn't always the best either.  However, this is a true story and the things that happened were real things.  Expect it to be raw and real.  Just a warning.  

Meaningful Quote - “Without dignity, identity is erased. In its absence, men are defined not by themselves, but by their captors and the circumstances in which they are forced to live.” 

Final Thoughts  - I finished Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand a few days ago, and I'm still thinking about it.  A lot.  I can't put my finger on exactly what made it stick in my mind.  The way that the story flowed together so perfectly?  Maybe.  The insane torture that the POWs went through? Likely.  The determination, strength, and courage that those men showed? Possibly. A combination of all of those things? That's what I'm thinking.

Unbroken is by far one of my favorite books that I've ever read.  I was hesitant at first to dive in as I'm not a huge war novel fan.  However, this book is more than just a gory war novel.  It has definite meaning and, speaking for myself, has been a huge inspiration.

4.9/5 stars from me!

Have you read Unbroken? What did you think?

If you haven't read it, what are you waiting for? Go read!

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