I CAN”T RECOMMEND THIS BOOK MORE. I’M NOT GOING INTO EXTREME DETAIL BECAUSE I WANT Y’ALL TO READ THIS AND FIGURE IT OUT ON YOUR OWN. This book was recommended to me when I went to Cape May over the summer by some random college kid in a book store. I’m still trying to decided if that specific college kid wanted me to love the book or set me up for failure. There are many times while I was reading that I had to scan over the same page at least three times to understand what was being said. Main point: this book is rough! It was a hard story right from the beginning. Quite honestly it just continues to get worse. With everything drastic happening in the beginning it seems like there’s really no where else to go with the story but up, until you keep reading. I mean this could be a good thing in some stories because it could show some character development throughout the story, in this case it did, but not as much as it could’ve because there was nothing to compare the end result to. We didn’t really know much before all the “tragedies” occurred besides what each of the main characters claim to be true. The main characters are two siblings (brother and sister) who just so happen to be twins and both share an amazing artistic ability. In the beginning of the book their mother has just died and the the sister (Jude) takes it a little harder than the brother (Noah). I honestly didn’t expect much different because stereotypes but when more secrets start to unfold throughout the story, you begin to realize that those kinds of stereotypes are complete crap. As if the stereotypes couldn’t get worse, Jude and Noah apply to the same art school and only Jude gets accepted although they were pretty much at the same level which is the level of complete amazing-ness. This book focuses a lot on crushing stereotypes and features a lot of extreme teenager themes that I’m not going to expose because I can’t give away the whole story (McGarry if you want to know, I’ll tell ya). One of the confusing things in this story was that the point of view switches every chapter and each sibling is speaking about a different point in time. I personally did not like this style, but it reminded me of “The Last Five Years” which made me appreciate it more. The connections kinds mess with your head a little bit and you have to go back and remember what sibling is talking, but once you get that figured out it’s a well written story. I also love all the traditions they have that were passed down from their grandmother like old wive’s tales and such. I hope to be that crazy grandma one day. I believe one of the main themes of this story is that you should cherish your family at all costs because no matter what happens you’re always going to want their support. Speaking from experience, no matter how mad my siblings and I are at each other we always end up talking to each other about the good, the bad, and the ugly. I am a full believer that siblings are supposed to be your built in best friends (of course that doesn’t mean you can’t disagree with every single thing one of your siblings does) but it’s a lot easier to look past the differences. This honestly has turned into a book recommendation but I can’t help it that this is my reaction. I have cried over this book, became frustrated, and honestly invested way too much of my emotional strength into reading this, but it was well worth it. It provides a lot of crazy realizations about what other people are struggling through in high school and it’s definitely more than just getting good grades.
This book had my emotions all over the place. It all started with the prologue which was a later scene of Louis floating on a raft fighting off Sharks and trying to hold his head under the ocean water to avoid the Japanese bombs showering from above. I should’ve known from this how addicting the book would become. When I began reading the first chapter, I was a little confused. Why would there be a book written about such an awful young boy? Louis Zamperini stole from everyone and I was not finding a silver lining in any of it. There were so many times when I thought he would get better or that I would turn the page and hopefully the next one would say “This was all a lie he lived in a community with just his family!”… but that never happened. When Louis finally started running races instead of away from the cops, I was filled with a lot of relief. This part of the story I could sort of connect with. Although I wasn’t a criminal, when I was younger my brother also taught me how to do something I now love. At the age of three my brother began to play soccer with me in our yard when he would come home from college and eventually he was one of my first soccer coaches for my AYSO team. This helped my connect a lot to this really long section of the book because of how much their connection was growing. I was hoping Louis would hopefully leave all his stealing behind, but I guess you can’t really change a person completely. He did, until they got on the ship to the Olympics. That’s when he recovered his boyish ways and began to steal small things from the ship with his new friends. He also stole while he was in Berlin for the Olympics but I was really trying to avoid that fact. Speaking of the Olympics… AMAZING FORESHADOWING! The author would constantly talk about the war and Hitler’s actions as well as Japan’s actions. The author would explain military tactics in great detail and this eventually foreshadowed the fact that Louis was going to join the military. I’m not quite sure if this was on purpose but the whole time I was just thinking “yea yea yea we know he’s going to join just get to it already.” When Louis finally joined the military I was a little worried for him (as if I wasn’t enough already.) Of course to no surprise, Louis signed up for one of the craziest parts of the war. One of the most unfortunate parts for me while reading this story was the fact that Louis didn’t suffer through a crash on any of his crazy missions, but it was on a rescue mission that the misfortune happened. The next part was most definitely the best. Louis suffered not only an extensive amount of time lost at sea (over 30 days) but then was captured by the Japanese and kept as a POW for over 2 more years. Many parts of the story while he was in the camp I either cringed, cried, or just didn’t read. I couldn’t begin to fathom what that would’ve felt like and how he kept his head up through it all. Call it undying hope and faith or call it spite, Louis’s bravery and unwillingness to give in not just for him but for his fellow comrades, made him a hero. Due to never being able to live a normal life, returning home was just as bad as still being in a camp and Louis turned to alcohol to take away some of his pain. This book had a lot of hardships in it and made me think a lot about the men and women who serve our country. Louis Zamperini was lucky enough to have his story preserved, but I believe his book is about educating everyone that there are a lot of soldiers struggling out there.
Let me just start by saying: I am struggling. Life=hard. Me=tired. This story=not done quite yet.
Writing this story is fun but instead of finishing it, I also just want to curl up in a ball and cry myself to sleep. My story has evolved into a better story due to just wanting to make it better and more detailed. Through all the assignments we had to do I feel like it definitely has got better. The only problem I am having is figuring out how much detail is too much detail. My characters are pretty evolved but I have to keep figuring out how to make Estelle’s husband more important. Like he is already loving and supportive, but it is like there is nothing else to him. I feel like dialogue would help with this, but I am not sure how to do that while being in diary format. I would switch it, but also don’t want to have to start all over again.
My book was kinda depressing, but also inspirational. Even without getting to the war part, you can still be inspired by how he switched his life around from being a recluse to being a champion runner. His take on the Olympics and getting to talk to Hitler just blows my mind because not many Americans were in Germany and able to take in that part of history before the war started. The ending was crazy with all the battles scenes and everything and I didn’t completely understand everything, but I was enjoying the army stuff. This book makes me want to be in the Army while also making me want to sprint in the opposite direction.
I have no clue what I am going to read for next book. I kinda want to read a sappy romance, but not many of them are actually good and school appropriate at the same time. Any suggestions, let me know.