One of the reasons I really love reading through lists of books is to reach outside of my normal reading patterns and pick up a book that I would have completely overlooked. This year I have been fortunate to discover a lot of amazing books and read from a variety of perspectives. There is nothing about Unbroken that would have compelled me to read it. I am not a huge fan of war stories or even history stories. I would have completely passed by this book, but I am so glad that I didn't. Unbroken is a complete biography of Louis Zamperini starting at his youth, his brief Olympic career, his time in World War II, and his transition back from the War. While the majority of the book focuses on WWII the part that I enjoyed most about the book is that it was more than a war story. It was a story about people, mostly Louis Zamperini, but also his family, his war buddies, the Japanese soldiers and civilians, and his wife. Reading this book I felt like I was transported to a whole different world. Most of the time the world was extremely unpleasant, yet despite that you persevered right along with Louis and the other prisoners of war.
Louis Zamperini was the trouble maker kid, the town juvenile delinquent. With the help of his older brother, he tamed that spirit to become an Olympic runner. If his life had led down a different path he would probably be known as an Olympic gold medalist. Instead, he is known as the man who's Olympic story ended in war. Yet he used his spirit to survive what was unsurvivable to so many. Then, after the war when he could have been broken again, he started to thrive and to make a better world for all the other juvenile delinquent boys who have the capacity to accomplish so much.
Laura Hillenbrand wrote in such a way that you were brought into the world. The story would continually branch off of Louis and the reader would learn about his brother, his war buddies, his captors, the friendly guard. If it was done with less skill this could have been a distraction while reading, yet the story continued to flow and the reader is left feeling more complete for having known about not just Louis, but the wide assortment of people that came into his time.
This site may contain affiliate links, these links refer back to products. They do not cost the consumer any additional money. They do help fund the blog. In addition, some books may be provided to the site for free in exchange for an honest review, others come from the library, others are obtained for free off Amazon, some come from my private purchase. Regardless of how the books were obtained all reviews are my honest opinion.