Unbroken Review

Title: Unbroken
Author:Laura Hillenbrand
Genre:  Non-fiction, History
Publisher: Random House 

Blurb: (from goodreads) On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War.

The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini. In boyhood, he’d been a cunning and incorrigible delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and fleeing his home to ride the rails. As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics and within sight of the four-minute mile. But when war had come, the athlete had become an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown.

Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a foundering raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will.

In her long-awaited new book, Laura Hillenbrand writes with the same rich and vivid narrative voice she displayed in Seabiscuit. Telling an unforgettable story of a man’s journey into extremity, Unbroken is a testament to the resilience of the human mind, body, and spirit.

Me: As a person who is a World War II fanatic, this book was fascinating and entrancing.

The Ups: First of all, if you are going to read one non-fiction book in your entire life, this is the one. If you have ever even thought about picking this book up and reading it, do it. It will be amazing, I promise you.
The amount of meat to this book is crazy. I am not kidding when I say I think there was a different fact in each sentence. Hillenbrand did extremely extensive research,  and it really paid off. So many things were described so vividly and there were a lot of parts where I  found myself saying, "How does she know that?" The facts themselves are extremely interesting and the way she writes the book incorporating them makes it that much better. 
It is haunting and unbelievable that this is a true story. There were many parts where I got so angry I wanted to throw the book  at the wall. But I had to keep reading. I got through this book surprisingly fast, because the plot is very hooking and keeps you going. I got so attached to the characters and am still trying to wrap my head around the fact that these are real people and their stories. 

I think that when a book really changes your life, it makes you rethink and discover things around you in everyday life that you hadn't noticed before. This is a very personal opinion, but this book made me rethink the death penalty. That is power. That is life-changing. After I finished this book I kinda just sat there thinking about how fortunate I was. 

The Downs: I really can't think of any. This was an extremely moving book. 

Overall: An unbelievable story of strength that was written beautifully. Read it. 

Rating: 5 kisses!

Has anyone seen the movie or read the book? What did you think? 

Red Queen Review

Title: Red Queen
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Orion

Spoilers in white. Highlight to read.

Blurb: (from goodreads)  The poverty stricken Reds are commoners, living under the rule of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers.

To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from The Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change.

Mare finds herself working in the Silver Palace, at the center of
those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control.

But power is a dangerous game. And in this world divided by blood, who will win?

Me: Fascinating concept, and worth the hype. 

The Ups: Fantasy has a reputation for being over-the-top, or unreasonably foolish, but this book was very intriguing. The concept of "godly" figures having silver blood and commoners having red blood was fascinating. I felt like it also had to do with the fact that you couldn't tell who was who right from appearance, it was the blood and the hidden power with it that changed where a person was classified. The world that Mare lived in seemed very real to me, and didn't seem unreasonable. 
The imagery and the descriptive depiction of the world was awesome. I could clearly imagine the Silver Palace, and the Stilts, where the Reds lived. Everything inside the world was very well done. 
I loved the supporting characters. Especially Julian. They made the book and the palace seem even more real and alive. They all had their back stories, and to be honest I think I could have read an entire book just as easily about the King's life, or the Queen's.
The love triangle...square (?) was well done. It wasn't so much a "love" square because it was manipulative, and strategic...I'll shut up before I give away too much. 
Anyway, it was generally very smooth and the pacing and the flow was really nice. It kept me interested throughout the entire time. 

The Downs: Okay well first of all...Mare. Judging that she is a heroine in a fantasy setting who kills and defeats people, I liked her. (I have developed a dislike for heroines in sci-fi/fantasy situations because they tend to be perfect and so self-doubting to the point of annoyance, now there are many exceptions, and I'm glad Mare joined the exceptions group and not the first) However, she confused me. What she as a character wanted and was aiming for changed throughout the book. Sometimes it felt like she truly wanted the "greater good" and other times it felt like she didn't care about that at all. 
Okay now for the spoilers...
I saw it coming. I don't understand why people are freaking out about this ending because for me it was incredibly obvious. It seems like everyone else who read it was like...
and I'm over here like...

I was suspicious of Maven from the start. There is no way, that he, a Silver, could find the freedom and equality of Reds so important. He is, after all, his mother's son. While I saw it coming, it was a bit disappointing. I wish it hadn't had happened because Mare+Maven was starting to grow on me. 

Overall: A really unique fantasy with an amazingly crafted world.

Rating: 4 kisses! 

Have you read this book? Do you think it is worth the hype?