It was a hot and sunny day out on the endless ocean, but he definitely wasn’t enjoying it. It had been over a month since he had seen anyone besides the men with him. He had been drifting on his life raft for thousands of miles, and he was weak, starving, and helpless.
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand is the true story of Louis Zamperini, a former Olympic runner and later airman who served in World War II. Now I know you’re thinking, “Ugh, Bella’s buzzing about another World War II book, here we go…” and yes, I am obsessed with the World War II era, however if you do not read any of the other WWII books I have buzzed about, PLEASE read this one!
When Louis was at his peak in his running career, he was drafted for World War II, and became a bombardier in the U.S. Army Air Corps. Unfortunately, on one of his bomb squad’s missions, their plane was downed and most of the crew died, except for Louis and two of his crew members. The men drifted for almost two months, with little to no food or water. They were finally captured by the Japanese and taken to POW camp after POW camp, and were tortured by various Japanese generals. It wasn’t until after two years of endless labor and torture that the POW camp that Louis was located at was finally liberated.
This book was pretty hard to keep reading at some points, just because of how gruesome and awful it was. Some of you will not want to read this book for this reason. However, if I may ease your conscience ever so slightly, you can read the original version, but then Laura Hillenbrand wrote a second version that was adapted for young adults. I read the adapted version, and I am glad I stuck with that. Based on what you think you can handle, you can choose your version.
One of my favorite parts of the book is Louis Zamperini’s perspective of D-Day. After hearing about the two years of endless torture that Louis and his friends endured, I almost felt like I was the one being rescued alongside Louis.
Unbroken is a really amazing book, and I really encourage everyone to read it at some point in their life. However, it’s pretty mature content, so I would have to recommend it to ages 11 and up, just because of the intensity of the torture and abuse at the Japanese POW camps. But overall it is an amazing story and has really given me strength and courage to face each day. It also really gave me perspective on my problems. If Louis can get through two whole years of torture, then I can overcome the challenges that I am faced with each day.
There is also a movie that is awesome that I also encourage you to watch AFTER you read the book!