book review: unbroken

i’m not typically a fan of biographies or war novels, so when my book club decided to read unbroken by laura hillenbrand, i didn’t have high expectations.  however, this is one of those instances where i was completely wrong and fell into that old ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ snafu.  the book tells the story of louie zamperini, a former olympic runner, and his experiences during WWII.  when zamperini’s plane goes down in the pacific, he’s subjected to one horrific event after the other.  it’s one of those situations where you can’t imagine things getting any worse, and then, for some awful reason, they do.  zamperini is beaten, abused, and degraded – but the amazing part of the story is that he somehow manages to keep himself together through all of this.  it really is a story of survival (as cheesy as that sounds), both on a physical and emotional level.  the other thing i really liked about the book was the historical nature of it – i didn’t have much background on what conditions were like in the pacific during WWII, and this book gave me a new appreciation of what those soldiers went through.  hillenbrand does an amazing job of making the book readable, despite the heavy content.  she conducted over 75 interviews with zamperini, and it almost feels like he’s writing the book himself.  a definite page-turner; highly recommended for any reader.