Escondido Public Library - Teen Book Reviews

Posts in Category: military

The Things They Carried

by Tim O'Brien

The Things They CarriedThe Things They Carried is a metafictional account of the lives and deaths of various men who fought in the Vietnam War. The book revolves around duty, shame, desire, "humping," memory, moral ambiguity, and the question regarding what "a true war story" consists of and the central protagonist is a fictionalized version of the author Tim O'Brien. 

Although I was required to read it for my English class, the book's unconventional plot progression kept me from getting bored. However, sometimes the author describes grotesque war happenings with such detailed language that the faint of heart may become too disgusted to continue reading - I know I did.

Those who dislike abstraction or philosophy should probably avoid this book. On the other hand, I would recommend this book to people who like to challenge their beliefs and don't mind when others wax poetic about the mundane because The Things They Carried contradicts popular conceptions of war, and because Tim O' Brien takes great liberty in analyzing certain situations from as many angles as possible and in great depth. 

Chimdi, 15


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Gone with the Wind

by Margaret Mitchell

This epic historical romance depicts the turbulent love affair between Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler during the Antebellum Era, Civil War Era, and Reconstruction Era. Scarlett O'Hara, the spoiled daughter of a well-to-do plantation owner, struggles to survive in a world destroyed by the American Civil War and Reconstruction. Scarlett uses every means at her disposal to claw herself, her loved ones, and her beloved Tara out of the poverty and out from under the heel of the victorious Yankees.

This book is one of my favorites, if not my favorite, book of all time. I was expecting a lengthy novel glorifying slavery and revolving around a sappy relationship between the perfect Southern gentleman and a Southern belle. I couldn't be more wrong! While it is a long book, the story never gets boring or repetitive. While many of the characters represent ideas, they have amazing depth and never fail to touch your heart and stay there. 

Yes, I would recommend this book, but beware!  This book is a real commitment and takes a long time to finish, but it is more than worth it in my opinion. The action is balanced by beautiful imagery and the character development, especially in Scarlett. It is definitely worth reading. One problem I had was keeping all the characters straight, since there are a lot of them, but since the book is so long you'll have a lot of time to get to know all of them before long.

Rebecca, 17


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If I Lie

by Corinne Jackson

If I LieWhen a photo of Quinn kissing another boy surfaces while her boyfriend, Carey, was in Afghanistan, she is condemned and ostracized by her military town who accuses her of being a traitor. Quinn, however, has information that can clear her name, but was sworn to secrecy by Carey. Facing constant humiliation, she battles between keeping the secret and enduring the pain. 

If I Lie is a definite page turner. It causes the reader to sympathize for Quinn's situation, but also admire her for being a strong female character who endures pure chaos.

This book is worth checking out. It has a great female character and it draws the reader in quickly. Girls and boys can both enjoy this book. Many will be able to relate to the main character's situation of being the outsider.

CJ, 17


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by Robert Buettner

Image resultIn the novel Orphanage, extraterrestrials fire projectiles at major cities on earth leaving thousands orphaned and alone. The military needs volunteers to fight back and these kids are quick to sign up, having nothing to loose, they are sent to fight back.

I like this book because it has lots of action, humor, and amazing details throughout the story.

If you are a die hard sci-fi fan you will love this book!

Liam, 15


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