Unbroken By Laura Hillenbrand Is A Must-Read (Spoiler Free)

Unbroken by Laura Hilllenbrand – Book Talk

Title: Unbroken

Author: Laura Hillenbrand

Published: November 16, 2010 by Random House

Page Count: 398

Genre: Biography

Movie Adaptation: Released December 25, 2014 directed by Angelina Jolie


Unbroken follows an Olympian runner turned military aviator, Louis Zamperini. From early childhood to each graphic, torturous moment as a prisoner of war, Louie’s story is documented.  Louis Zamperini is tested in every way in his journeys through the Olympics and World War II. Facing pain that no human should ever endure, Louie’s fight for survival is eye-opening. With glimpses at his family’s perspective throughout this agonizing time in history, it is clear that nobody was left unaffected from the war.

My Thoughts:

When I began reading Unbroken earlier this year, I had no idea what I was in for. The books starts out as an easy to read coming of age story of a boy finding where he soars in this world. Reading about Louie’s journey to become a runner and all of the hard work and dedication that went into his training was incredibly inspirational. I had never thought about the Olympics much, so this in-depth look into the competition was engaging and fascinating. 

When the story turned to describe Zamperini’s experience in World War II, it became clear that this was going to be a tough read. Each obstacle he faced, I was sure it couldn’t possibly get worse for this courageous young man. When I turned the page, I was proven wrong every time. I am fully convinced that nobody can get through this book with dry eyes. Laura Hillenbrand is a fantastic writer— almost frighteningly good. The way she describes his surroundings and everything that was done to him is effective in making readers feel with every sense. 

Growing up, I would always hear about the “real world.” I was constantly cautioned about how dark this world can be. Until reading this book, I didn’t believe people could be so truly evil. This story has made me understand war and soldiers far more than any history lesson I was taught in school. 

I cannot recommend this book enough. It is important to stay educated, especially about the uncomfortable and dark parts of our history. I would advise keeping tissues handy and taking breaks as reading this book had a physical effect on me. There is also a movie adaptation, released in 2014, that has also received high praise and is currently streaming on HBOMax. 

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