Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I've been meaning to read this book for years, and I'm so glad I finally did.
It started out a bit slow, but as the book went on, I realized that everything in it was intentional, even that slow start. It was like the war itself, or Perry's experience of it. He wasn't dropped in the middle of the action. His squad was eased into it. At first, not much is happening. He's kind of bored, which left me a little bored. But as tensions build in Vietnam, so do they build in the book. The first time Perry sees someone killed, he's shocked. By the end, the body count is so high you barely notice one person. He's lost so many, he doesn't even mention that first death he witnessed that upset him so much in the beginning. And yet, he never grows complacent, never grows hard to the death surrounding him.
The was this book was laid out was perfect. It starts slow, then builds to more and more dire situations as Perry and PeeWee are forced to confront mortality, their own and that of the enemy, towards the end. The saddest part for me was knowing that even when the book ended, so many were left still fighting, still dying, in Vietnam. There were several parts where I teared up from the intensity of the book. It was so real, I was there, I was in it with them, longing for The World. This book may have started slow, but it grabbed me by the throat about third of the way in and never let go. I loved the characters, all so different and so real. I could feel the intensity of their fear, their boredom, their panic, and especially, their bond with each other.
A wonderful book. My favorite WDM book so far.
Content: Appropriate for Age 14+. M/F audiences will enjoy.
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