Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 490
Excellent but Disturbing Vietnam Title
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Danny has a violent streak, frequently pounding on his younger brother for pounding on another brother. His single father has struggled with containing Danny ever since the boy's mother passed away. After Danny steals a motor cycle (which he claims he borrowed), the judge gives him the option to go to juvenile detention or join the army. When he chooses the army, Danny ends up in a unit with his high school wrestling coach, Colonel Macias, who was instrumental in getting the sentence. Sent to Vietnam, Danny ends up in a Studies and Observation Group that does dangerous, covert jobs. A budding photographer, Danny often has a camera with him, but it often gets him into trouble. One example: his unit is watching a group of women working in a field, and he is taking pictures of them. Unfortunately, there is a sniper hiding behind the women that he does not see, and when the sniper opens fire, Danny's unit ends up brutally slaughtering the entire work contingent. As one interchange with another soldier, Lopez explains, being in Vietnam is brutal. (Page 88: "We're here to kill, Bug. Don't forget that." "We're not here to kill innocents," I say. "We're here to kill everything," he says coldly.) After surviving the loss of many of his unit, Danny is injured and returns home. I am hoping that subsequent volumes deal with his reentry into society.
Good Points
Lynch does a fantastic war book, and his World War II and Vietnam series are very popular with my students. This book is a great length, and has the sort of fast-paced action that my students enjoy. I'm not sure how Mr. Lynch researches, but his details about being involved in a military conflict are always exquisite, from the food and living conditions to the fighting on the field.

That said, Danny is a very violent and disturbed young man, and his unit has men in it who are even more violent. His decision to join the army represents a somewhat unusual one during Vietnam-- he had burned through his other choices, and being sent to 'Nam was his best course of action.

I'm interested as to what the trajectory of this series will be. Danny is very violent, and unlike other Lynch books, this violence is not tempered with how horrible war is. Perhaps I am overly influenced by a recent conversation I had with a neighbor and former coworker who fought in Vietnam; he was only recently diagnosed with PTSD, so I kept wondering about Danny's future. If Danny has trouble returning home, this volume will make more sense.
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

Comments

Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

The Monster Hypothesis
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Welcome to Bohring-home to 453 people, 2,053 alligators, and one...
Where the World Ends
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
Winner of the 2018 Carnegie Medal! New from Michael L....
Carnevil (Monsterstreet #3)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
“Fast, funny, frightening—and filled with shocks and surprises. These books...
Prophecy Untold (Shadow Realms book 3)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Finding out my mother was taken by the demons...
Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
In this charming debut about first love and second...
Six Goodbyes We Never Said
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Two teens meet after tragedy and learn about love,...
Golden Crown
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
No longer only a warrior. Not just a queen....
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The first vampire. The last Nephilim. The end...
The Galactic Adventures of Hazel - Gurecoa
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
What is it like to live in 4519 AD...
Batman: Nightwalker (The Graphic Novel)
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
This action-packed graphic novel based on the New York...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Seventeen-year-old Rose Hemmersbach aspires to break out of small town...
Stuffed
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Welcome, little one. You have been chosen to join us,...
Merged
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Seven of our country’s most gifted teens will become Nobels,...
Bury Me
 
0.0
 
4.7 (1)
No one ever leaves Copper Hollow. It's a town with...
Estranged #2: The Changeling King
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Enter a world of faerie magic and epic adventure in...
The Edge of the Word (Mightier than the Sword, #2)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The exciting follow-up to Mightier Than the Sword, the humorous...

Latest Member Reviews

The Big Game
 
4.0
"Danny lives in Texas with his mother and former Pittsburgh Steelers player father, who now sells farm machinery. The father..."
Pippa Park Raises Her Game
 
4.0
"Pippa loves to play basketball and struggles a tiny bit in school. She lives with her much older sister, Mina,..."
Midnight on Strange Street
 
4.0
"The town of Callaway, Texas, is a refuge from the global war that is going on and affecting Los Angeles...."
Gabby Garcia’s Ultimate Playbook #3: Sidelined
 
4.0
"Gabby travels from Peach Tree to Seattle with her family for a vacation, but it ends disastrously. Not only is..."
Gabby Garcia's Ultimate Playbook  (Gabby Garcia #1)
 
4.0
"Gabby's year is going very well, and she's just about to make the most brilliant baseball play of her life..."
Speed Demon
 
5.0
"Tim has recently moved to town and is starting ninth grade at Hilton Prep. During gym class one day, his..."
Throw Like a Girl
 
4.3
"THROW LIKE A GIRL is a charming story about chasing your dreams, a little romance, and a passion for sports...."
Michigan vs. the Boys
 
4.7
"Michigan Manning just wants to play hockey. Unfortunately, the high school she attends in the upper peninsula of Michigan has..."
Cracking the Bell
 
4.7
"Isaiah's family has struggled after the death of his sister in a car accident that wasn't her fault. The parents..."
Announcing Trouble
 
5.0
"Making me smile all the way through, ANNOUNCING TROUBLE was a pure delight. Josie is almost eighteen with an enormous..."
I Got Next
 
4.0
"I GOT NEXT is a picture book about self-confidence. A boy encourages himself to challenge the other kids who are..."
Dough Boys (So Done #2)
 
4.0
"Simp and Rollie both live in the Cove, and are doing they best they can in a rough neighborhood. They..."
Brawler
 
4.7
"Eddie McGuire is a talented high school wrestler with a horribly short fuse. This is no doubt a result of..."
Games of Deception: The True Story of the First U.S. Olympic Basketball Team at the 1936 Olympics in Hitler's Germany
 
4.7
" The Summer Olympics will take place again in July 2020, and all eyes will turn to Tokyo, Japan as..."
Mike
 
4.7
"Floyd is a very good young tennis player who has worked very closely with his supportive parents to do well...."
Winner Take All
 
4.3
"The phrases “beautiful disaster” and “bad romance” but NOT the well-known novels that use those phrases for their titles. Five..."
The Competition Begins (Junior Ninja Champion #1)
 
4.0
"Ty Santiago's family runs a gym that has a ninja training obstacle course, so when there is a junior competition..."
Soccer School Season 2: Where Soccer Explains (Saves) the World
 
4.3
"In this second Soccer School book, the first chapter is about pee rather than poop (as the first book was)!..."
Soccer School Season 1: Where Soccer Explains (Rules) the World
 
4.3
" "Coaches" Alex and Ben introduce the reader to their school that is all about soccer. Every class, from biology..."
Out of Left Field
 
5.0
"Ten-year-old Katy is a fantastic pitcher, so great that a local Little League coach encourages her to sign up for..."