Eyes Behind Belligerence
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Eyes Behind Belligerence

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  34 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Told in five parts, this novel unravels the challenges between two unlikely Nisei friends, Jim and Russell, into adulthood during the Second World War. As restrictions are imposed, (even in the safe, rural community of Bainbridge Island,) as harassments escalate, (including the F.B.I. invading their homes and deporting their fathers to Montana for espionage trials,) the fa...more
Kindle Edition
Published March 3rd 2012 (first published November 14th 2011)
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I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my review. This is a great book! I like historical fiction, and this story is done extremely well. The characters are believable and the historical events are accurate. The story is very well written. I just cannot say enough about this book!
The book starts off with "Characters & Terminologies," a list that includes proper pronunciations which I really found useful. The story is broken down into five parts, each part consisting of...more
Robin Levin
Eyes Behind Belligerence, by K.P. Kollenborn is a rich and fascinating fictional account of the experience of Japanese Americans in the internment camps during World War Two.
Kollenborn follows two main characters and their families throughout the war and its aftermath. At the start of the war, Jim Yoshimura and Russell Hamaguchi (AKA Goro) are Nisei high school students living in Winslow, on the island of Bainbridge off of Washington state. Jim is quiet, intellectual and introverted. Four years...more
Lilian Gafni
A Story of Betrayal and Hope

This story tells the drama of American-Japanese citizens interned in a concentration camp during WWII for the only reason that they were of Japanese descent.

"Even God took the seventh day off at least once!" is a quote early in the book where Jim Yoshimura, one of the characters complains of having to do Sunday chores. Here was an all American young boy growing up and listening to The Jack Benny Show on the radio, going to school and worried about not having a girlfri...more
I won this book on Goodreads and I enjoyed it very much. It was a long story but very believable and informative. I grew up in Europe and knew people and relatives who lived through concentration camps and Totaleinsatz, so I am very familiar with the damage WWII did to Europe, the fight of Germany with other European countries. Unfortunately our history classes only covered the basic facts about the involvement of the USA and Japan. I never thought about how Japanese people living outside of Jap...more
K.P. Kollenborn
May 20, 2012 K.P. Kollenborn rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Although I studied history in college, I didn't focus on the events of WWII. I had classes on it, but they never showed what it was like for the Japanese and Japanese-Americans in America during that period. Eyes Behind Belligerence allows the reader to get a glimpse of the what it was like for the Japanese in the internment camps through the eyes of Russell and Jim, two high school aged boys struggling to find their place in America and the Japanese culture.

The book deals with tough questions,...more
Eyes Behind Belligerence by K.P. Kollenborn is a fictional and lengthy novel of what life was like being Japanese in America just prior to and after the Bombing of Pearl Harbor during WWII. Although the author makes it clear this is a work of fiction many of the facts and events are historically accurate.

The book starts off with a list of "Characters & Terminologies" that include pronunciations which I really found helpful with understand the book and then the story is broken down into five...more
I won this as a First Reads giveaway.

I came as close to finishing this as I could. I got to page 300 and ended up skimming the rest. Before I get to why I did not finish this book completely, I will write about what I liked.

This book takes place during World War 2 after the events of Pearl Harbor. It follows the story of Japanese American families put into internment camps. The main characters are Russell Hamaguchi and Jim Yoshimura. The cover of the book has the words: war, racism, internment c...more
Ruth Francisco
In a world of fast food, time management, speed dating, and flash fiction, it is nearly miraculous when an author is willing to do years of research, throw herself into the horrors of the past, and create real characters that live and breathe that era. The best historical fiction reveals unknown truths from the past, while at the same time delivering social or historical commentary that reflects issues relevant to our own time. This kind of writing is difficult. It takes time. It demands your so...more
Kersten Kelly
This is a great historical novel regarding the time of World War II. The author tells the story through the eyes of two families regarding their involvement with the internment camp. The author builds many of the characters up so that the reader can truly understand the context of the story, the hardships that they faced, and the difficult decisions that they were forced to make during this time. The story incorporates racism and loyalty toward two countries. It is a great read especially if you...more
I won this as part of a Goodreads FirstReads giveaway.
The story of two families as told through their teenage sons and the hardships and discrimination they endured during WWII for being Japanese-American. I really liked this story. I don't know much about the history of the camps in US during that time. I found this book informative. The characters were very easy to like and the struggles of dealing with not just being a teenager, but dealing with the emotions behind feeling like the world is a...more
Elaine Orr
Compelling story of two Japanese American families and their experience in an internment camp during World War II. Thorough research is evident, but the story does not read like a simple rendition of history. Characters handle the bigotry and captivity differently, and there is a lot for a reader to discover. See my full review on the web site of Self Publishing Review.
K.P. Kollenborn
Mar 27, 2012 K.P. Kollenborn rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)
'Eyes Behind Belligerence' has a nice flow of weaving personal and social struggles. Although it centers around a developing friendship, the two boys' families and non-family members enrich the development of many stories which, in turn, enrich the lives of the two main characters.

Part One begins with the suicide of Jim's older brother. Nearly four years later, Jim continues to suffer, isolating himself and blaming his father. Russell is his opposite. Out-going and idealistic, he is the All-Amer...more
I received this book as a First Reads Giveaway.

I will admit I went into this book not knowing what to expect. While the other reviewers either loved it or hated it, they agreed that the story was good, but grammar and writing issues were present. After finishing the book, I would completely agree. The story starts out very slow, but ends very well. There are quite a few editing and grammar issues which did influence my opinion of the book. Normally when I come across a typo or something in the b...more
I received a copy of this book from the author, with a request for review.

I have little patience with books that are poorly written and full of errors. I can tolerate a few here and there, but the errors in this book seem to get worse as the story progresses. It's as if someone got tired of proofreading after the first couple of chapters and decided it wasn't necessary to even try with the rest of the book. The more I read, the more difficult it was to differentiate between errors and what the a...more
Aimee Jodoin
After the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, over one hundred thousand Japanese-Americans were forced to leave their homes and were relocated to internment camps scattered across the American west. Centering on two families with differing loyalties, this historical novel traces the events and relationships of a community of Japanese-Americans in the context of WWII racism, from the day of the attack on Pearl Harbor through the three years they spent in the Manzanar internment camp, as well as the...more
Linda Rogers
What were the main relationships explored in this book? Culture. No matter what is said, a different culture within the majority doesn't always sit well and this book explores Japanese-American relations in ways I have never seen. The last time I saw it in this much detail was during the Okinawa rape case in 1995.

3 things I liked about the book … It was well-researched, historical fiction is never easy because large parts of it are based on fact and the author did a fantastic job at blending fac...more
I really enjoyed this book. I loved the way it went back and forth through other main characters. This book is not only about the war between America and Japan, but also about the war within the Japanese Culture, causing Racism among themselves. Japanese & Japanese-Americans struggled with who they should be loyal to, causing the Japanese born people to scream disloyalty to the Japanese Americans and therefore were killed in the name of Treason in their own villages. After the war had gone o...more
Larry Black
What were the main themes of the book? I would like to say war because the book is largely focused on incidents and people around the Pearl Harbour bombing but I think the more important theme is trust.

Describe 2 different settings or locations. About halfway through the book, the author describes the sun "steadily gazing down at Manzanar." She goes on to describe the scene around here and how life was continuing. You could absolutely feel the lull she described and this was a powerful scene for...more
Sean Cummings
Top 3 things I liked about the main character. Russell is very conflicted. He wants to be free but in some ways appreciates the routine he is given at the internment camp. He is impulsive but has a strong sense of loyalty that escapes some of the other charaters. His fight for freedom sheds light on a side that not many people realised existed.

Top 3 things I liked about the setting in this book. I knew very little about internment camps when I started this book so it was a history lesson for me....more
Amy Logan
Which did you find more appealing, the introduction or the conclusion? This story was told in different parts. Each had it's own underlying issues, relationships and stages of life. Makes it very difficult for me to pick just one section that I liked but if I had to choose it would be the ending. For me, there was no definite resolution but each character was able to grow emotionally and this was a big step for them.

Why would you recommend or not recommend this book? I think the editing could ha...more
James Noel
Which secondary character resonated most with you and why? Jim and Russell were both primary and secondary characters at different stages.
While Russell seemed to receive most readers' attention, I felt that Jim's resentment was a powerful element to the story.

How do you define the central theme in this story. The central theme was acceptance of a difficult situation. These characters were repeatedly tested for situations that were not caused by them and I think the outcome of this and the people...more
Amazing,I couldnt put this book down. Ms Kollenborn did a tremendous job in researching her book,with showing of old Japanese customs, historical events and the internment camps. I felt what it was like to be in that camp. Her two main characters Jim and Russell(Goro)Japanese-Americans are believable and with their parents who are much old school Japanese and extended families, you know that, what Ms Kollenborn has written could be considered a bit of a historical novel. So enjoyed the interacti...more
Vicky Smith
What I didn't like. There were multiple issues that almost stopped me from reading this book. Punctuation, grammar, formatting. If the story wasn't that good, I would have stopped reading at 20%

Did you find that the cover and title represented what the story was really about? A little bit but the cover could have used people or a historical landmark to indicate the timeline instead of a generic image.

What did you think of the story structure? A lot of us at the book club liked that the book was...more
Melissa Simpson
Favourite location / setting … In the introduction of the third chapter when Jim's daily activities are described and it ends with so little hope, the scene reaches out to you because you sense his desolation and you truly appreciate the freedom that we have nowadays.

Favourite scene …. When suicide is described as a worthy sacrifice. This was an eye-opener for me because I learnt something new about a different culture.

Favourite quote … "Then fight for your family's honour". This quote wasn't ju...more
Shelia Robinson
Did the plot pull you in? The plot pulled me in and this was not a forced read. The book made me feel sad because there is a strong chance that someone somewhere probably experienced what the author shared in this story.

How realistic was the characterization? The characterization was realistic but the dialogue wasn't. It was stunted, strained and had me saying "people don't talk like that."

How does the setting figure into the book? The setting was a source of desperation for the characters so ye...more
Courtney Lewis
Is the story plot or character driven? I think it is character driven against a strong plot of war, racism, loyalty and forgiveness.

Is the plot well-developed? When I first realised the length of the book, I was sure the plot was going to drag but I was wrong. It is fast-paced even in the sections that contain a lot of facts and historical information.

Who in this book would you most like to meet? Ralph Lazo because he wasn't a fictional character from this book. He was part of history and seemed...more
Amelia Stewart
Formatting / Appearance. There were several issues. Headers appeared more than once. Punctuation marks ran from one page to another.

Content (overall theme, idea and setting). The overall idea was good but the implementation needs improvement. For the most part, it was great but it needs an eagle eye editor or proofreader and a good ebook formatter.

What I liked. This was a unique story, and despite the many characters the author highlights culture, history and ordinary lives of people faced with...more
Amazing. While you may learn about this in history in just a 56 minute passing, you really have no idea what actually happened.
Kristi marked it as to-read
Sep 11, 2014
Enrique Herrera
Enrique Herrera marked it as to-read
Sep 05, 2014
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Even though I am from Kansas, I enjoy venturing into other worlds from around the globe which is why my writing focuses on diversity. With fluid accessibility to modern media and traveling opportunities, my Midwestern world can expand and explore beyond my own backyard. In addition to studying cultures, I take pleasure in studying history. Submitting to a moment in time allows us to remember, or t...more
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