I read Purple Heart as a part of my never ending search for compelling YA lit for my classroom library. Several of my students had read and enjoyed CuI read Purple Heart as a part of my never ending search for compelling YA lit for my classroom library. Several of my students had read and enjoyed Cut, also by Patricia McCormick, so when I saw Purple Heart on the shelves I decided to give it a try.
Purple Heart tells the story of Private Matt Duffy, stationed in Iraq. At the opening of the action, Matt wakes in a hospital ward with intense head pain and a fuzzy memory of the events that got him there. The majority of the book focuses on Matt's stay in the hospital and his efforts to piece together the circumstances of his injury, including the death of Ali, an Iraqi orphan that Matt had befriended. As he does so, he discovers that remembering may not bring him the peace that he seeks.
Unfortunately war does not allow time for self reflection. Private Duffy is sent back into action before he comes to terms with what happened to him. He returns to his squadron shaky and unsure of himself as a soldier. Some of his squadron treat him differently, and his best friend, Justin, refuses to be alone with him. Out on patrol, he encounters events, some mundane and others tragic, that continue to force him to try and make sense of senseless violence.
The story is well-written and believable. McCormick is known for doing extensive research for her stories, and her research shows. I was drawn into Matt's world and was concerned enough for his character that I wanted him to resolve his inner conflicts in a productive manner. I also was curious to find out what REALLY happened the day that Matt was injured. The story satisfied my curiosity. Unfortunately, the ending did not satisfy me. I found myself turning the page and going..."That's it? It's done?" I felt there should have been one more chapter for a more solid resolution.
That being said, the rest of the book far outweighs the lackluster ending. It's entertaining and thought-provoking without being pretentious. ...more
An interesting look at Lincoln's life from a psychological lens. It explores Lincoln as a man along with Lincoln as a leader. I got so wrapped up thatAn interesting look at Lincoln's life from a psychological lens. It explores Lincoln as a man along with Lincoln as a leader. I got so wrapped up that I became sad when reading about his death. ...more
Anyone who knows me, knows that i loathe the "chic-lit" genre. (Although I have been caught reading a chic lit book or two in my day.) I find that theAnyone who knows me, knows that i loathe the "chic-lit" genre. (Although I have been caught reading a chic lit book or two in my day.) I find that the books are often cliche at best. Sammy's HIll is a completely different kind of book. Yes, it fits the characteristics of chic-lit. It's heroine, Sammy, is a quirky single girl in her mid twenties who struggles with her interactions with the opposite sex. But the book is so much more. First of all, the author, Kristen Gore (daughter of Al Gore), is uncommonly witty. To add to her wit, she sets her story not in midtown New York City, but in the political jungle of Washington DC (no doubt due to Gore's own experiences). Sammy is loveable, sympathetic, neurotic, and completely hopeless in almost every arena... except her job. She s a health care policy advisor to Senator Robert Gary. The book is The West Wing meets The Devil Wears Pradaand a happier combination I have yet to find. ...more