Boyd's Reviews > Fallen Angels

Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
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's review
Feb 16, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: youngadulthighinterest
Read in February, 2008

Once again, a young adult author surprises me with a piece of hard hitting fiction transcending the inadequate categorizations that we try to slap on literature. At this point I don't know why I'm still surprised when I pick up a YA book and it blows me away with its authenticity and depth, but it keeps happening.

Fallen Angels is a quick read. Once I started rolling on it, I finished it in a few hours. The plotline is standard, though the fluctuation between mundane and boring to hellish and violent in the various scenes does a nice job of reflecting what I've been told about service in Vietnam. The book touches on some of the underlying issues of race in Vietnam, but I'd actually probably have preferred a little heavier exploration of the racial tensions. It's definitely present and explored, but it doesn't end up playing any sort of critical role in the storyline. Maybe that's a good thing, but I just kept expecting it to play into the plot somehow (like with the squad fragging the racist Sgt).

The book captures the bond that springs up between these young men (boys really) in time of war. I believe this to be the novel's strongest point. The characters in the squad move frenetically from adolescent snapping to displays of loyalty to surprising shows of love and affection and back again in what I feel is probably a realistic depiction of the ties that develop between a band of brothers in combat, which seems to bring out both the best and worst of us as humans.
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message 1: by Ken (new)

Ken I read this years ago and loved it. It's a slow mover in class, though. Maybe I'll have to push it more (we both know how important that is). Give Soldier X (Wulffson, Don) a try, too. I really liked that as well.

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