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review 2017-09-19 15:12
1960s Saigon War and Culture
13 Months in Vietnam - Bill Kroger 13 Months in Vietnam - Bill Kroger

The majority of Vietnam stories take place mid-war after the fighting has begun. Relatively few start in the early phases of the war, when soldiers were professional Army enlistees who viewed themselves differently, and whose experiences were substantially dissimilar from soldiers who followed in their footsteps. 13 Months in Vietnam reveals those early years as it follows a squadron who travels the country in 1963, before the major shooting begins.


The first thing to note is that because of this pre-war story, the action is quite different than the usual Vietnam-era saga. Although it is penned by an enlisted soldier who spent 13 months in Vietnam traveling from Saigon to near the North Vietnam border, and is thus based on true events, it also incorporates a sense of place, people, and social and political perspectives which are quite different from the typical in-country story line.


The soldiers who enter Vietnam in this story are teens on the cusp of adulthood: as such, they carouse, have ambitions and dreams about the wider world, and demonstrate a perspective that involves much more than their roles in Vietnam, which slowly unfolds as circumstances change.


In a way, 13 Months in Vietnam is more of a classic coming-of-age story than a tale of military experience: readers can see the protagonist and his buddies growing, learning, and changing before their eyes. Of course, Vietnam is their focal point, and there are battles and cultural conflicts; but there are also moments of comic interlude even in the heart of danger and plenty of descriptions of evolution amidst a tour of duty that grows ever more challenging to the close-knit group.


At first the boys respond to the action with excitement. It's almost like TV - immediate and interactive; yet seemingly distant. It takes a series of events turn the boys from a tight-knit group to a close-knit company where the reality of death sinks in, overcoming the thrill of seeing action. As they imbibe and relive experiences, there are plenty of moments of reflection and growth.


Are they really protecting liberties and American ideals? Or is something else happening?


More so than most novels about the Vietnam era, 13 Months in Vietnam offers an often-intimate, realistic perspective of how boys turn into men and the thought processes that careen from excitement to hard realizations about individual choices and their impact and life and death.


Readers who seek a gritty, first-person perspective that fully embraces the evolutionary growth of boys to men under battle conditions, and who want a better-rounded view of the culture and experiences of Vietnam than battle scenes alone, will find 13 Months in Vietnam more than fits the bill for a thought-provoking, extraordinary survey of responsibilities, worries, and the culture and social atmosphere of 1960s Saigon.

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review 2017-09-05 23:29
Ashton: Lord of Truth (Lonely Lords) (Volume 13) - Grace Burrowes

Ashton:  Lord of Truth by Grace Burrowes is an awesome historical romance.  This book is well-written and full of lovable, amazing characters.  I especially loved Helen.  What a little spitfire.  Ashton and Matilda's story is full of drama, suspense, action and spice.  Best of all though was the humor.  I enjoyed reading Ashton: Lord of Truth and look forward to my next book by Grace Burrowes.  Ashton: Lord of Truth is book 13 of the Lonely Lords Series but can be read as a standalone.  This is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger.

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review 2017-08-29 15:07
Squad Goals
Squad Goals (Geek Actually Season 1 Episode 13) - Rachel Stuhler,Melissa Blue,Cecilia Tan,Cathy Yardley

Geek Actually, Book 1.13

I Picked Up This Book Because: Continuing the series

The Characters:

Aditi Sodhi, Christina Webber, Elli Kelman, Michelle Andrada, Taneesha Adams:

The Story:

I liked the conclusion of this season. It seems like all the ladies are in a good place and poised to move on to great things.

The Random Thoughts:

Soooo, when will there be more?

4 Stars

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review 2017-08-28 23:09
13 Ways of Looking At a Fat Girl
13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl: Fiction - Mona Awad
I really don’t know what was so hilarious about this novel. From reading the synopsis, I expected some humorous moments while I read but in reality, I didn’t find anything funny. I did find a novel that I think reflected the situation at hand. No, I didn’t think this novel was sad, I thought it reflected the reality of what some individuals must face every day.
Being overweight, Misery went through a lot of self-discovery and change, as she tried to deal with her situation. Misery knew she was overweight and as a teen, she craved for attention. She was more concerned about pleasing others than herself. As the novel continued, her behavior started to bother me. She was reckless, she was going downhill, her self-esteem was suffering but she couldn’t see what was actually happening. Then, Misery changed. She became overly concerned about food and her body image. The weight started to come off but had she just changed her focus and not herself internally?
It’s a good novel that addresses how some woman feel about their bodies and how society influences it. I didn’t feel that this novel dove as deep as it should when addressing this issue. I did enjoy the short chapters but I wanted more. Weight and self-esteem go hand-in-hand in this issue as Misery shared her life with me.


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