Saturday, January 7, 2012

"Purple Heart" By: Patricia McCormick Review

Today we're talking about
"Purple Heart" 
By: Patricia McCormick

Synopsis from Barnes and Noble:

When Private Matt Duffy wakes up in an army hospital in Iraq, he's honored with a Purple Heart. But he doesn't feel like a hero.

There's a memory that haunts him: an image of a young Iraqi boy as a bullet hits his chest. Matt can't shake the feeling that he was somehow involved in his death. But because of a head injury he sustained just moments after the boy was shot, Matt can't quite put all the pieces together.
Eventually Matt is sent back into combat with his squad—Justin, Wolf, and Charlene—the soldiers who have become his family during his time in Iraq. He just wants to go back to being the soldier he once was. But he sees potential threats everywhere and lives in fear of not being able to pull the trigger when the time comes. In combat there is no black-and-white, and Matt soon discovers that the notion of who is guilty is very complicated indeed.

My Thoughts:
     I loved this book. Simply loved it. This is another one that I would never have picked it up if it hadn't been a Missouri Gateway Award Nominee but I really enjoyed it.
     The POV of this book is an 18 year old boy named Matt who is a private in the United States Army. The story opens up with a confused Matt not knowing why he is in a hospital nor how he got there. I think the magic in this story is the way the tale is laid out. The magic is how you find out the details - you the reader find out just as Matt does.
     I am 25, not terribly old but not terribly young either. I loved how the author was able to correctly get the ways boys of that age range think and act. Matt is just an American kid plunked down in the middle of this war that he doesn't completely understand, yet he's supposed to subdue these Iraqi's that are people, just like him. He makes friends with some of the people and in the end, that is the heart of the story. Who is an enemy? Who can you trust? Does age play a part in war and if it does, when does innocence come into play.
     An excellent story that will leave you feeling confused but happy you read it. Also very age appropriate for the Gateway award - excellent selection on this title. I'm off to read my next Gateway book but who knows what that will be...some pretty great titles still on the list to read!


  1. Like you, this is one that I probably wouldn't just pick up. I have to be in the right mood to read these types of books because they are normally emotionally straining. It sounds like you really enjoyed it though. Thanks for the review.

  2. Wow, what a deep book. I mostly don't read life story/army book but this seems interesting. Love the review.