But it's not. It's nonfiction. Which makes it much, much more than simply a "great book."
Unbroken tells the life story of Louis Zamperini - troublemaker, Olympic athlete, Japanese POW, and survivor. Above all, survivor. It follows him through a difficult childhood (he started smoking at age 5) to his discovery of a talent for running (could he have been the first person to run a four-minute mile?). And then World War II begins. Pearl Harbor happens, and Louis is off to war. From there, his adventures become even more unbelievable. It boggles the mind to think that anyone could survive what he survived.
Since I'm posting this review after the movie has come out, a lot of you may already be familiar with the events of Louie's life. I haven't seen the movie yet. I'm sure it's good, but either way, you should still read the book. Laura Hillenbrand is a phenomenal writer who brings Louie's story to nail-biting life. She also puts it in the greater historical context, adding details about the 1936 Olympics or the dangers of being an airman in WWII or how people were affected by being a prisoner of war.
As amazing and terrible as Louie's life was during the war, what really got me was the ending. This is a book about forgiveness. Forgiving those who have done you unspeakable harm. It's only through the power of God that such forgiveness is possible. Louis Zamperini is an incredible person, and Laura Hillenbrand is the perfect author to tell us his story.