Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Young Blood by Jordan Taylor

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Obtained from: Personal Kindle Library
Read: November 23, 2014

Three boys are in search of adventure when Britain calls her subjects to serve in World War I. Determined to join up underage, they embark on adventures they never meant to have and witness more than they could have imagined. Young Blood, a short story based on historical events, brings to life the experiences of the child soldiers who fought in the trenches of the Western Front.

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Jordan Taylor's Young Blood is one of four short stories that make up the Great War Centennial series. I don't know what prompted me to buy the books, I wasn't looking for WWI fiction at the time, but something about the titles intrigued me so without fanfare or recommendation all four became part of my ever-growing library. 

Initially I felt Young Blood fluffy. It moved quickly without any real insight to the characters or material and I wasn't at all convinced it worth the short amount time I'd set aside for it. Then of course, the story settled. Taylor's light tone was meant to imitate the youthful exuberance of a generation who didn't understand the gravitas of death, war and sacrifice. 

Her approach shook me to my core, but the final scene is what clinched it. I'm not one to spoil a good story so you'll have to read it to discover what I mean, but suffice it to say Taylor's work is a truly touching testament to the youngest defenders of the British line. 

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I don’t know if Jerry feels as we do, hating what our daily existence has been reduced to, or if he’ll feel it after the attack at dawn, but I hope so. Perhaps, with unanimity, we could all go home.
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