Title: The Last Full Measure
Author: Ann Rinaldi (site)
Will Be Published: November 15th, 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Pages: 224 ebook (NetGalley)
Price: $11.47 Amazon $12.75 Book Depository (Pre-Order)
Synopsis: As Confederate and Union soldiers take over their town, the local residents can do little more than hunker down in their homes while cannon and gunfire explode around them. But the battles are not only fought between soldiers. At home, fourteen-year-old Tacy and her disabled brother lock horns as David struggles with his desire to go to war. He has strong principles, and it tortures him to allow others to fight while he does nothing. In the aftermath of this great and terrible battle, in which so many soldiers sacrifice their lives for their beliefs, David gives his last full measure…and leaves Tacy struggling to make sense out of it all. (Goodreads)
Initial Thoughts: I grew up reading and loving Ann Rinaldi's books. From about 7-11, I snapped up every historical fiction book I found in the kids and YA section. It's been a while since I've read anything by her, so I was curious to see if her writing is as good as I remember it.
Review: I love the way that Rinaldi writes. I was sucked right into the story. Everything flow nicely, reading was effortless. The only problem is that I didn't really care for the characters. David seemed like a real jerk to me, and after how things ended up for him, a complete fool as well. Tacy was somehow both headstrong and cowardly. I don't know if this is supposed to show how woman were treated/felt during this time period or if she was just a very mixed-up character. I enjoyed reading this one until I got about 3/4 of the way through it and realized that there wasn't going to be any real development of anything for Tacy. No romance, no growing up, she just kind of floated through this crazy, terrible story. It seemed like lots of things happened around her, but didn't really involve her. The sad thing is that I know I would have LOVED this book at about 8, I would have devoured it in one sitting and then sat dreaming about the time period for days. After reading this now, I wonder if all of the books I read at about that age were as disjointed.
Quick Review: Probably a great read for Middle Grade or younger YA, but not something that will resonate with older, more mature readers. The writing was, as usual, superb.