I write, read and review, I blog frequently and love anything to do with books and writing, including editing. I am a Book Nerd and I wear that badge with pride. http://coffee2words.wordpress.com
Goodbye Junie Moon is a thoroughly engrossing read. I was a little surprised at how the book opened, talk about grabbing someone's attention!
The different aspects of June Collins' life up to the investigation where she went on record about the corruption within the US military during the Vietnam war, was well documented and added to the emotional and personal feel of this book. I felt as I was reading, that I came to know June a little. I witnessed her past through her eyes, something we seldom get to do, and I could not only understand her anger at these men, but I too shared it with her.
I loved that this book had a lot of Aussie-ness included, June is an Aussie, so there was bound to be some in here. But most of all, I loved that we got to see rural New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Sydney and Melbourne through June's eyes. I've personally been to a number of the places visited in the book and I loved hearing about them in the time that June was there. It was an eye-opener.
The insight into the life of the men who fought and the few women who were also present in the Vietnam war was truly amazing. Some of the situations June found herself in raised the hairs on the back of my neck as I rapidly read through them. Her courage and determination shone throughout the pages of this book.
Along with the great times and experiences June shares with her readers, there are too, a number of sadnesses. These were the clinchers for me. The heartbreaking scene in the little unit, the ending with the white petals... it was raw and honest and in a sorrow-filled, gut-wrenching, soul-crushing way, beautiful. Not beautiful because June had to experience these horrible things, but beautiful because she so honestly and openly shared them with her readers and allowed them to glimpse into her pain with her.
So far, this review reads like one for a 5 star rated book, alas, this isn't the case as there were things that I didn't enjoy. The book could do with a once over by an editor/proof-reader, there were a few weird formatting things I noticed, extra spaces and missing spaces throughout the book, but they were fairly minor, just a little annoying.
The biggest issue I had was with the format the story took, I actually made comments about this with my progress updates. I felt that by jumping from June's childhood/early Australian years, to her time in the Philippines, to the Vietnam war and her involvement there and then finally to the Senate investigation in Washington it caused a jarring effect. I would be just getting into the story about Bake and his kids and the next page would whisk me off to Vietnam when June was an adult and making her way around the various bases.
I personally, would have preferred this book in chronological order, or perhaps in slightly longer chunks at the same place in time. I think it would allow for a smoother transition between the times and also allow for the reader to become more involved with the characters/people of those times before being whisked away.
Ultimately, this was a really interesting read, it's nothing like anything I've read before, but I really enjoyed it. If you are interested in hearing about the Vietnam war, interested in exotic dancing or the entertainment circuit in Asia, or just want an entertaining, somewhat racy read, then this book could be for you.
Some things I noticed:
44% - a double full stop
48% - '...only eighteen year(s) old.'
58% - '...and discerning G I (remove the space between G and I) could see...'
75% - '.Someone (remove full stop) screamed "Fire, Fire"'
**Note: I received an electronic copy of this book in return for an honest review**