The Things They Carried - Tim O'Brien I was assigned to read this for American Lit class. It's not the kind of book I would normally pick up on my own. I thought I would hate it, because I was like, "Eew, war book …" and thought it would be Slaughterhouse-Five all over again (had to read that last year, hated it). But this one I liked. I liked how there were a bunch of different stories that all fit together in some loose way, and how all the characters seemed very real. It was an intriguing and original view of war: not glorifying it or criticizing it, just observing how it affects human beings. What I liked the most was Tim O'Brien's writing style. His writing is very raw, very honest. There were a lot of images in there that I'm never going to get out of my head. He has a way with words, a great way of describing things. I would even re-read passages of it because they were so good, and I'm normally a skim-reader.I only had a couple small issues with it. There were parts that I found hard to follow, although I guess that's expected when you're a high school student reading a book written for adults. I was confused about which parts were fiction and which were non-fiction, which I think was sort of the intention, but I think O'Brien tried to explain it at some point and it just made me more confused. Haha. And then … I wish there had been a little something more in the ending. It kind of just ended and it had that "That's it?" feel to it. Maybe that was a statement of some kind. Like, "Life has no conclusions!" But, I don't know. I felt like I got a lot out of reading it, but it could have used some more closure to make me feel a little less empty at the end.In conclusion – very good book. I enjoyed it. :) *EDIT* Whaaa? I only gave this 4 stars and not 5? Okay well, I'm switching it to 5. I guess this is one of those books you have to think about for a long time before you can really appreciate it. I know a book is good when it really sticks with me––because I read a lot. I read this more than a year ago, and I still remember it so vividly, even some of the most tiny details. I'm always recommending this book to people.I will restate that Tim O'Brien is one heck of a writer. I've reread parts of this book since I first read it, and every time I pick it up and read a part of it, it never ceases to amaze me. Not just the flow of it, but the way O'Brien creates powerful images and evokes such strong emotions in the reader. I'm a teenage girl. I've never been to war. I've never liked war stories. But this one really gets to me, and really makes me feel like I'm living through it. It's a beautiful, beautiful book, yet about something so horrific. I got my dad to read it a few months ago and it was really interesting to discuss with him. What I said in my earlier review about how I couldn't tell the difference between fiction and non-fiction ... That doesn't bother me anymore. I now understand O'Brien's intentions better, especially after this year in my Writing class when I had to write memoir vignettes of my own. The point is, sometimes you have to lie for the sake of telling a good story. It's just that, O'Brien chooses to admit that he's lying and to explain why. And I like that, because it makes the story all the more realistic and believable.In other words ... Just read the damn book, everyone. It's bloody amazing.