I had a lot of reasons to be interested in this book, not in the least being that my grandpa served in the Pacific Theater during WWII. I think the war in Europe often overshadows the war in the Pacific, so whenever I see something set in that area of the world I'm interested. And then, of course, to have this be such an epic true story makes it an even more rewarding read.
I think if I didn't know that this was a true story, I'd pan it a bit for being unbelievable - the sequence of events that make up Zamparini's life just seem incredible, and his ability to survive and ultimately forgive make for compelling reading. I did feel like there were a few points - in the beginning particularly - where the narrative was a bit slow, but I can forgive those small issues in light of an otherwise wonderful book. This was definitely a story I won't soon forget. Highly recommended.