Andi Davis is looking for an escape from her disorganized, dysfunctional home life, and West Point seems the only logical way out. Andi figures that given everything she has had to put up with at home, West Point will be a breeze. But nothing could have prepared her for the first six weeks of cadet training, better known as Beast.
Andi is screamed at, belittled, and worn down during the long, grueling training that is designed to break cadets and then rebuild them into soldiers. The upper class cadets bark orders so fast that her head spins, and the fact that she is one of only two girls in her platoon makes things even more difficult. But Andi decides that anything is better than going home, anything.
This first novel by Amy Efaw, a West Point Class of 1989 graduate, is a powerful and gripping look at an intensely privatecommunity with its own rules and regulations. It shows us the terrors and triumphs of those who want to belong to a team.
Books for the Teen Age 2001 (NYPL)
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Amy Efaw graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1989. She is currently a Captain in the U.S. Army Reserves and a mother of four. She has moved all around the country with her attorney husband, who is an active-duty army officer in the Judge Advocate General's Corps. She lives with her family in Tacoma, Washington.From Publishers Weekly:
In this insider account of a female cadet's first summer at West Point, readers are given a potent dose of military life. Andi Davis is eager to escape her unstable family when she enrolls at "Woo Poo U," but she is not prepared to be humiliated and bombarded with confusing commands during the first few days of "Beast," the six weeks of basic training. As she is alternately whipped into shape (Will she ever master regulation push-ups?) and methodically stripped of her civilian habits (not to mention her $65 perm and her unauthorized deck shoes), she is plagued by self-doubt; the taunts of the upperclassmen echo the verbal abuse dished out by her mother. And as one of only two females in the platoon, Andi is determined not to be the "weak link." First-novelist Efaw, a graduate of West Point, does not question the grueling training tactics, much less the philosophies girding a military academy. She focuses squarely on Andi's personal struggle to conform to rigid, exacting standards. The dialogue is strongAthe upperclassmen's insults, the new cadets' awkward responses and private conversations create a thick, believable atmosphere. Even readers who disagree with Andi's values will be pulling for her. Ages 12-up.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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