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Soldier Boys

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Spencer Morgan and Dieter Hedrick are on opposite sides of the war and fighting for the same thing. At the age of fifteen, Dieter's blind devotion gets him promoted from Hitler Youth into the German army. Dieter's determined to prove his allegiance and bravery at all costs. Spence, just sixteen, drops out of his Utah high school to begin training as a paratrooper. He's seen Spencer Morgan and Dieter Hedrick are on opposite sides of the war and fighting for the same thing. At the age of fifteen, Dieter's blind devotion gets him promoted from Hitler Youth into the German army. Dieter's determined to prove his allegiance and bravery at all costs. Spence, just sixteen, drops out of his Utah high school to begin training as a paratrooper. He's seen how boys who weren't much in high school can come home heroes, and Spence wants to prove to his friends and family that he really can be something. Their worst fear was that the war would end too soon -- that they wouldn't get the chance to prove themselves. But when they finally see the action they were hoping for, it's like nothing they could have ever imagined.


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Spencer Morgan and Dieter Hedrick are on opposite sides of the war and fighting for the same thing. At the age of fifteen, Dieter's blind devotion gets him promoted from Hitler Youth into the German army. Dieter's determined to prove his allegiance and bravery at all costs. Spence, just sixteen, drops out of his Utah high school to begin training as a paratrooper. He's seen Spencer Morgan and Dieter Hedrick are on opposite sides of the war and fighting for the same thing. At the age of fifteen, Dieter's blind devotion gets him promoted from Hitler Youth into the German army. Dieter's determined to prove his allegiance and bravery at all costs. Spence, just sixteen, drops out of his Utah high school to begin training as a paratrooper. He's seen how boys who weren't much in high school can come home heroes, and Spence wants to prove to his friends and family that he really can be something. Their worst fear was that the war would end too soon -- that they wouldn't get the chance to prove themselves. But when they finally see the action they were hoping for, it's like nothing they could have ever imagined.

30 review for Soldier Boys

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jamey

    This book was one of the best I’ve read. Today I was planning on reading only a chapter, but I ended up finishing it instead. The ending was so amazing and shocking that it actually made me cry! It makes one wonder if there are more books similar to this, either fiction or nonfiction. Stories like this showcase our history, and people should read about it. Whether it’s fiction or nonfiction, it should still be a relevant topic for books. I highly recommend this book!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Hunter Kimball

    This was a really good book. It was annoying I couldn't read ahead because it was the in class reading. I definately say anyone that likes world war 2 book that this is a good book showing the sides of the germans and the american through 2 different people. This was a really good book. It was annoying I couldn't read ahead because it was the in class reading. I definately say anyone that likes world war 2 book that this is a good book showing the sides of the germans and the american through 2 different people.

  3. 5 out of 5

    John Carron

    This book was great! It was about two young boys in World War II, German Dieter Hendrick and American Spence Morgan. They both join their armies because they want the chance to prove themselves on the battlefield. They both think that the war will end to soon and they wont get their chance. But what they don't realize is what happens on the battlefield. This book was great! It was about two young boys in World War II, German Dieter Hendrick and American Spence Morgan. They both join their armies because they want the chance to prove themselves on the battlefield. They both think that the war will end to soon and they wont get their chance. But what they don't realize is what happens on the battlefield.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Keann

    This was a pretty good book. I liked how it was about two soldiers and their time in war. I also liked how they were on different sides of the war so it talked in different perspectives. Another thing I like was how they were both fighting each other or they were against each other, but still helped each other out. I liked this book because it shows bravery, kindness, sadness, happiness, and so much more. I thing if you like war you would like this book. This is what I thought about Soldier boys This was a pretty good book. I liked how it was about two soldiers and their time in war. I also liked how they were on different sides of the war so it talked in different perspectives. Another thing I like was how they were both fighting each other or they were against each other, but still helped each other out. I liked this book because it shows bravery, kindness, sadness, happiness, and so much more. I thing if you like war you would like this book. This is what I thought about Soldier boys.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ally C

    First go all it is such a bad book in my opinion , the book would be good for people that like historical fiction (not me). Overall the book is confusing if you are like me you didn't understand that the 2 main characters were on the opposite side. It was really daunting to read because of the german word that are in it. I would have never picked this book up and i suggested if you don't like historical don't choose this book. There are other book s and I don't think i am going to read them. First go all it is such a bad book in my opinion , the book would be good for people that like historical fiction (not me). Overall the book is confusing if you are like me you didn't understand that the 2 main characters were on the opposite side. It was really daunting to read because of the german word that are in it. I would have never picked this book up and i suggested if you don't like historical don't choose this book. There are other book s and I don't think i am going to read them.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ethan

    This book is about 2 people, named Spencer, and Dieter. Spencer wants to go in the war but his dad doesn't want him to yet. Dieter is already preparing for the war. This book is one of the best historical fiction books i've ever read. I would recommend this book to almost anyone. This book is about 2 people, named Spencer, and Dieter. Spencer wants to go in the war but his dad doesn't want him to yet. Dieter is already preparing for the war. This book is one of the best historical fiction books i've ever read. I would recommend this book to almost anyone.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Danny Gerdes

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I really enjoyed this book. It is definitely one of the saddest books I have ever read. I like how the author wrote the book so you would know that Spencer and Dieter would eventually meet but you didn't know how they would meet. I like how she had them meet but did not tell you so you had to make an inference that the German soldier Spencer was helping was Dieter. I did not expect them to meet like that and I definitely did not expect Spencer to sacrifice himself for Dieter. Like other reviewer I really enjoyed this book. It is definitely one of the saddest books I have ever read. I like how the author wrote the book so you would know that Spencer and Dieter would eventually meet but you didn't know how they would meet. I like how she had them meet but did not tell you so you had to make an inference that the German soldier Spencer was helping was Dieter. I did not expect them to meet like that and I definitely did not expect Spencer to sacrifice himself for Dieter. Like other reviewers on goodreads said it was the most heartbreaking part of any book I have ever read. This book shows the story of two young men on different sides of WWII. This book was written so well and had so much suspense that I wanted to keep reading and could not put it down. It was hard to read after Spencer was killed and it was even sadder when you read about Dieter's side of the story. He knew Spencer was trying to help him but he could not say anything. Overall I loved this book but it was so sad.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Susannah

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book had a really profound effect on me. Spencer demonstrated what it means to be a true Christian. The fact that a 16 year old boy is willing to show such humanity towards his "enemy" is very touching. I cried when I read the last page. Spencer started out as an innocent young boy who wanted to become an illustrious and famous soldier to impress a girl. He died as a much more remarkable hero - the type that doesn't win every honor that the army has to offer, the type that doesn't get remem This book had a really profound effect on me. Spencer demonstrated what it means to be a true Christian. The fact that a 16 year old boy is willing to show such humanity towards his "enemy" is very touching. I cried when I read the last page. Spencer started out as an innocent young boy who wanted to become an illustrious and famous soldier to impress a girl. He died as a much more remarkable hero - the type that doesn't win every honor that the army has to offer, the type that doesn't get remembered in history books. He died showing humanity to his fellow man. That is what true bravery is. All in all, an excellent book.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Mrs.Morgan

    (The beginning of this book made me nervous as it started out quite slow. However, after about 40 or 50 pages, I started to notice my interest level changing and my desire to put the book down became less and less). This is such a great dual-perspective story about a boy named Spence and a boy named Dieter. As the story progresses, you come to care greatly for both of the characters, even when you want to shake some sense into Dieter. Dean Hughes did an incredible job weaving a tale that ultimatel (The beginning of this book made me nervous as it started out quite slow. However, after about 40 or 50 pages, I started to notice my interest level changing and my desire to put the book down became less and less). This is such a great dual-perspective story about a boy named Spence and a boy named Dieter. As the story progresses, you come to care greatly for both of the characters, even when you want to shake some sense into Dieter. Dean Hughes did an incredible job weaving a tale that ultimately leaves you sad and heart-wrenched but with just the right amount of distress. It is not hard to imagine that tales like this happened over and over again in WWII and that gives this text a feeling of authenticity. I would absolutely recommend this book to both adults and young adults, and specifically those who don't typically like historical fiction. I feel as though this text could [ever so slightly] change their mind.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Joanna

    I don't think I've ever read a more heartbreaking story in my life. This book was absolutely beautiful, following the tale of two young boys (one 15 and German, and the other 16 and American) who are on opposite sides during WWII. I enjoyed every minute of this amazing novel and Dean Hughs truly captures the essence of war and its effect on people. the ending was something I never would have expected and the way he wrote it had me sobbing my heart out - and I rarely ever cry when reading. It was I don't think I've ever read a more heartbreaking story in my life. This book was absolutely beautiful, following the tale of two young boys (one 15 and German, and the other 16 and American) who are on opposite sides during WWII. I enjoyed every minute of this amazing novel and Dean Hughs truly captures the essence of war and its effect on people. the ending was something I never would have expected and the way he wrote it had me sobbing my heart out - and I rarely ever cry when reading. It was just so bittersweet and touching. I absolutely LOVED it. 5 stars and one of the best books I've ever read. :D

  11. 4 out of 5

    Nick Luce

    i think that the book was good. The beginning was a little slow but once i got into the middle of the book it got really good really fast. The end of the book was a plot twist.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Cody

    It was a good book but hard to understand the peoples different stories until you get farther in the book, but over all it wasn't a bad book. It was a good book but hard to understand the peoples different stories until you get farther in the book, but over all it wasn't a bad book.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

    When one reads a war book, it's always nice if the book is in first person. It gives the reader a hope that the narrator will survive the horrible events that you know will unfold. Unfortunately this book is in third person. Actually, it's two third person stories interwoven. One, that of Dieter, a young German boy swept up into the Hitler Youth, and the other of Spencer, a young Mormon boy, who quits high school in order to enlist in the paratroopers. Both boys come to see behind the glamour of When one reads a war book, it's always nice if the book is in first person. It gives the reader a hope that the narrator will survive the horrible events that you know will unfold. Unfortunately this book is in third person. Actually, it's two third person stories interwoven. One, that of Dieter, a young German boy swept up into the Hitler Youth, and the other of Spencer, a young Mormon boy, who quits high school in order to enlist in the paratroopers. Both boys come to see behind the glamour of war to the dirty, awful, soul killing business that it really is. Novels like this are necessary. Particularly those that might be read by impressionable young men, giving them a glimpse into just what being a soldier might mean. Perhaps Spenser's christian act of heroism toward the end of the book will be seen, appreciated and possibly even emulated by those most in need of the example. This novel is a fast read and for the most part an easy one. And yet, it's worth the time. This book doesn't dwell on the misery as Erich Maria Remarque did in his WWI tome but the message still gets through. I would highly recommend it.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Riley Schopf

    This is my favorite book this whole year! The whole book was centered around to teenagers that join the army during World War 2. Dieter is one of the boys, and he is a German. And Spence is the other boy and he is American. The conflict is the trails they face and how meet while fighting. What happens when they meet, it's so unpredictable. Dieter is injured, and crying for help, on the bottom of a hill. The Americans hear him, but because he's German, they order their men to leave Dieter to die. This is my favorite book this whole year! The whole book was centered around to teenagers that join the army during World War 2. Dieter is one of the boys, and he is a German. And Spence is the other boy and he is American. The conflict is the trails they face and how meet while fighting. What happens when they meet, it's so unpredictable. Dieter is injured, and crying for help, on the bottom of a hill. The Americans hear him, but because he's German, they order their men to leave Dieter to die. But Spence disobeys orders. He goes down the hill. Finds a dead medic and takes his supplies, and goes to the crying Dieter laying on the ground. And he saves his life. But more Germans show up. I don't want to spoil it , but know that it was so sad, and depressing, but so heartwarming, I almost cried. It's just amazing how the author can just use both characters so cohesively to tell the brilliant story.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Melia

    What I learned from this book is to never give up and to quote from this book... " It is okay to pass out, just never stop on purpose.So run until you drop." What I learned from this book is to never give up and to quote from this book... " It is okay to pass out, just never stop on purpose.So run until you drop."

  16. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I thought that it was fairly good . It was well written I just wish the end didn't end the way it did. I thought that it was fairly good . It was well written I just wish the end didn't end the way it did.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Paige

    It was pretty good although I didn't love the ending overall it wasn't bad. It was pretty good although I didn't love the ending overall it wasn't bad.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Hailey Crabtree

    I thought it was a pretty good book! I liked how it kinda explained to you what the men had to go through before and during the war. I didn't like it at times because I thought it was kinda graphic when the kids or the men got shot and it explained how they looked after the shot. I was surprised and kinda disappointed on how the book ended but other then that it was a good book! I thought it was a pretty good book! I liked how it kinda explained to you what the men had to go through before and during the war. I didn't like it at times because I thought it was kinda graphic when the kids or the men got shot and it explained how they looked after the shot. I was surprised and kinda disappointed on how the book ended but other then that it was a good book!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Tyler

    It was a really good book

  20. 5 out of 5

    Isaac

    Overall I thought the book was pretty good. I like how in one chapter it was about one character, and in the next chapter, it was about another character. I thought the book used quite a bit of detail and I think it was written very well. That is until the end. The way the book ended made me very disappointed. It happened way to fast and when I was reading it, it felt like the author was rushing to finish it quickly so they shortened it. Even with the ending, the rest of the story was written we Overall I thought the book was pretty good. I like how in one chapter it was about one character, and in the next chapter, it was about another character. I thought the book used quite a bit of detail and I think it was written very well. That is until the end. The way the book ended made me very disappointed. It happened way to fast and when I was reading it, it felt like the author was rushing to finish it quickly so they shortened it. Even with the ending, the rest of the story was written well so the book deserves a 4 star rating. I would recommend this book to a friend!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jacob_Parker

    Great story line but could be hard to follow at times.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kyle G.

    I really liked this book. I liked how it switched from person to person, but at times it was kind of confusing. Usually I stay away from historical fiction but it was still really good

  23. 4 out of 5

    Anh Nguyen

    Soldier Boys, a fictional book was written by Dean Hughes, This book is actually awesome although the cover of it looks boring, but because my friend suggested it to me and I also like reading about war and fiction books so I picked it up. In my opinion, it wasn’t a good book in the first time I read me feel that I was staying in the war. By the way, this story talks about 2 young men came from 2 other countries which were an enemy in the World War II, they are America and Germany. Spence Morga Soldier Boys, a fictional book was written by Dean Hughes, This book is actually awesome although the cover of it looks boring, but because my friend suggested it to me and I also like reading about war and fiction books so I picked it up. In my opinion, it wasn’t a good book in the first time I read me feel that I was staying in the war. By the way, this story talks about 2 young men came from 2 other countries which were an enemy in the World War II, they are America and Germany. Spence Morgan, who was an American boy wanted to prove himself to his family and his friends, Spence was 16 when he decided he wanted to go into military, he was excited, thinking he'd be a hero, especially since he was joining the paratroopers which were thought to be the bravest and the best. He couldn't until he was 17, and he still legally needed his parents to permit him to until he was 18, and surprisingly his dad lets him. About Dieter, he is a young German was affected by the war while he was a little kid. “Hitler Youth”, the program that forced kids to become part of the war, they made the kids dig out trenches on the war front. Dieter aspired to go up the ranks of Hitler youth and eventually go into the military, which he did. In the book, author interspersed story between two characters but at the end of the story, he connected two of them back in an ingenious way, I think he did it because he wants to attract readers, don’t make them feel boring when they are reading it. Also while I was reading it, I could imagine that I was in the war, I could hear the sound of the guns and tanks were fighting together on the snow and a lot of people were killed. Throughout this book, Dean shows us the tragic of the war that a lot of people were killed just because they want to protect their country, their home, their family. The war also took away their dream, they have a lot of things need to do in the future it’s gone because of the war. This story also shows us the personality of the people, the soldier in the war. They don’t care there are an enemy or not, but they give together the compassionate just because in their soul, they don’t want to kill people, they just want to protect their country but the war forced them to do it. The end of the story made me surprised because it is way different what I was thinking and I still have some disappointed but it is still a good book.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jaidin Downs

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I would say that this book is pretty good, it got boring at some parts, but then others it would have a lot of action. I liked this book because I love world war 2 books. My favorite character is Spence, he is a young man that enlists in the airborne for the wrong reasons. The main reason why he enlists is to impress a girl, but later on he finds out that he had made a mistake because he sees what war is really like. He sees his friend get shot and he goes to save an enemy soldier, instead of sh I would say that this book is pretty good, it got boring at some parts, but then others it would have a lot of action. I liked this book because I love world war 2 books. My favorite character is Spence, he is a young man that enlists in the airborne for the wrong reasons. The main reason why he enlists is to impress a girl, but later on he finds out that he had made a mistake because he sees what war is really like. He sees his friend get shot and he goes to save an enemy soldier, instead of shooting an injured soldier. When he tries to save the soldier he is shot and killed on the battlefield, his dad knows why he would try to help the enemy because he was a preacher in the army and they didn't like to kill others. There is also another main character, his name is Dieter. He is a young man that was taught the nazi ways, but in the end he finds out that Hitler wasn't really the good guy at all. He is told the truth by a friend that has heard that the russians are winning and the germans can't win and that the germans are doing horrible stuff to the Jews. The main idea of the story is that young people shouldn't try to rush into the military without thinking, and that you can't always think that you will be a hero because if you do that on the battlefield then you will get killed.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jacob Ellis

    At first I didn't like the book. It was very confusing from the start. After I got a couple chapters in I stared to like the book. When one of the main characters named Spence was trying to convince his dad to let him join the army it reminded me of some times when I argue with my dad over things. The book I found out is about 2 diferent people. The other character's name was Deiter and he was a german solider. When Diters story stared it was very suspence full. His story startes with watching o At first I didn't like the book. It was very confusing from the start. After I got a couple chapters in I stared to like the book. When one of the main characters named Spence was trying to convince his dad to let him join the army it reminded me of some times when I argue with my dad over things. The book I found out is about 2 diferent people. The other character's name was Deiter and he was a german solider. When Diters story stared it was very suspence full. His story startes with watching one of the people in his unit go cought for diserting. I felt like I was there when he was decribing it and cringed a little bit when the guy was exicuted. The part I didn't understand about the book was that all of the sudden we was waliking into this mysterious building. I was very suprised when it was Hitlers office and he was getting awared the silver cross.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Corey Butler

    I liked the book, I think part of it is that I am interested in WWII. I think that it was one of the better historical fiction books that I have read. I would recommend it to any who likes historical fiction or WWII, or history in general.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Zach

    It was good, it gave a perspective from both sides of World War II. I really liked it, but it was still sad.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Juliet Palmer

    Do you like the military? Would you like to hear it from two different sides? The novel Soldier Boys by Dean Hughes should be your next reading adventure. It fits into the genre of historical fiction, young adult fiction, and biographical fiction. It is a tragic and compassionate type of novel. The novel takes place in Germany, then in Utah during the time of World War I. The author did a great job explaining the difference between the military in Germany and the military in the United States of Do you like the military? Would you like to hear it from two different sides? The novel Soldier Boys by Dean Hughes should be your next reading adventure. It fits into the genre of historical fiction, young adult fiction, and biographical fiction. It is a tragic and compassionate type of novel. The novel takes place in Germany, then in Utah during the time of World War I. The author did a great job explaining the difference between the military in Germany and the military in the United States of America. I enjoyed reading this book, it kept my attention the whole time. The two main characters of this book are Dieter Hedrick and Spencer Morgan. Dieter is a fifthteen year old boy who is part of the Hitler Youth, which is explained in the book, and Dieter is devoted to join the German Army when he is old enough to do so. Dieter wants to show his bravery to everyone and to show what he can do. Spencer is a sixteen year old boy who dropped out of high school in Utah, just so he can join the military to become a paratrooper. Spencer wants to prove to his family and friends that he is more than a high school dropout and that he will come home a hero. Both of the boys do not want the war to end, they want to be able to join and be part of it, so they can show people what the can do. Dieter wanted to be just like Hans Keller, the seventeen year old leader of the local troop. Dieter wanted to be as strong and have the bravery that Han has. Spencer wants to be like his older brother, Robert, who dropped out of Box Elder High School to join the military. Spencer wanted to show people what a high school dropout can do, just like what his brother did. Both Dieter and Spencer just want to be like their older piers. I give this book a four out of five stars. The author did a great job showing the difference and similarities between Spencer and Dieter. The language he used was easy to understand, I did not get lost in the book, I was able to understand everything the author was talking about. I enjoyed this novel very much, it kept my interest throughout the whole novel. I was very much enjoyed because it was about one of my favorite topics, the military. This is a fantastic book, I suggest it to older middle school kids and up. Due to the subject I would not advise kids younger than that to read this book due to fact that they might understand what is going on in the novel.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Anthony The

    Soldier Boys was a very good book and it was really interesting to see World War 2 from the view of a young American boy, and a young German boy. This book is about two young boys, one from America named Spence, and one from Germany named Dieter, that both wanted to do their part in the war to help their country. Everyone learns about World War 2 in school and from your parents, how horrible it was and how so many died, but they never tell you what it was like from the perspective of the people. Soldier Boys was a very good book and it was really interesting to see World War 2 from the view of a young American boy, and a young German boy. This book is about two young boys, one from America named Spence, and one from Germany named Dieter, that both wanted to do their part in the war to help their country. Everyone learns about World War 2 in school and from your parents, how horrible it was and how so many died, but they never tell you what it was like from the perspective of the people. Spence was 16 when he decided he wanted to go into he military, he was excited, thinking he'd be a hero, especially since he was joining the paratroopers which were thought to be the bravest and the best. He couldn't until he was 17, and he still legally needed his parents to permit him to until he was 18, and surprisingly his dad let him! What was even more surprising reading about it from Dieter's view. In our society everyone thinks all the Germans were evil and heartless at the time, but the kids were practically brain-washed into believing everything Hitler said, mostly through "Hitler Youth" which was a program that forced kids to become part of the war, they made the kids dig out trenches on the war front. Dieter aspired to go up the ranks of Hitler youth and eventually go into the military, which he did. Also Dieter's older experienced partner, Schaefer, didn't approve of Hitler of the War, which Dieter was angry about. Eventually they became friends, but Shaefer died, and it was very sad. Dieter also almost died but he was saved by Spence, the only American soldier that cared about the inured screaming german in pain, then he was shot and killed by germans while helping Dieter. This changed Dieters outlook on Americans, on the war, and on the Nazi's. It was very sad when Spence died, but it helped to change the life of Dieter. This wrapped up the book very well and I am glad I picked up this book, I thought it would be kind of boring, but it wasn't boring at all.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Trevorhiggins

    I really enjoyed this book because it showed and talked about what it was like to fight in WWII. Especially for young boys like Spencer Morgan who is a American and Dieter Hedrick Who is a German. I felt kind of amazed how the adults of our country or any other would allow young children like these two boys to fight in one of the most deadliest wars ever were they will witness many horrible things. I like the fact that these two young boys decided to go to war and fight for their country and for I really enjoyed this book because it showed and talked about what it was like to fight in WWII. Especially for young boys like Spencer Morgan who is a American and Dieter Hedrick Who is a German. I felt kind of amazed how the adults of our country or any other would allow young children like these two boys to fight in one of the most deadliest wars ever were they will witness many horrible things. I like the fact that these two young boys decided to go to war and fight for their country and for there own cause. I also like how the author of the book described the scenes and scenario so could I had a very clear pretty of what it must of been like for them and how it was. What I didn't like about the book was that the author did not make the story line till the very end of the war and only a few battles in the whole book happened. The books strengths are that that the author described the book excellent and used plenty of worlds to make the reader believe he was in the war himself. Some weaknesses is that the book didn't really talk about and describe a lot of the characters emotionally and physically.

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