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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Plebe: My Year at The Citadel is a work of memoir non-fiction based around military experiences, written by author Doc Sanborn. Largely suitable for readers of all ages, the memoir takes us through the plebe year of its author, in which he was a new cadet in training at the Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina. Through three distinct sections of his first year’s journey, we are told about the author’s learning experiences in the military, socialization, and relationships, as well as the trials, challenges and personal transformations which he undergoes during his time there. What results is a heartfelt and interesting account with much to say about loyalty and friendship.
Author Doc Sanborn doesn’t shy away from the full physical sensation of emotions during this epic journey through some incredible experiences in his first year in South Carolina. I particularly enjoyed the visceral sensations of the first person narrative, allowing us to feel his heart beating with anger, nerves or adrenaline during his most trying times. The information imparted is accurate but also delivered in an interesting way which is easy to relate to, even if you aren’t from a military background, opening our eyes to the harrowing plebe system and the grit and determination that it takes to survive it. There is also a strong emotional component and a heart-warming message at the core of the memories. Overall, Plebe: My Year at The Citadel makes for interesting and engaging reading with a trustworthy narrator willing to share a powerful and life-changing experience with his readers.