Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Historical Fiction
Length: 448 pages
Release Date: September 10, 2013
Stand Alone or Series: Companion novel to Code Name Verity
Source: eGalley from NetGalley.com
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
I got a copy of this book to review through NetGalley(dot)com. So thanks to NetGalley and Disney-Hyperion for making this book available for review. I loved Code Name Verity so much that I was thrilled to see that a companion novel was being released. This book was much different from Code Name Verity, I didn’t like it quite as much but it was still an excellent read.
This book follows Rose, a female American pilot, as her plane is brought down in enemy territory and she is placed into an all woman concentration camp called Ravensbrück. It really is about all of the horrible medical experimentation that happened to a group of women there.
I didn’t find it as riveting and engaging as Code Name Verity, but it was still an excellent recounting of women’s role in WWII. Maddie is in the story some (she was in Code Name Verity) but more in a supporting role. Julie is mentioned but not in the story really. This book takes place after Code Name Verity time wise.
Rose is an interesting character. She loves flying and wants women to be allowed to fly in combat zones, but she is terrified of the unmanned bombs that have been taking down so many of the planes. She is in the unique situation of being mistakenly placed into the concentration camp because of paperwork that is messed up. She also has a knack for survival that helps her survive the atrocities of this concentration camp.
This book gives an interesting account of World War II and the Nazi concentration camps. It explores an area I haven’t read much about previously which are the medical experiments run on some of the young women there. It also gives some insight into the Nazi women who ran the camp; in many cases the situations they are forced into are just as bad. The story takes place towards the end of World War II so it was also interesting to see how the Nazis try to cover their butts as all the horrible things they have done come to light.
The book loses a bit of suspense because the story is being told from Rose’s perspective after everything happens; so you know right from the beginning that she makes it out of the concentration camp. The thing that really propels the story is finding out how she made it out and reading about how she is trying to put herself back together after everything that happens to her. A good portion of the book is setup for how Rose got put into the concentration camp. A good portion of the story also focuses on how tough it is for Rose to integrate herself back into society after she is out.
The story is told in an interesting way. Basically the book is written by Rose after she has made it out of the concentration camp and is healing/hiding in a hotel room in the Ritz. Rose decides since she can’t bring herself to talk about what happened in the camp that she will write the whole story down on paper.
This book along with Code Name Verity and The Book Thief by Markus Zusak are all excellent accounts of the Holocaust and appropriates for young adults. These books explore areas that aren’t normally talked about; for example the role women played in WWII and how WWII affected the general non-Nazi German population. They are books everyone should read so that they can understand the atrocity of this events.
Overall another excellent story and an excellent read. Highly recommended to everyone. Naturally a lot of what happens in this book is very disturbing so I would recommend to young adult and older.