Author: Elizabeth Wein

Book Review – Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein

September 19, 2013 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2013, YA 6 Comments

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review – Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth WeinRose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein
Series: Code Name Verity #2
Published by Disney Hyperion on September 10th 2013
Pages: 483
Genres: Historical Fiction, WWII
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Code Name Verity

four-stars

While flying an Allied fighter plane from Paris to England, American ATA pilot and amateur poet, Rose Justice, is captured by the Nazis and sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious women's concentration camp. Trapped in horrific circumstances, Rose finds hope in the impossible through the loyalty, bravery and friendship of her fellow prisoners. But will that be enough to endure the fate that’s in store for her?

Elizabeth Wein, author of the critically-acclaimed and best-selling Code Name Verity, delivers another stunning WWII thriller. The unforgettable story of Rose Justice is forged from heart-wrenching courage, resolve, and the slim, bright chance of survival.

Code Name Verity series

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein {My Review}

‘Hope is the most treacherous thing in the world. It lifts you and lets you plummet. But as long as you’re being lifted, you don’t worry about plummeting.’

Rose Under Fire tells the story of Rose Justice, an American pilot who is captured and sent to the concentration camp Ravensbrück which held primarily women and children. The beginning of the story is a short, day to day accounting in epistolary (journal) form of her duties as a pilot. After, she transcribes everything she remembers from her experiences in Ravensbrück and how she managed to be one of the few who lived to tell the tale.

The horrors that Rose and the thousands of other women suffered through at Ravensbrück will break your heart. There isn’t a lack of detailing either, the story is vividly retold making it disturbingly palpable. It also doesn’t help to know that while the story is fictional, Elizabeth Wein’s story is based on fact and is a slight retelling of actual survivors from Ravensbrück.

Over a six year period between 1939 and 1945 over 130,000 women and children resided at the camp; some were transported to other camps, some survived till the end of the war and most died within those walls. Out of that inconceivable number only a reported 15,000-32,000 managed to survive. The most horrid aspect of what went on at this camp are the details of the medical experimentation that was done on a reported 86 women that were known from then on as ‘Rabbits’. I will avoid detailing this as you’ll receive enough within the book itself, but the fact that even a single one of those women were able to survive is astounding.

Rose Under Fire is a companion novel to Code Name Verity. It’s not necessary to have read CNV prior, but I would definitely recommend it. Code Name Verity came close to being a DNF for me only because it was overly focused on the mechanical aspects of piloting but Julie was an amazing character. Rose Under Fire is a much more prevalent and typical tale of a WWII survivor; an incredible character possessing a perseverance that was truly admirable.

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Audiobook Review – Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

June 7, 2013 Bonnie Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Read in 2013, YA 4 Comments

Audiobook Review – Code Name Verity by Elizabeth WeinCode Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Narrator: Lucy Gaskell, Morven Christie
Series: Code Name Verity #1
Published by Bolinda Publishing on June 6th 2012
Length: 10 hrs and 7 mins
Genres: Historical Fiction, WWII
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Rose Under Fire

three-stars

Oct. 11th, 1943—A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it's barely begun.

When “Verity” is arrested by the Gestapo, she's sure she doesn’t stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she’s living a spy’s worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution.

As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage and failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy?

Harrowing and beautifully written, Elizabeth Wein creates a visceral read of danger, resolve, and survival that shows just how far true friends will go to save each other. Code Name Verity is an outstanding novel that will stick with you long after the last page.

After reading the abundant amount of rave reviews and seeing all of the awards this book was both nominated for and won, I knew this was one worth checking out. While I didn’t love it as many have, it was still a heart wrenching and devastating tale about two girls who are best friends that become lost to each other in the midst of WWII. This is a difficult story to discuss as it’s saturated in potential spoilers. Albeit, it was a truly remarkable story but one you shouldn’t take at face value for the narrator is the very definition of unreliable. The story definitely had an optical effect like that of a mirage, because what you see is definitely not as it truly is.

I only give this 3 stars though because the technical aspects of planes and the war details was done in excess and overpowered the story at heart. While understandable why this was done, it still made for a long drawn out read. I personally recommend the audio of this as it made it infinitely easier to get through these sections (I had originally attempted to read this book and called it quits before I had even read very far. I am glad I re-attempted this on audio.) Even though I didn’t care for the technical aspects, I really have to applaud the author on the extensive research that was obviously done to make this an extremely potent and plausible story of World War II.

Code Name Verity is a moving and unforgettable tale that will leave you heartbroken and clutching your tissue box. Not speaking from experience or anything of course, just a guess. 🙂

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