Blood for Blood
Young Adult / February 13, 2017

Wolf by Wolf #2. Author: Ryan Graudin. Summary: There would be blood. Blood for blood. Blood to pay. An entire world of it. For the resistance in the Third Reich, the war may be over, but the fight has just begun. Death camp survivor Yael, who has the power to skinshift, is on the run: the world has just seen her shoot and kill Hitler. But the truth of what happened is far more complicated, and its consequences are deadly. Yael and her unlikely comrades dive into enemy territory to try to turn the tide against Hitler’s army, and there is no alternative but to see their mission through to the end, whatever the cost. But in the midst of the chaos, Yael’s past and future collide when she comes face to face with a ghost from her past, and a spark with a fellow rider begins to grow into something more. Dark secrets reveal dark truths and one question hangs over them all—how far can you go for the ones you love? (Goodreads summary) My Thoughts: Certainly a very different book from the first. Still a good read (but intense. Be warned, there are scenes of war). Content Review:…

Code Name Verity
Young Adult / August 20, 2016

Code Name Verity #1. Author: Elizabeth Wein. Summary: I have two weeks. You’ll shoot me at the end no matter what I do. That’s what you do to enemy agents. It’s what we do to enemy agents. But I look at all the dark and twisted roads ahead and cooperation is the easy way out. Possibly the only way out for a girl caught red-handed doing dirty work like mine – and I will do anything, anything to avoid SS-Hauptsturmführer von Linden interrogating me again. He has said that I can have as much paper as I need. All I have to do is cough up everything I can remember about the British War Effort. And I’m going to. But the story of how I came to be here starts with my friend Maddie. She is the pilot who flew me into France – an Allied Invasion of Two. We are a sensational team.                          (Published summary.) My Thoughts: Two best friends, separated in war, each tell their halves of the story in journal-style. One, a female pilot; the other, a female spy. Neither of them know if they’ll ever see the other alive again. I wasn’t impressed when I started…

Dreams of Gods and Monsters
Young Adult / August 11, 2016

Daughter of Smoke and Bone #3. Author: Laini Taylor. Summary: By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her, if there can even be a future for the chimaera in war-ravaged Eretz. Common enemy, common cause. When Jael’s brutal seraph army trespasses into the human world, the unthinkable becomes essential, and Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people. And, perhaps, for themselves. Toward a new way of living, and maybe even love. But there are bigger threats than Jael in the offing. A vicious queen is hunting Akiva, and, in the skies of Eretz … something is happening. Massive stains are spreading like bruises from horizon to horizon; the great winged stormhunters are gathering as if summoned, ceaselessly circling, and a deep sense of wrong pervades the world. What power can bruise the sky? (Published summary.) My Thoughts: It’s a little unsettling at first that we have a new view point,…

The War That Saved My Life
Middle Grade / Juvenile / August 1, 2016

Author: Kimberly Brubaker Bradley. Summary: Nine-year-old Ada has never left her one-room apartment. Her mother is too humiliated by Ada’s twisted foot to let her outside. So when her little brother Jamie is shipped out of London to escape the war, Ada doesn’t waste a minute—she sneaks out to join him. So begins a new adventure of Ada, and for Susan Smith, the woman who is forced to take the two kids in. As Ada teaches herself to ride a pony, learns to read, and watches for German spies, she begins to trust Susan—and Susan begins to love Ada and Jamie. But in the end, will their bond be enough to hold them together through wartime? Or will Ada and her brother fall back into the cruel hands of their mother? (Published summary.) Content Review: Sexual content: None. Language: 1 bloody, 1 derogatory term Violence: Although it’s not very present in the book, Ada’s mother severely abused her. Ada flinches every time someone raises a hand near her for weeks. She’s afraid to go into an air-raid shelter because it reminds her of the cupboard she was locked in as punishment. World War I is happening, and there are air-raids….

Days of Blood and Starlight
Young Adult / June 30, 2016

Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2. Author: Laini Taylor. Summary: Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war. This is not that world. Art student and monster’s apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is—and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it. In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she’ll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life. While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope. But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream? (Published summary.) My Thoughts: I think at some basic level it’s the prose that makes this such a…

The Green Glass Sea

Green Glass #1. Author: Ellen Klages. Summary: Dewey Kerrigan is tired of secrets, but she has learned to live with them. At eleven years old in 1943, she has accepted that much of her father’s life is classified, for he is at work on “The Gadget”, a project so secret the military base they live on officially doesn’t exist. Fascinated by science and mechanics, she has always been something of a loner. Suzie never wanted to be a loner. Isolated as she is on the military base, she tries to be friends with the “popular girls” equivalent, but their personalities just don’t mesh. She’s a little bit curious about ‘Screwy Dewey’, as the other girls call her, but she’s not going anywhere near her, lest the other girls reject her. Until the two girls are thrown together in a surprising turn of events… and meanwhile, almost unbeknownst to the children, their parents are changing history as they create the top secret Gadget. My Thoughts: Because Suzie and Dewey are isolated from the war in a remote research base, and know very little about their fathers work, the war does not form a major part of the story despite the time-period….