Monday, August 26, 2013

Yet Another Sensational Team

"Fight with realistic hope, not to destroy
 all the world's wrong, but to renew its good."
--Elizabeth Wein, Rose Under Fire

Genre: YA Historical Fiction
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion, 368 pages
Publication Date: September 10th, 2013
Source: ARC provided via publisher at BEA

Goodreads Description

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.

My Thoughts

When I heard Elizabeth Wein was writing a companion novel to Code Name Verity my heart stopped for a second...or 10. OH MY GOSH ARE YOU FOR REAL!??!! I was SO know, excited in the 'this book is totally gonna rip my heart out and also take a piece of my soul with my just like Code Name Verity did' way. THANKFULLY, while I adored this book and it definitely had me tearing up at multiple points it did NOT make me ugly cry the way Code Name Verity did...thank goodness. I'm not sure my heart could have handled it. Sidenote: My heart also stopped a little because I got to MEET Elizabeth Wein when I picked up my copy at BEA...EEP! Definitely fangirl'd over CNV. And yes, the author is absolutely lovely in person and SO nice :)

Ok, back to Rose Under Fire. I don't know why I'm such an idiot sometimes because I knew this was a companion novel but I never know how much of previous characters will show up. I always assume never to dull my heart's excitement in case that is what happens. But God bless you Elizabeth Wein because we see a very familiar face right on the first page...and yes, this is exactly where the first time I started tearing up happened. First page. Pathetic. Anyways, I hate to admit this or take away anything from Rose but the beginning section has a good amount of reference to some of our favorites in CNV and I had an audible sigh of relief. It was so satisfying as a reader to know what happens to some of our characters after the end of CNV. This is where most of my crying came from because CNV affected me so much that it was like I was checking up on long-lost friends. It felt good. But alas, CNV did end and this is Rose's story. But I had to include this because it was one of my favorite, and happiest, parts of the book.

Rose is an American working for the ATA in England and I have to say straight away that I find female pilots one of the coolest things ever. You can fly planes and you're doing it to help the war effort. Thinking of all the women that did this during the war makes me look up to them even 70 years later. Seriously. I just can't wrap my head around what that must have been like. The pride in your country to fight for it like that. The necessity of sacrifice for the greater good. It is just so awe-inspiring. I love that Wein writes about this part of history and I can't get enough of it. 

Rose's voice permeates the pages almost immediately. You hear her voice in your head. You feel alongside her. I loved her characterization. The poems she writes are beautiful and haunting and poignant. These were some of my favorite parts of the story as well. They captured perfectly what was going on during the story. The friends that turn into family that Rose finds are all women of such strength and courage that you just fall in love with all of them...and that's kind of what finding your best friend is like too, right? These women protect each other fiercely, and in a place of such incredible hate, it is overwhelming emotionally to know that these women could find ways to show love to one another. It is incredible. Wein shows, again, the strength of a human's emotional depth. That even in such bleak situations, we have the ability to stay true to ourselves and to our fellow man. Beautiful, really. 

This book is one of those that is difficult to put into words because the content is horrifying. I devour books dealing with WWII and this was no exception. The writing is beautiful and that should probably go without saying. I loved this book. The entire arc of the story of Rose is complete, beginning to end. I thought the whole novel was heartfelt and I really have no intelligent justification to say further why I loved this book. You get lost in Rose's world and are surrounded by inspiration of strength and courage and the will to survive. I had high hopes for this book and it did not disappoint in the least. To me, Elizabeth Wein and her novels are nothing short of sensational. 

Should You Read This? Yes. The book is beautifully written and while not a typical 'fast-paced' novel by any means, I still found myself reading it quickly because I wanted to know what happened to Rose and her family. 


  1. You know, I used to read a lot of historical fiction set during WWII because I just love that time period. I don't know when I stopped...or why. I think I kind of forgot about it. But you reminded me and now I am itching to read some! I will definitely be checking this book out! I haven't read Code Name Verity yet either, but have heard great things! Thanks for reminding me how much I love this genre/time period!

    Rebecca @ The Library Canary

    1. Yay!! I am such a historical fiction geek!! So happy to have found another one! I hope you get to read it soon! :)

  2. I listened to the audio version and it also blew me away! I'm glad you liked it. I loved the dual narrative of this book, and you could truly feel the love between the two women. My emotions were definitively overwhelmed with each passing page and chapter.

    1. Yes! It was just perfection in writing! Their relationship is just beautiful!

  3. I'm scared to read this one! It's just like I was with CNV - intimidating. It does sound like a pretty fabulous book though, and I do love historical fiction. I'll definitely be reading this one soon!

    1. It's so good!! It is not as devastating as CNV in my opinion but still extremely moving and amazing!

  4. Oh I absolutely cannot wait for Rose Under Fire!! I was nervous that it was going to be as heart wrenching as CNV so I'm glad that it didn't make you ugly cry like CNV! I'm definitely looking forward to the beginning and getting to see some of CNV's characters!! I was wondering how much of old characters we'd see! This sounds like it's going to be just as amazing as CNV -- yay!


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