GIRL IN THE BLUE COAT by Monica Hesse Book Review
Publication Date: April 5th 2016 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Rating: – Exceeds Expectations
Book Summary: An unforgettable story of bravery, grief, and love in impossible times
The missing girl is Jewish. I need you to find her before the Nazis do.
Amsterdam, 1943. Hanneke spends her days procuring and delivering sought-after black market goods to paying customers, her nights hiding the true nature of her work from her concerned parents, and every waking moment mourning her boyfriend, who was killed on the Dutch front lines when the Germans invaded. She likes to think of her illegal work as a small act of rebellion.
On a routine delivery, a client asks Hanneke for help. Expecting to hear that Mrs. Janssen wants meat or kerosene, Hanneke is shocked by the older woman’s frantic plea to find a person—a Jewish teenager Mrs. Janssen had been hiding, who has vanished without a trace from a secret room. Hanneke initially wants nothing to do with such dangerous work, but is ultimately drawn into a web of mysteries and stunning revelations that lead her into the heart of the resistance, open her eyes to the horrors of the Nazi war machine, and compel her to take desperate action.
Meticulously researched, intricately plotted, and beautifully written, Girl in the Blue Coat is an extraordinary, gripping novel from a bright new voice in historical fiction.
Book Review Overview:
- Just another World War II book? NO!
- I loved Hanneke because she’s a flawed protagonist
- I learned new things about WWII and the Holocaust!
I was in the middle of a reading slump when I picked up GIRL IN THE BLUE COAT by Monica Hesse. To be honest, I was a bit skeptical at first since this book was compared to Number the Stars. I don’t take comparisons to what I deem as a classic very lightly. But from the very first page, I already knew I was going to enjoy Girl in the Blue Coat immensely.
RIVALS IN THE CITY by Y.S. Lee Book Review
Series: The Agency, #4
Publication Date: March 10th 2015 by Candlewick Press
Rating: – Acceptable
Book Summary: In a tale steeped in action, romance, and the gaslit intrigue of Victorian London, Mary Quinn’s detective skills are pitted against a cunning and desperate opponent.
Mary Quinn has a lot on her mind. James Easton, her longtime love interest, wants to marry her; but despite her feelings, independent-minded Mary hesitates. Meanwhile, the Agency has asked Mary to take on a dangerous case: convicted fraudster Henry Thorold is dying in prison, and Mary must watch for the return of his estranged wife, an accomplished criminal herself who has a potentially deadly grudge against James. Finally, a Chinese prizefighter has arrived in town, and Mary can’t shake a feeling that he is somehow familiar. With the stakes higher than ever, can Mary balance family secrets, conflicting loyalties, and professional expertise to bring a criminal to justice and find her own happiness?
Book Review Overview:
- I like how the series comes to a full circle and revisits the Thorold family
- Not a lot of Mary and James in this book
- Least favorite book in the series
After years of waiting, I finally had a chance to read Rivals in the City, the last book the the Agency series by Y.S. Lee. The Agency series is one of my favorites; I love the combination of history, romance, and mystery.
I really enjoyed how the series came to a full circle in this final installment. When Mr. Thorold falls deathly ill in jail, Miss Treleaven solicits Mary one last time to track down Mrs. Thorold. Mrs. Thorold has been living abroad for the past few years to evade authorities for the crimes linked to her husband’s cargo ships. Because Mrs. Thorold is a master at deception, Mary is the person most likely to track her down and uncover her plans.
ILLUSIONS OF FATE by Kiersten White Book Review
Publication Date: September 9th 2014 by HarperTeen
Rating: – Exceeds Expectations |
Book Summary: “I did my best to keep you from crossing paths with this world. And I shall do my best to protect you now that you have.”
Jessamin has been an outcast since she moved from her island home of Melei to the dreary country of Albion. Everything changes when she meets Finn, a gorgeous, enigmatic young lord who introduces her to the secret world of Albion’s nobility, a world that has everything Jessamin doesn’t—power, money, status…and magic. But Finn has secrets of his own, dangerous secrets that the vicious Lord Downpike will do anything to possess. Unless Jessamin, armed only with her wits and her determination, can stop him.
Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White Book Review Overview:
- World-building takes a while to develop but is worth the wait
- Charming characters
- One of the few standalones that I wish was either longer or was part of a series; companion novel please!!
Kiersten White’s Illusions of Fate is a great light historical fantasy – without it actually being set in the past. The time period of the novel is based on Edwardian England, but the novel takes place in the fictional nation of Albion. As a reader, I got all the best things of Edwardian England such as fancy dresses and galas and cute teacups, but I also got the great world that White created.
Jessamin leaves Melei, her island home, to pursue her studies at a boarding school in Albion. Jessamin struggles to survive in the foreign city and is subjected to discrimination because of her heritage. Jessamin juggles her schoolwork along with the chores at the hotel, where she works in exchange for room and board. But when she meets Finn, her whole life changes as she learns about the hidden magical world within Albion’s gentry.