Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein [Review]

Rose Under Fire (Code Name Verity, #2)4.5 out of 5 Robots!

Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein
Series: Code Name Verity #2
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
Release: September 10, 2013
Hardcover:  368 Pages
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Audiobook: Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
Narrated By: Sasha Pick
My Copy: Purchased
Reviewer: Shannon
Buy the Book: Amazon

Book Summary:
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.

(Courtesy of the Publisher)

Shannon's Thoughts:
I put off reading this one for a long time because after reading Code Name Verity, I knew I was in for it.  And yes, it was a hard read.  It didn't gut me in the same way Code Name Verity did, but it was still impactful. 

Rose is a young, slightly naive American who comes to England to help the war cause with big romantic ideas of heroism.   She chafes at the restrictions placed her and wants to be a fighter pilot.  You know, really get in there and take down the Germans.  Those ideas are dashed, of course, when she accidentally lands behind enemy lines and finds herself taken to Ravensbruck, a women's concentration camp.  She finds herself under the wing of the "Rabbits", Polish prisoners who suffered terrible surgical experiments at the hands of Nazi doctors.  Rose spends 6 months in Ravensbruck and is changed forever.  She witnesses a lot of terrible things and loses some people close to her.  Rose serves as kind of an American "every woman" and a narrator of the atrocities in the concentration camp.Admittedly, it was a hard read because these things were real.  The sheer magnitude of the death toll wrought by Nazi is staggering.  I can't even wrap my head around it really. 

And as much as I liked Rose's story, I do think I liked Code Name Verity a little more.  Rose Under Fire is still in epistolary form, but it is a much more straightforward story.  There isn't any subterfuge or the issue of an unreliable narrator.  Rose is a little more relatable, but definitely more passive.  But some of this may well appeal to those who didn't like Cody Name Verity.

As far as the narration goes, I am so glad I listened to this book on tape.  Sasha Pick is an amazing narrator and does a great job of doing many accents and voices.  I especially loved how she narrated Rose's voice - all youthful enthusiasm and vulnerability.  She made Rose believable.  I think these books are perfect books for listening.  For me, it makes me feel closer to the protagonists in a way that reading wouldn't.  If you like audiobook, I highly recommend Rose Under Fire and Code Name Verity!

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