Thursday, April 17, 2014

Prisoner of Night and Fog~ Blog Tour




Prisoner of Night and Fog (Prisoner of Night and Fog #1)

by Anne Blankman

416 pages

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Release Date: April 22nd 2014

Rate: FIVE TREES ALL THE WAY

Synopsis:
In 1930s Munich, danger lurks behind dark corners, and secrets are buried deep within the city. But Gretchen Müller, who grew up in the National Socialist Party under the wing of her "uncle" Dolf, has been shielded from that side of society ever since her father traded his life for Dolf's, and Gretchen is his favorite, his pet.
Uncle Dolf is none other than Adolf Hitler.
And Gretchen follows his every command.
Until she meets a fearless and handsome young Jewish reporter named Daniel Cohen. Gretchen should despise Daniel, yet she can't stop herself from listening to his story: that her father, the adored Nazi martyr, was actually murdered by an unknown comrade. She also can't help the fierce attraction brewing between them, despite everything she's been taught to believe about Jews.
As Gretchen investigates the very people she's always considered friends, she must decide where her loyalties lie. Will she choose the safety of her former life as a Nazi darling, or will she dare to dig up the truth—even if it could get her and Daniel killed?
From debut author Anne Blankman comes this harrowing and evocative story about an ordinary girl faced with the extraordinary decision to give up everything she's ever believed . . . and to trust her own heart instead.

There are some important things you should know before reading this review.
First of all, Prisoner of Night and Fog was my most highly anticipated release in 2014, which I think we can all say really means something in the world of book blogging.
Second of all, I had doubts that the author could live up to my expectations that I have found in other books set in this time period. Most notably, Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein.
And finally going into this novel I was in a major reading slump. (Major as in, in the past few weeks I read next to nothing!)
Somehow Prisoner of Night and Fog managed to surpass my expectations and become one of my favorite books of the year as well as one of my all time favorite books set in the pre to post World War Two era.
It is a tale of romance and adventure and of hope in a dark time and it is one that I won't be forgetting any time soon.

Going in I didn't realize that the book was set prior to the outbreak of WW2 when Hitler was still gaining power. And truthfully I was sort of glad about that. I thought that I might not like the main character if she could be so oblivious and ignore the mass slaughtering of Jews. What was happening was bad enough and from the first page I could tell that I was going to like Gretchen.
Within the first few pages I love how the author showed Gretchen as someone who wouldn't just take what was happening because she was scared. Gretchen stood up to her brother, even though she knew that he would hate it and that small act of rebellion is where I first really began to look forward to her character growth.
Another important aspect of the novel was the romance. (I mean duh, there is always a romance) And as much as I hate saying it, the romance was one of my favorite parts of the book. The author did a great job in making sure that the romance aided with other aspects of the book. It wasn't just a romance thrown in because, hey all other YA has it. The romance aided in Gretchen's character growth and gave the reader an idea of exactly how much she had changed from nearly the first page to the last. 
The romance was also just kind of perfect and personally I enjoyed it. Normally I really do hate it when the romance it my favorite part of the book, I mean, there are so many other things that should shine through besides the romance. But here I felt like it was extremely well done and perfectly incorporated into the story. It made me laugh and smile and just grin like an idiot and I loved that.

I also liked the "mystery" of the book. I mean it's obvious to the reader what happened. Not the specifics but the general idea of who killed Gretchen's father, but watching Gretchen come to the same realization definitely made me sympathize and better understand her situation. I loved the incorporation of the history into that mystery that made it all the more realistic.

That's another of the amazing aspects about the book. The history. This was clearly not a story that the author just threw together using the basic facts. It was carefully researched and yet the author still put her own twists and turns into the book. Learning about Hitler and his life beyond the evil figure we now see today added a complexity to the story. It showed that there are different views on the same person.
Another reason I loved the story was the fact that the author also examined Hitler's followers and Hitler's personality. Looking back we all question, How could this have happened? Why did everyone go along with it? Why couldn't he be stopped? Within the book several different types of his followers are analyzed. Some may be scared, and some show the same charismatic traits Hitlers showed. I think the author choosing to take that route and her effort to show the reader why Hitler had the following he did, only made me love the book even more. 

One of the other biggest things in the book for me was the writing style and POV. If you know me at all, you might know that I'm not a big fan of third person POV. For some reason, that POV feels almost forced to me instead of it flowing easily. SO when I flipped to the first page I was slightly hesitant. Thankfully though, the author's beautiful writing style and easy voice made me fall right into the story with absolutely no problems. 

And finally I would like to end my review with this:
"Just because I'm Jewish doesn't mean I'm rich."
Throughout the book there were little parts that made me smile. When I came to this point in the story I was already deeply in love with all the characters and I immediately began to laugh at this. This may seem like some small inconsequential part, and truthfully it is. But the other day in my chem class, a student got in a massive argument with my teacher about the fact that clearly all Jewish people were rich. Coming upon this part made me laugh just because it really showed how well thought out the entire book was. There were several moment where I saw things that other readers wouldn't have and I think that really shows a lot about the author and how she managed to interweave so many different things into the book that then allowed each reader to come out with a different, and perhaps more personal experience with her book.
There is a lot more I could say about Prisoner of Night and Fog. I could say it's gorgeous. It's beautiful. It's thought provoking. It's amazing. But at this point I am convinced you should find out for yourself. The author manages to take one of the most hated people the world has ever known and turn him into a figure that you could meet on the street. She made something so impossible seem possible. And in this time of mayhem she managed to write a beautiful story of a girl realizing who she is and what her values are. Gretchen is a character that will stick with me for a long time. I am eagerly anticipating the next book in the series and I can't wait to see what else the author does! 
One last thing I have to say about the book. As amazing as it is, it has made me want to curl up in a ball in bed and stick to my introverted ways. I mean who knows what people are really like beneath the surface.
Easily five stars. A book I shall read over and over again and recommend to as many people as possible.

"I'm in awed envy of the daring with which Anne Blankman plunges into her difficult and sensitive subject matter. To read Prisoner of Night and Fog is to be immersed in a breathtaking evocation of Munich in the 1930s, where life is ordinary and skin-crawling by turns, and in the painful, hopeful story of one young girl's awakening conscience. It’s terrifying and incredible to think how much of this story is true."
-- Elizabeth Wein, award-winning author of Code Name Verity
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Anne Blankman may have been meant to be a writer because her parents named her for Anne of Green Gables. She grew up in an old house with gables (gray, unfortunately) in upstate New York. When she wasn't writing or reading, she was rowing on the crew team, taking ballet lessons, fencing and swimming. She graduated from Union College with degrees in English and history, which comes in handy when she writes historical fiction.

After earning a master's degree in information science, Anne began working as a youth services librarian. Currently, she lives in southeastern Virginia with her family. When she's not writing young adult fiction, she's playing with her daughter, training for races with her husband, working at her amazing library branch, learning to knit (badly), and reading.

Anne Blankman is the author of PRISONER OF NIGHT AND FOG, the first in a three-book deal slated for publication in spring 2014 from Balzer + Bray | HarperCollins. She is represented by Tracey Adams of Adams Literary.



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My Question of the day: What is one thing from this time period and setting you wouldn't mind experiencing? (Like the jazz clubs....)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Waiting on Wednesdays: The Falconer

Waiting by Wednesday is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine!
This post highlights a book that I am dying to be released!!
THIS WEEK I'M WAITING ON:
The Falconer
By Elizabeth May

The Falconer (The Falconer, #1)Heiress. Debutant. Murderer. A new generation of heroines has arrived.

Edinburgh, Scotland, 1844

Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the Marquess of Douglas, was destined for a life carefully planned around Edinburgh’s social events – right up until a faery killed her mother.

Now it’s the 1844 winter season and Aileana slaughters faeries in secret, in between the endless round of parties, tea and balls. Armed with modified percussion pistols and explosives, she sheds her aristocratic facade every night to go hunting. She’s determined to track down the faery who murdered her mother, and to destroy any who prey on humans in the city’s many dark alleyways.

But the balance between high society and her private war is a delicate one, and as the fae infiltrate the ballroom and Aileana’s father returns home, she has decisions to make. How much is she willing to lose – and just how far will Aileana go for revenge?


RELEASE DATE: May 6th
Why I'm Waiting: Ummm... Did you read the synopsis... Did you see the cover.... Yeah that's why!

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING ON???

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: THe Hunt

Waiting by Wednesday is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine!
This post highlights a book that I am dying to be released!!
THIS WEEK I'M WAITING ON:
The Hunt
By Stacey Kade




The Hunt (Project Paper Doll, #2)Ariane Tucker has finally escaped GTX, the research facility that created her. While on the run, Zane Bradshaw is the only person she can trust. He knows who-and what-she is and still wants to be part of her life.
But accepting Zane's help means putting him in danger.
Dr. Jacobs, head of GTX, is not the only one hunting for Ariane. Two rival corporations have their sights set on taking down their competition. Permanently.
To protect Zane and herself, Ariane needs allies. She needs the other hybrids. The hybrids who are way more alien and a lot less human. Can Ariane win them over before they turn on her? Or will she be forced to choose sides, to decide who lives and who dies?






RELEASE DATE: April 23rd, 2014
Why I'm waiting: I loved the first book and can't wait to see what happens next! Stacey Kade is a fantastic author! And I can't wait to see what she comes up with!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: The Taking

Waiting by Wednesday is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine!
This post highlights a book that I am dying to be released!!
THIS WEEK I'M WAITING ON:
The Taking
By Kimberly Derting

The Taking (The Taking, #1)  


A flash of white light . . . and then . . . nothing.

When sixteen-year-old Kyra Agnew wakes up behind a Dumpster at the Gas ’n’ Sip, she has no memory of how she got there. With a terrible headache and a major case of déjà vu, she heads home only to discover that five years have passed . . . yet she hasn’t aged a day.

Everything else about Kyra’s old life is different. Her parents are divorced, her boyfriend, Austin, is in college and dating her best friend, and her dad has changed from an uptight neat-freak to a drunken conspiracy theorist who blames her five-year disappearance on little green men.

Confused and lost, Kyra isn’t sure how to move forward unless she uncovers the truth. With Austin gone, she turns to Tyler, Austin’s annoying kid brother, who is now seventeen and who she has a sudden undeniable attraction to. As Tyler and Kyra retrace her steps from the fateful night of her disappearance, they discover strange phenomena that no one can explain, and they begin to wonder if Kyra’s father is not as crazy as he seems. There are others like her who have been taken . . . and returned. Kyra races to find an explanation and reclaim the life she once had, but what if the life she wants back is not her own?



RELEASE DATE: April 24th 2014


Why I'm Waiting: This is another of those lovely books that  partly want to read because of the fabulous author! Kimberly Derting is without a doubt one of my all time favorite authors and the premise of this book sounds beyond fantastic! I am so excited for it's release!

What are YOU waiting for????



 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Rebel Belle

Waiting by Wednesday is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine!
This post highlights a book that I am dying to be released!!

THIS WEEK I'M WAITING ON:
REBEL BELLE
By Rachel Hawkins




Rebel BelleHarper Price, peerless Southern belle, was born ready for a Homecoming tiara. But after a strange run-in at the dance imbues her with incredible abilities, Harper's destiny takes a turn for the seriously weird. She becomes a Paladin, one of an ancient line of guardians with agility, super strength and lethal fighting instincts.

Just when life can't get any more disastrously crazy, Harper finds out who she's charged to protect: David Stark, school reporter, subject of a mysterious prophecy and possibly Harper's least favorite person. But things get complicated when Harper starts falling for him--and discovers that David's own fate could very well be to destroy Earth.

With snappy banter, cotillion dresses, non-stop action and a touch of magic, this new young adult series from bestseller Rachel Hawkins is going to make y'all beg for more.



RELEASE DATE: April 8th 2014
Why I can't wait: I LOVE Rachel Hawkins! Her Hex Hall series is one of my all time favorite series, and the minute II read the summary for this one, I knew I had to read it! Plus the cover is super cool!

What are you waiting for????

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Blonde Ops

Waiting by Wednesday is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine!
This post highlights a book that I am dying to be released!!
THIS WEEK I'M WAITING ON:
Blonde Ops
By Charlotte Bennardo and Natalie Zaman



Blonde OpsPitched as The Devil Wears Prada meets James Bond for teens, featuring a fashion magazine intern in Rome who uncovers a plot to kidnap the First Lady.

Expelled from yet another boarding school for hacking, sixteen-year-old Rebecca "Bec" Jackson is shipped off to Rome to intern for Parker Phillips, the editor-in-chief of one of the world’s top fashion magazines. But when a mysterious accident lands Parker in a coma, former supermodel and notorious drama queen Candace Worthington takes the reins of the magazine. The First Lady is in Rome for a cover shoot, and all hands are on deck to make sure her visit goes smoothly.

Bec quickly realizes that Parker's "accident" may not have been quite so accidental, and when the First Lady's life is threatened, Bec is determined to uncover the truth. On top of that, Bec must contend with bitchy models, her new boss, Candace, who is just as difficult as the tabloids say, and two guys, a hunky Italian bike messenger with a thousand-watt smile and a fashion blogger with a razor-sharp wit, who are both vying for her heart.

Can Bec catch the person who's after the First Lady, solve the mystery of Parker's accident, and juggle two cute boys at the same time? Blonde Ops is a fun, action-packed romp through the hallways of a fashion magazine and the cobblestone streets of Rome.


RELEASE DATE: May 6th, 2014
Why I'm Waiting: If I wasn't excited for this one I would question my sanity! JUST READ THE SUMMARY! It sounds sooooo good!