REVIEW: Cross My Heart by Carmen Reid

I’ve been reading a lot of historical fiction lately, especially books set in the two World Wars and Cross My Heart was one of these books.

Set in Brussels in the Second World War, Cross My Heart follows the story of Nicole, a member of a resistance group set to cause havoc in Nazi-invaded Brussels. When Nicole’s father is taken away, Nicole decides to do something about it and joins the dangerous resistance group that is helping to fight the Nazis. In this business, it’s not about if you caught, it’s when you do.

I’ve been a huge fan of Reid’s books for years. The St. Jude’s books were my absolute favourites and I still love them to pieces. When I heard that Reid had written another YA novel, and that it was historical fiction, one of my favourite genres, I was ecstatic.

Cross My Heart didn’t disappoint and I thoroughly enjoyed it. One of the things I look for in a good historical YA is how real it feels and some of the scenes in Cross My Heart left me horrified at the way people were treated. Particularly towards the end of the book, I felt like crying. These sorts of books are always emotional but this one felt particularly so.

If you loved Code Name Verity, this is the book for you. It interested me that this was set in Brussels because you normally see these books set in the UK. I think this was a nice spin and a really big selling point.

Nicole was a tough character that I found enjoyable to read about. She never gave up and stayed focused throughout. I found myself constantly wishing that nothing bad would happen to her and this was the same with a lot of the other characters too. I really did become invested.

Cross My Heart was such an emotional and riveting read and I’d love to see more books like this one out there, especially as it’s the anniversary of the First World War next year.



  1. 16 September, 2013 / 7:02 am

    Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres as well, and although I haven’t yet read Code Name Verity, I have a feeling that this book will speak to me. Great review, Lucy! (:
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  2. 16 September, 2013 / 7:46 am

    I don’t read much Historical Fiction but it’s definitely a genre I’m hoping to get into as I think it’s a advantage of some sorts. I love emotional books especially ones where I feel moved by the characters and attachted to them. I’ll have to keep my eyes out for this, Great Review Lucy 🙂

    I love the cover too!
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  3. 16 September, 2013 / 10:25 am

    Welll…. this may be good news because I happen to be writing a YA touching on first world war, build up of fascism in the ’30s, the ensuing riots and into second world war, right now! All set in Poland and has a twist of mythology in there as well. Hope you like the sound of it 🙂

  4. 16 September, 2013 / 11:00 pm

    I actually have never read any gritty books set during World War II, but I’m thinking I should start soon and make sure to put Cross My Heart onto my list of WWII books because this looks so gritty and emotional, I’m glad that Carmen didn’t disappoint you, especially since you’re such a fan of her previous books.

    Fantastic review, Lucy! <33
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  5. 17 September, 2013 / 7:34 pm

    As soon as I saw this one was set during World War II, I knew I had to read it. It sounds fantastic, and I love that it’s set in Brussels, it’s definitely a selling point as you said. Wonderful review, Lucy!
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  6. 21 September, 2013 / 6:04 pm

    I love historical fiction so much, so I need to find out more about this book..! Nicole sounds like a great protagonist too!

    She sounds a lot like Josie from Out of the Easy! 🙂 Anywho, great review Lucy. ;D
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  7. 22 September, 2013 / 11:40 pm

    I’m looking forward to reading this one and CNV so delighted you liked both! Great review Lucy!
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  8. 30 September, 2014 / 12:14 am

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