Daughters of Time is an anthology written by a group of the most talented UK historical YA writers and it’s a real treat to read.
One of the things I love most about anthologies, and Daughters of Time in particular, is that you can dip in and out of it whenever you so choose. For this review, I will be focusing on one of the stories, written about the Greenham Common Women.
At the end of each short story, the author talks about their inspiration behind writing it and Leslie Wilson talks about how she was involved with campaigning in the 1980’s. It was nice to hear how each person came to write about their event and characters.
It surprised me how easy it was to get to know a character within a limited amount of pages. In this story, we get to know the main character quickly and I loved how realistically she was portrayed – her emotions and feelings. It was one of the things I loved most about the story.
The stories included in the anthology are things I believe should be taught more often in schools and given a wider recognition. I’ll definitely be delving into Daughters of Time again because it’s filled with knowledge and facts. It’s perfect for those people who adore history, and even those who don’t because of the way it is taught.
You should definitely pick up Daughters of Time, whether you like reading about history or not. You’ll come out with a greater knowledge than when you went in, and you’ll enjoy it at the same time.
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.
I thought Code Name Verity was hard-hitting, but Rose Under Fire was painful in comparison. The companion novel to the award-winning success of Code Name Verity was just as good and maybe even more emotional.
Set in part in the brutal concentration camp of Ravensbrück, Rose Under Fire follows the life of American pilot and recreational poet Rose Justice.
I really liked Rose and found her story a very sad one indeed. The one problem I did have with her was that she wasn’t as easy to connect to and invest in as the main characters of Code Name Verity and I think this was because we got to see a lot of their history and background.
The treatment that Rose received whilst in Ravensbrück was appalling and we only got to see her side of things. To think of the things that other people had to face is just awful to think about. The rabbits, especially. It made me feel sick to think of the things that they’d been through.
Rose Under Fire was written beautifully. I cannot fault Wein’s ability to draw me in and make me unable to put her books down. This was glued to my hand and I longed to be reading it when I wasn’t.
I can’t wait to see what’s next from Wein because this really was a treasure to read. Highly recommended!
Side note: Only a mini review today because I’ve already posted two reviews this week and I went back to school yesterday. Thank you!
All the Truth That’s in Me was a captivating and original novel. I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did and I’m really looking forward to seeing more of Berry’s novels after reading this.
All the Truth That’s in Me is a historical novel about a girl called Judith who is left with no tongue after an accident that left her best friend dead and Judith missing for two years. Unable to tell about what happened to her, Judith lives as the town’s pariah. Nobody talks to her and her only comfort is in a boy called Lucas who she secretly watches. When events drag up the past, will the truth finally come out?
Although you may think it’s hard to get to know a character who doesn’t talk, I felt immensely sympathetic towards Judith. I would hate to be treated as an outcast like she was. We got to know her through flashbacks of her life before the abduction and in the way the novel is written. There was this innocence to her that made me want to jump in to the novel and give her a hug. She hadn’t had any love in her life for a long time and had faced horrible prejudice.
There’s something about close-knit communities that makes me love a book even more. When I read something like this, I realise how important a good setting is. Berry has created a world that I want to live in. The town’s people were quite hard off, yes, but they lived in such a simplistic way. They didn’t have to worry about their cars breaking down or that their WiFi wasn’t fast enough. It was living day by day and taking things as they came. We could really take note of how they lived now.
Written in second person as a note to Lucas, something that I loved, we grow to know both Judith and Lucas. The characterisation was done really well, not only with the main character, but all of the secondary characters, too. I loved Maria and Judith’s brother, although her mother deserved a good slap sometimes.
In terms of the mystery, it was a little predictable. That said, some things were revealed that left me gasping in shock and it did keep me on the edge of my seat. I finished it really quickly- it’s not a long book, by any means- and was satisfied by the pacing and effect.
I would highly recommend this, especially if you want something a bit different to read. I loved it and would happily read it again. Berry has created a thrilling tale of romance, mystery and the story of girl that doesn’t belong.