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by Anne Blankman
Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins
Release Date: April 22nd 2014
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.
Gretchen is a great mc because she really changes throughout the book. She starts off with the ideals that are ingrained in from childhood. On how to think like a National Socialist Party Member but there is also something in her that whispers doubts about it. She repeats it to herself like her life depends on it and in a way it does. It isn’t until she has some eye opening experiences that really make her begin to finally think for herself. Gretchen is actually quite clever and intelligent but it’s almost like she refusing to see what was in front of her because she knew it would change her world forever. Once she crosses those lines though she becomes a different and free Gretchen. I really liked the way her character develops through the book.
I also really like Daniel as well. Of course it’s still a fiction novel but their interactions at first seem more realistic to me. They are both suspicious of one another and there are times when Daniel is not sympathetic. He gets mad at how she acts and calls her out on it. He doesn’t take her naivety as an excuse and encourages her to think for herself. I think he is an important part to the growth of her character and grows a bit himself because of it. I felt like it’s hard not to like him. Plus once you have his loyalty you can tell it’s an all in thing with him.
I have to tell you from the get go Reinhard is one really scary dude. I mean really scary, through the whole book you feel like he’s going to pop out of the cracks in the sidewalk. Kind of put me on edge.
The plot is a rough one, it’s so sad to see people treated they way they are just because of their religious beliefs. It’s an interesting approach to Hitler and some of the reasoning of why he targeted Jews. I think it made me sad reading because I know what comes next for the world of Hitler and you want someone to beat the snot out of him in the book. You just think, why are people listening to this. Hitler is a main portion of the book but there is also a bit of murder mystery. Although I liked the intrigue I didn’t feel myself absorbed in at as much as maybe I should have been. I’m not sure why but it just didn’t give me that I need to know what happened right now feeling. I think because there are so many things going on in this book that you have plenty of things to focus on. I mean just things like the mistreatment of those of Jewish faith, mistreatment of women, mental illness and just the whole who do you trust thing.That's not to say I felt overwhelmed because I didn't, I thought it was all threaded into the story nicely.
I liked the ending, it was fast paced and stressful. Just how like a book like this, but satisfying where it left off. I was definitely good with it.
So this isn't going to be your people dancing in flower fields type of book. I felt there was an intensiveness to it because of the subject matter. I really enjoyed it though and for me who is not strongly interested in this era, it definitely sparked something. Plus a great Author’s Note at the end that I recommend reading.
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.