Rose Under Fire

Title: Rose Under Fire
Author: Elizabeth Wein
Series: Companion to Code Name Verity.

Who’s it for?  Teens

What’s it about? 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?

What’s good about it? Once it gets into Rose’s experiences in Ravensbrück concentration camp it’s impossible to put this down. I was reading well into the early hours of the morning – it’s seriously compelling stuff. 

The writing is gorgeous and the level of detail is incredible. Brutally so. 
The characters are all such interesting, flawed, human, people – the SS guards and the camp leader/doctors are less so, but then there is no excuse for what they did though. Anna is an interesting character though, one who’s been on both sides of the fence.
Rose is brilliant. I enjoyed her poetry too.
What’s bad about it? I suspect this may be an unpopular thought but…the beginning is, well, it’s a little dull. In retrospect it makes the contrast with what comes that much sharper, but I still found it to be too slow.
The verdict? I was given an advance copy on Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. So I’ll be honest. Get past the slow beginning and this is magnificent. Truly. Though it’s a companion story to Code Name Verity you don’t need to have read that to appreciate this – I didn’t, although you can guarantee I’ll be adding a copy to my reading pile shortly!
The level of detail that’s gone into this, I can’t stress enough about how that’s what really makes it. It’s so vivid you feel everything right along with Rose and the others. There are scenes I don’t think I’ll ever forget, they’re still haunting me now, nearly a day later. 
Also I loved, loved, loved the final part which showed what happened to everyone afterwards. Be sure to read the afterword at the end too. 
I highly recommend this. It was beautiful and shocking and utterly, utterly heartbreaking.


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