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Rose Under Fire (Code Name Verity #2) – Elizabeth Wein

Rose Under Fire (Code Name Verity #2) – Elizabeth WeinTitle: Rose Under Fire (Code Name Verity #2) by Elizabeth Wein
Publishing Info: September 10, 2013 by Disney Hyperion
Genres: Historical Fiction, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: August 17, 2013
Related Posts: Code Name Verity (Code Name Verity #1)

    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?
Elizabeth Wein, author of the critically-acclaimed and best-selling Code Name Verity, delivers another stunning WWII thriller. The unforgettable story of Rose Justice is forged from heart-wrenching courage, resolve, and the slim, bright chance of survival.
  

  bookreview1  ** This review is for ROSE UNDER FIRE, which is a companion novel to CODE NAME VERITY. Please be advised that while I try REALLY hard to keep spoilers for CODE NAME VERITY out of my review, sometimes they are impossible not to mention! **

It took me a little while to organize my thoughts about ROSE UNDER FIRE, but here we go… So ROSE. The first thing I noticed about this story is that it’s in the same format at CODE NAME VERITY in the sense that what we are reading is not just a first person narration, but an epistolary novel. Rose Justice, our main character in this book, has to write down what exactly happened to her during the war and as we come to see throughout the book, writing is really the only way she’s able to tell her story to the world.

ROSE UNDER FIRE, although a companion novel to CODE NAME VERITY, was very different. We get a glimpse of Maddie and Jamie who I LOVED from CNV and yes, yes I know it’s a companion and not a sequel, but I really would have loved to see more of their stories actually intertwine with Rose’s as the book journeys on. As we find out exactly what Rose went through, I get why they didn’t but still. I was really hoping for that when the rumors were flying about Maddie being involved in RUF.

I will absolutely say that Elizabeth Wein has given us another fantastic historical fiction novel in which if I didn’t know it was fiction, I might believe this is actually a real person’s account of what happened in the German concentration camps. As I’m writing this review, I’m also finding it absolutely impossible to separate ROSE UNDER FIRE from CODE NAME VERITY. I honestly can’t help but compare so please bear with me as I compare the hell out of these two companion novels.
I thought I was going to be a wreck over ROSE. I blubbered at the end of CNV and honestly just starting ROSE and the mere mention of Verity, I honestly almost went to pieces. Along with that time I tried to explain to Shane what CNV was about and how it all went down. Literally almost went into tears like these were real people. ROSE UNDER FIRE was a tricky one for me. Since we didn’t get the actual account of what was happening AS it was happening, it actually made a big difference for me. Verity & Maddie pour their hearts our journalistically and are writing all of the god-awful things that are happening to them in that moment or merely hours later. Rose doesn’t have that opportunity until she has been through hell and back and must find a way to somehow record what she’s seen, the people she’s met and lost, and what she’s had to endure.  The reason this was tricky for me is that obviously Rose has been extremely traumatized and she’s had to distance herself from so many things to keep from getting overwhelmed and completely swallowed by all the evil that was around her. While I completely understand that, there was a certain wall that was up that I couldn’t get around as a reader so I just wasn’t AS emotionally connected to Rose and I had been with Maddie and especially Verity. It ended up playing a bigger part than I thought because once I was done reading, while I did feel for Rose, she didn’t 100% feel like a real person like Verity & Maddie had so while I don’t want to compare everything to CNV, you can see why it’s a bit difficult not to!

I actually know embarrassingly little about World War II. Or history in general for that matter. It was never presented to me in an interesting form when I was in school so without a natural draw to it, it tended to fall into one of my less enthusiastic subjects. Reading books like CODE NAME VERITY and ROSE UNDER FIRE, however… If I could have read books like this in school and my teacher could have used historical fiction or even non-fiction but actual accounts of what happened in these wars, I feel like I could have a totally different opinion about the subject. Elizabeth Wein’s stats and research are fantastic. Yes, you’ll find minute differences here and there (which she also explains herself at the end of the book) but the point isn’t really to pick apart the tiniest details. ROSE UNDER FIRE involves the reader in a story and also educates at the same time. Sure, I knew the general idea of the insane destruction that went on during WWII, but there was so much I didn’t know that I feel like I got a better understanding of while reading ROSE.

If you like historical fiction, if you loved CODE NAME VERITY, and if you’re in the mood for a book that will astound and yet appall you, ROSE UNDER FIRE is the book you want to pick up. Although it wasn’t as emotional as I was expecting, it’s definitely a book that will open your eyes and break your heart.

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Rose Justice // Character Obsessions: Flying, loyalty, survival, escape.
I liked Rose… But I didn’t like her as much as I was hoping! I felt such a strong connection to Verity and Maddie in CNV and yes, again, I can’t help but compare the characters as well. I think it was hard for me to connect with Rose because she herself was closed off. I mean, obviously for good reason! That just meant that I couldn’t jump inside her feelings like I like to with characters.
Roza // Character Obsessions: Survival, staying tough, escape.
Okay, well most of these characters are clearly all determined to stay alive and escape their camp. That much is obvious! But I wanted to talk about Roza because I really loved her spirit despite her awful, awful situation. As one of the “Rabbits”, she probably has it worse than a lot of those poor girls in Ravensbruck but her spirit never seems to waver. That may not always be happy, but she has an underlying determination that I really think helped Rose a lot too. I loved the friendship that formed between her and Rose and she was such a great character in this book. addiction_factor1

Kept Me Hooked On: Historical Fiction. I don’t really know a ton about history, but books like CODE NAME VERITY and ROSE UNDER FIRE feel not only emotional and compelling but also educational. I know it’s historical FICTION but these books still are based on real facts and events. The notes from Elizabeth Wein in the back of the book explain how many liberties were taken with the fiction and how much was an actual fact or event and it’s so painful to know that although Rose’s story is fictional, this really happened. I actually got in a WWII discussion with my fiancé (he knows a lot more about history and wars than I do) and it was literally hard to talk about. Long story short, I’m really starting to appreciate historical fiction so much more when before I had written it off as “not for me”.
Left Me Wanting More: Raw emotion. For a book that was about WWII and takes place in a freakin’ concentration camp, I just was missing the emotional side of the book. I know that’s because Rose wasn’t really processing what was happening and when she did, it was better to just sort of block it out… But that was what made CNV so amazing for me. I really got to know Verity and Maddie and I really cared for them. I totally felt for Rose but I wasn’t AS invested in her character.

Addiction Rating
BUY IT

Despite what I’ve said about not connecting with this book as much, it’s still a recommended buy from me! It’s such a great story and honestly, Elizabeth Wein is so amazing for telling it. I’d recommend to keep this one on your shelves, right along side CODE NAME VERITY!

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     BURIAL RITES      The Madman's Daughter

ON THE SAME PAGE

Since we all had copies of ROSE UNDER FIRE and let’s face it… We needed moral support to read this book, Alyssa from Books Take You Places, Amy from Tripping Over Books and I formed our own impromptu book club. We merely wanted to read ROSE UNDER FIRE together (which turned out to be a good plan!) but then realized how much fun it was reading the same book at the same time and how many MORE books we all wanted to read! After discussing what book we wanted to pick up next (yes, it was a group decision), we decided to make it official. THREE’S COMPANY was born (now called On the Same Page!).

So what exactly is Three’s Company? As far as ROSE UNDER FIRE goes, it’s just the three of us reading the book together and discussing as we go. All of our reviews are up today so be sure to check out Alyssa’s & Amy’s reviews as well! For future books, we’ll probably delve a little more into actual discussion between the three of us and bounce some questions back and forth in our final post. Really, the sky is the limit! Stay tuned for more Three’s Company fun & posts and in the mean time, don’t miss Alyssa’s & Amy’s reviews below!

Alyssa @ Books Take You Places: Review — Rose Under Fire
Amy @ Tripping Over Books: Review — Rose Under Fire

Code Name Verity – Elizabeth Wein

Code Name Verity – Elizabeth WeinTitle: Code Name Verity (Code Name Verity #1) by Elizabeth Wein
Publishing Info: May 15, 2012 by Disney Hyperion
Source: Library
Genres: Historical Fiction, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: February 16, 2013
Related Posts: Rose Under Fire (Code Name Verity #2)

  Oct. 11th, 1943-A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it's barely begun.
    When "Verity" is arrested by the Gestapo, she's sure she doesn't stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she's living a spy's worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution.
    As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage, failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy?

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The mysteries and surprises are some of the best part of this book so I PROMISE not to include any spoilers. Like most of my books, I went in blind, with only the knowledge that this took place during WWII and it made the book so much better!

Usually, historical fiction is not my thing. I was never a big history buff and I frequently get bogged down in names, dates, and events. Embarrassingly so, I don’t know a lot about history because I was never interested and that usually hinders me from liking books that take place in a historical setting, but CODE NAME VERITY is anything but boring. It did have a bit of a slow start, but quickly picked up as you get pulled into the narrator’s current situation (her identity is revealed not too far into the book, but as I didn’t see it coming, I’m certainly not going to tell you!) and how her story of Maddie the pilot all fits into the big picture.

CODE NAME VERITY is not an easy read in more than one way. First: it’s WWII we’re talking about here. There are some gruesome details as far as torture and deaths go and my God, it’s like you get to know these characters. Their stories are absolutely heartbreaking. Second: The content is so heavy that I literally could not breeze through it – Of course, it wasn’t my goal to breeze through, but this is a book you really need to take your time with. Sit down, relax, and close yourself off to the world as you get lost in this plot. The further you are in it, the sadder it is, but it makes for such a more emotionally-invested experience. Third: ALL THE CAPSLOCK. These are first hand accounts of what these girls witnessed during the war and their personal diaries and journals. Every single emotion is exposed on the pages of this book and I really felt like these were real people. It was really hard to read the awful things that these girls went through and my heart and soul went into reading this book.

As with any good spy book, there are TWISTS, and oh the glory of them! Quite a few things that I didn’t see coming (don’t try to search for them – It’s better if you’re surprised) and it just made the whole book that much more interesting. I didn’t know until after it happened exactly how much sense it made. It’s one of my favorite things for a twist to be revealed and then think back on every incidence in which I missed its presence. It’s quite an astonishing thing!

I don’t know what more I can say except that I think everyone should read this amazing story. I don’t know if teachers have incorporated this in their English classes, but I think they should. It’s far better than anything I ever read in school and with historical and literary aspects combined into one amazing book, I think anyone from teenagers to adults should be reading this. I’m so glad Forever YA picked this as their January read or else I might not have picked it up!

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Maddie: It took me a while to warm up to Maddie, mostly because I was trying to figure her out. She was a great character – Stubborn. Fierce. Shy, yet confident in her abilities as a pilot. Not afraid to stand up for herself and finding her place in a man’s world. She definitely grew on me as the book progressed and although it took me a while to really place her in the story, she definitely had a huge impact on me as a reader!
Queenie: What a character Queenie was! Gosh. I can just picture her there in Word War II, all her beauty and ferocity making her an extremely lethal weapon. I absolutely loved her character, thousands of times over. She was definitely one that stood out for me and her story was incredible as well.

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BUY IT!

This book was soooo good. It was heartbreaking, heartwarming, and everything in between. History fiend or not, it’s an important one to read.

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE CODE NAME VERITY

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