Author: Elizabeth Wein
Publisher: Egmont Press
Genre: Historical Fiction
Spoilers in white. Highlight to read.
I have two weeks. You'll shoot me at the end no matter what I do.
That's what you do to enemy agents. It's what we do to enemy agents. But I look at all the dark and twisted roads ahead and cooperation is the easy way out. Possibly the only way out for a girl caught red-handed doing dirty work like mine - and I will do anything, anything to avoid SS-Hauptsturmführer von Linden interrogating me again.
He has said that I can have as much paper as I need. All I have to do is cough up everything I can remember about the British War Effort. And I'm going to. But the story of how I came to be here starts with my friend Maddie. She is the pilot who flew me into France - an Allied Invasion of Two.
We are a sensational team.
Me: WOWOWWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWW. So I've attempted to read this book a total of 3 times, and I have now finished it twice. My original review is linked right here, but be warned, I only gave it 4 kisses. WHAT?! I know.
I don't know what was going wrong those first two times, because I am now in love. Seriously. Forget what I have said about most books in my life. THIS BOOK HAS IT ALL.
First of all, it's set in World War II. That just makes it 10x better for me, because as you all know if you've been with me for a while, I am the hugest fan of historical fiction, especially WWII historical fiction. There was just SO much going on in the world at the time, and although there were a lot of terrible things, I think that it is so fascinating that humanity went through that.
It is even set in the UK and then France, giving a different approach to either the American perspective or the German perspective that we often receive in WWII novels. There really is just so much information in this book. I mean, this author can RESEARCH. I know that that turned quite a lot of people off, but for me, as I got used to it, it really felt like the time period almost became a character itself.
Second, THE GIRLS. Okay can we just discuss.
Julie and Maddie are so so so amazing. I mean one's a Scottish spy and one's a pilot....and both are freaking amazing at what they do. They come from completely different backgrounds (one of semi-royalty, one of not-so-well-off civilian) but their situations and circumstances bring them together.
This was a book club book for me, and one of the interesting discussions that was brought up was that Maddie and Julie's love seemed to surpass friendship...and was more romantic. I disagree with this idea though. I think that because of constant danger and intensity they were under, their love for each other could have been more pronounced and expressed...however the point of the book quite literally is...
"It's like being in love, discovering your best friend."
SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER: I can't say that I saw the ending coming, but it wasn't unexpected either. It just felt so perfectly right. As soon as it happened, I was in a state of shock for about 20 minutes, until I realized that Julie's death was almost inevitable and that there was no better way for her to die than at the loving hands of her best friend.
ALSO, she lied through the entire thing!!! HOW BEAUTIFUL IS THAT? My heart still hurts.
I bawled my eyes out though.
In the end, I can see how people may have trouble chugging through the beginning, where it is a lot of meaty information. My advice, STICK with it. It's worth it.
Overall: A beautiful story with possibly the one of the most amazing literary friendships I have read to date.
Rating: First Beat My Scale of 2016!