Book Review: The Stolen Ones - Vanessa Curtis

Book Review: The Stolen Ones – Vanessa Curtis

My name is Inge. I am sixteen. I live in Munich. Food is rationed, though the war ended years ago. My boyfriend is Jewish. My parents would not approve, so I hide this from them. I think they are hiding something from me, too. Letters arrive on my birthday, but they are not addressed to me. They are for a girl named Kasia. This is her story.

After picking this up at YALC I thought I knew what this book would be about and I was pleasantly proved wrong while reading The Stolen One. This has a lot of twists and turns throughout which I didn’t expect – it’s kind of part historical fiction, part mystery. Different, but I like it.

What stood out for me about this book is that it focused on the wider Nazi horrors and what they did to a large number of communities as well as the Jewish population. A lot of WW2 and post war fiction focuses on the Holocaust – and rightfully so! But, it means that I haven’t read much about others who were impacted by the Nazi regime.

I really liked Inge, I found her to be intelligent and headstrong but also realistic for a 16 year old who’s surrounded by secrets. It shows both the good and bad in people and that just because a war ends, doesn’t mean that things go back to normal. There is a lot of confusion, hurt and pain after such an event.

The relationships Inge have are vital to the plot and it was clear there was both planning and care that went into writing them. At times I felt the her conflict and confusion. The novel did a great job of capturing that age where you realise the adults around you are humans with their own flaws, thoughts and feelings that might not match yours.

I do wish that the book had been longer, I felt that there could have been even more to the novel and get into some more depth – I can’t pinpoint where I would have liked it because it would be a massive spoiler!

Last but not least, I learned a great deal from this book about parts of the war I knew nothing about and after reading I definitely want to do some of my own research. This was so well told – I really want to have a read of other novels by Vanessa Curtis at some point.

I gave this 4 stars, I thought this book was interesting and there were quite a few twists that I didn’t see coming which was really appreciated. If you enjoy fiction about WW2 this will be a good read for you even though it is set after the end of the war. I’d really love to know more about what happens to the characters after the end of the novel as well which is a sign they were well written.

Unpopular Opinions Book Tag 2019 Edition

Unpopular Opinions Book Tag 2019 Edition

A while ago I did the Unpopular Opinions Tag and you guys seem to have really enjoyed it so how about a round 2? Brace yourselves guys, this might just get ugly. I’m kidding but I might just hit you in the feels.

What is a popular book or series that you didn’t like?

My Sister the Serial Killer – I listened to the audiobook and was bored. I’d heard so many good things about it but I just couldn’t get on with the plot or narration. But it’s up for a load of awards so other people seem to like it.

What is a popular book or series that everyone else seems to hate but you love?

I’ve gone back a little bit here (I couldn’t find anything recent that would fit this) – there is so much hate online for Looking For Alaska by John Green. Now, it has been a long time since I read it but I really, really enjoyed the book.

I think it was the second book by John Green I ever read and I thought it was well written and can’t remember having any issues with it.

What is a love triangle in a book or series where the main character ended up with the person you did not want them to end up with?

I actually can’t think of any, I guess the closest I can think of is Katniss and Peeta in The Hunger Games. Peeta was so pure and kind and I just don’t see it working with the two of them. Sorry not sorry.

What is a popular book genre that you hardly reach for?

Horror isn’t something I choose to read, I think if it had a really interesting plot I might try it but I just can’t seem to get into it! That and I have a really vivid imagination for that kind of stuff and will probably have the worst nightmares.

What is a popular or beloved character that you do not like?

There is a lot of love for Draco Malfoy in the Potter fandom and personally I don’t get it. He was a brat and a bully throughout the series and ultimately he was a coward. Nope, no love for Draco although a LOT of love for Tom Felton because he’s amazing.

Who is a popular author that you can’t seem to get into?

Rainbow Rowell. I tried to read Fangirl and I just really struggled to care and none of the other books interest me.

What is a popular book trope that you are tired of seeing?

Quiet girl who has been a nobody catches the eye of the most popular guy in school, romance ensues *swoon*. Nope, nope, nope. It gets so boring.

What is a popular book or series that you have no interest in reading?

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell, I tried Fangirl and found it really boring and when I tried to read it it just seemed like a Harry Potter rip off – oops!

What is a movie or TV show adaption of a book or series that you like more than the book/s?

Only because of the length but Game of Thrones. The first book took me so long to get through and there were so many names and so much going on. I might change my mind when I pick them up again.

Did you agree with any of my unpopular opinions? Or do you have any of your own? Let me know in the comments below!

Books to get you in the mood for Halloween

Books To Get You In The Mood For Halloween But Won’t Scare You Silly!

It’s almost that time of year again! With a few days to go, it’s time to get to those Halloween reads! That said, I’m not into scary books. As of right now, I’ve never read a horror and it’s not something I want to read.

That said, I do love some supernatural, a little different and maybe spooky. I know I’m not the only one! Here are some novels to get you in the mood without scaring you silly!

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The Graces – Laure Eve 

One word. Witches. I was lucky enough to meet Laure Eve at YALC this year and I may have freaked out because I loved this book so much. This caused chills, we’re talking a modern-day witchy thriller. Make sure to read it before the second novel is released in January!

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone

I debated putting the Chamber of Secrets on here BUT you have to start at the beginning! Of course, Harry Potter was going to be on here. Pumpkin Pasties, a Halloween fest, magical creatures! This just screams Autumn and Halloween.

Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë

Yep, throwing a classic out there. There are some chilling moments in Jane Eyre and supernatural elements as well as the beautiful description. I wouldn’t say this is overly Halloween but it’s a nod to the vibe.

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Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier 

I read this while at uni and this is a twisty, quite dark thriller. It has similar vibes to Jane Eyre but I definitely think it has more of a mystery element and ghosts. Can’t forget the ghosts!

Toil and Trouble

Toil and Trouble – Edited by Jessica Spotswood & Tess Sharpe 

The newest on this list! An anthology about Woman and Witchcraft and I am loving it! There’s a mix of modern and older tales and a lot of diversity. I’m getting more into anthologies and this was an absolutely amazing addition to my shelves as something I can pick up read a few stories and come back to.

 

That’s a few of the reads I’d suggest! Is there anything I’m missing? Let me know in the comments below!

What My Star Ratings Mean

What My Star Ratings Mean!

We’ve all seen the normal way of rating books. 1 Star to 5 Star, but what those ratings mean to people can really vary. So, I thought I’d make it clear what my ratings mean and give you some examples of books I’ve loved and loathed!

1 Star

Why was this written? What was the point of it at all? Normally it will be a one star if I find that it’s offensive, ridiculous or just nasty. It takes a lot for a book to be 1 star.

 

2 Star

When I don’t like a book. There’s always a reason behind it, usually, if I find it boring or don’t like the way in which it’s written. Also, it can be the topic and how it is portrayed.

3 Star

This doesn’t mean the book is good or bad, but just meh. There’s probably some things I don’t rate about it. It could be the pace, the plot or the writing. I simply means that I probably won’t pick it up again and it’ll eventually make its way to the donate/give away/selling pile.

4 Star

This book was really, really great. I loved certain aspects of it and I’m going to recommend it to people. For X reason it was quite a 5 star for me but damn it was good.

5 Star

OH MY GOD WOW, EVERYONE NEEDS TO READ THIS. IM GETTING ALL MY FRIENDS A COPY AND TWEETING THE AUTHOR AND AHHHHH I LOVE THIS SO MUCH!

It’s true that over time I have been known to change ratings depending on how I feel. A book I might have thought was a masterpiece at 15, I might not feel the same way about now. Similarly, I used to hate classics with a passion but now I’m a little older I can appreciate some of them and understand why they were so important! We change so much in life, which means our ratings will too!

 

How do you rate your books? Let me know in the comments below!