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.

My YALC 2019 Haul – Part 1

Another year, another amazing time at YALC. If you’re not part of the bookish community in the UK you might not have heard about the Young Adult Literature Convention. Let me tell you it is a treat! A big hall full of panels, authors, publishers, freebies, giveaways and Jason Mamoa sightings. The event is part of London Film and Comic Con and probably my favourite weekend of the year.

This year I decided my posts we going to be all about the books, partly because I came home with 25 new additions (hey! they do great deals) and partly because I was a terrible blogger and took hardly any pictures at all. Not only did I come home with a stack of books but I also met the amazing V.E Scwab (she signed for over 400 people, I was number 362), finally met the lovely Lucy Powrie who wrote The Paper and Hearts Society and Laura Bates a badass feminist who wrote Everyday Sexism, Girl Up and Mysogynation.

It was an absolute dream but let’s get down to what you’re really here for – the books.

I hit up the Barrington Stoke stand and picked up these books. You’ll be hearing a lot more from me about Barrington Stoke – they produce books for young adults with Dyslexia that are actually for young adults.

I picked up The Disconnected by Keren David which is about winning a large sum of money if you can stay disconnected from your phone – perfect for a social media obsessed person! Next up I picked up The Last Days of Archie Maxwell by Annabel Pitcher, which is family centred and gritty from what I’ve been told. And I was also gifted a copy of Firebird by Elizabeth Wein which is set in Russia during WW2. All of these are shorter reads and I’m looking forward to getting through them

Let’s just put it out there, I’ve never read an Adam Silvera book. So of course I bought 3 – What If It’s Us with Becky Albertalli, They Both Die At The End and History Is All You Left Me. I’ve heard really good and emotional things about all of these books so hoping I love them all! I am ready to cry a lot.

I’d not heard of Can Everyone Please Calm Down: A Guide To 21st Century Sexuality before this weekend but it looks like an interesting read. I’m always keen to read more books about sexuality and learn. Next up is The Black Coats by Colleen Oakes a story about a group of women who go after men who hurt women. I’ve wanted to get my hands on this for a little while so it’ll be interesting.

I also picked up another book by Moxie author Jennifer Mathieu – The Truth About Alice. This is a novel about rumours and thinking about what we really know about what we hear? I’m really looking forward to this one.

I also picked up Apple and Rain by Sarah Crossan after buying Moonrise at YALC last year and absolutely loving it – the blurb says it has the power to make me ‘laugh and cry’, I’m here for that. Next up is The Stolen Ones, set after WW2 with a mystery element – is Inge who she really thinks she is? And I also picked up You Got This by Bryony Gordon, I love Bryony’s other books (The Wrong Knickers and Mad Girl are the two I’ve read) and this is all about positivity.

And that’s not all! Make sure to come back tomorrow to see the second half of my YALC book haul!