October 26, 2013

Book Review: Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein

The Deal: Rose Justice really wanted to help in the war effort and used her family's influence to become an ATA in England, where she flies planes back and forth so other people can fly them into the warfront. She hopes she could do more, though, as she has more flying experience than half the male pilots, but she knows being an ATA is pretty much all she can hope for. 

So she's en England, away from here family and doing what she can. Until one time when she's flying a plane from France to England and she's captured and sent to a concentration camp. 

There Rose, who always lived a privileged and sheltered life in Pensilvania, can barely wrap her mind around the atrocities happening around her and to her, even as she's living them. 

My Thoughts: Rose Under Fire is an emotional read, the things Rose goes through and how war takes a toll on the young - even before she is captured, she talks about how tired they all are all the time, because they can't stop working on the war effort - and I've to say that at first I liked the style a bit more than in Code Name Verity

But only at the beginning, as unreliable a narrator as "Verity" was and as word-y as I sometimes found it, I liked the structure of it better. With Rose Under Fire, it starts so well, but at one point it was going back and forth quite a bit via flashbacks, between her life after and her life while in the camp, and I found that a bit distracting. Same with her poetry, but I'm no big fan of poems, I have to admit. 

The writing is powerful and it does deliver a punch, but I don't know... World Ward II it's one of those subjects I know an unusual amount of, so I knew a lot of the things Rose was about to come face to face with and I knew about the "Rabbits" so, there was the punch but I'm not sure it affected me as much as it will to other readers. It was awful, but I was kind of prepared for it, so I wasn't in shock and I found Rose a little too naive. 

Otherwise, Elizabeth Wein is a great story teller, and Rose's voice does pull you into the story and keeps you there. My one complaint, though, is how little involvement Rose's family has with her in the aftermath, that was just plain weird. But then again, I'm Mexican, we tend to be super close knit in good and bad times. 

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