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Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman Review

Prisoner of Night and Fog (Prisoner of Night and Fog, #1)In 1930s Munich, danger lurks behind dark corners, and secrets are buried deep within the city. But Gretchen Müller, who grew up in the National Socialist Party under the wing of her "uncle" Dolf, has been shielded from that side of society ever since her father traded his life for Dolf's, and Gretchen is his favorite, his pet. Uncle Dolf is none other than Adolf
 Hitler. And Gretchen follows his every command. Until she meets a fearless and handsome young Jewish reporter named Daniel Cohen. Gretchen should despise Daniel, yet she can't stop herself from listening to his story: that her father, the adored Nazi martyr, was actually murdered by an unknown comrade. She also can't help the fierce attraction brewing between them, despite everything she's been taught to believe about Jews. As Gretchen investigates the very people she's always considered friends, she must decide where her loyalties lie. Will she choose the safety of her former life as a Nazi darling, or will she dare to dig up the truth—even if it could get her and Daniel killed? From debut author Anne Blankman comes this harrowing and evocative story about an ordinary girl faced with the extraordinary decision to give up everything she's ever believed . . . and to trust her own heart instead.

    It's really funny sometimes how things work out. This semester, I decided to take a discussion class on primary sources of the Holocaust. Every week I sit down and read a book that a perpetrator, survivor, victim, or savior of these horrific times wrote and then we go to class and discuss it with a professor who had done a ton of research on the Holocaust. It's a hard class. Not because we're reading a book a week, but because it's difficult material to swallow. For example, this week we're reading a book about children during the Holocaust. Yeah. It can get really tough sometimes. 

When I heard about this book, I was equal parts excited and nervous. First of all, I am so glad that someone is finally taking the initiative and writing a Holocaust narrative from the point of view of someone on the other side. How rarely do we get to see perspective! But I was also nervous because, well, it's a Holocaust book....and that means it's probably going to be sad or depressing at some point and I already get enough of that from my class. However, if it wasn't sad or depressing, than I would be concerned that it wasn't giving an accurate picture of the times. 

It's safe to say that this book exceeded my expectations. I don't want to give anything away, but I believe it was set in the appropriate mood. The events take place before Hitler's take over so things are in the works, but people still don't actually believe he's going to do anything worse than relocate Jews. Is it sad? Yes. But not overwhelmingly so. There's quite a bit of action and suspense and mystery to keep the reader apprehensive, but not in a slump.

I did really enjoy Gretchen's character. I thought she was very brave and I respect someone who finds her own truth instead of clinging to another's. However, I'm still not sure how I feel about the romance. I was certainly rooting for them on the sidelines, but when it actually happened, I felt like it was rushed or maybe did not make a lot of sense? It definitely was not love at first site, but when they actually started to form a relationship based on trust rather than what they both could give the other, I just thought it went a little quickly from there. Who knows? Maybe I'm being overly sensitive and picky. 

The part that I loved about this book was that the reader gets a little bit of a peek into how Hitler acted and how he convinced everybody to be on his side. He was so persuasive and people were desperate for somebody to come along and take care of them. Not only that, but they wanted somebody to blame. I am absolutely thrilled that Anne Blankman showed how easy it was to get swept up in his lies and I think this book is so unusual for pursuing the perspective of someone who was close to him and did believe him. Even if the plot was horrible and the characters were bland, I would still read the book for that reason. Thank goodness that's not the case!

Oh hello there! My name is Emily, though some of you may know me as the Bookie Monster. As the name would suggest, I devour books like the Cookie Monster devours cookies. In my spare time, I like to bake cookies (and devour those as well) and dream about taking over the world. As if my book obsession wasn't life consuming enough,

I work in the children's room at my local library and I am currently a sophomore in college majoring in English. It's safe to say I'm a bit of a book fanatic. I discreetly shed a few tears on my eleventh birthday when I did not receive my Hogwarts acceptance letter and I waited seven hours outside in the rain just to get a good seat at the Hunger Games midnight premiere. I'm terrified of blood and Disney movies make me cry (in a good way). My passions include hippos, hugs, and Hans Zimmer…and uh,long walks on the beach. I'm just a normal girl w
ith a slightly abnormal and frightfully expensive obsession. Nice to meet you!

Anne Blankman may have been meant to be a writer because her parents named her for Anne of Green Gables. She grew up in an old house with gables (gray, unfortunately) in upstate New York. When she wasn't writing or reading, she was rowing on the crew team, taking ballet lessons, fencing and swimming. She graduated from Union College with degrees in English and history, which comes in handy when she writes historical fiction. After earning a master's degree in information science, Anne began working as a youth services librarian. Currently, she lives in southeastern Virginia with her family. When she's not writing young adult fiction, she's playing with her daughter, training for races with her husband, working at her amazing library branch, learning to knit (badly), and reading. Anne Blankman is the author of PRISONER OF NIGHT AND FOG, the first in a three-book deal slated for publication in spring 2014 from Balzer + Bray | HarperCollins. She is represented by Tracey Adams of Adams Literary.

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  1. I was a little hesitant about reading this book, but as of today my made had totally been made up. I've read some really great reviews on it and I'm actually really interested in reading now!
    Thanks for your thoughts and your review! xoxo
    Michelle ~ Book Hangovers Blabs Books

  2. I agree it is fabulous to have a different view of this side. I am so glad you enjoyed this.

  3. I love History, and my favorite things to study were the wars. I've always been fascinated with the Holocaust, but I surprisingly have never read a holocaust book! I wish my school had classes like the one that you have because I would be all over that! But I've been checking out this book for a while, and I keep hearing really good things about it, so I think it's time for me to take that leap and read the book. Great review, and thanks for not giving too much away!

  4. that's great you loved this book so much. I really want to read it. I think it will be a fascinating look at the Holocaust, since it's before the major events.

  5. I agree, I liked how this book wasn't depressing or overwhelming sad. I think it's because of the romance and the subtle romance :) It wasn't swoonworthy, but I liked how it added that POP to the overall story. And yes, I loved how she portrayed Hitler. Very interesting to see.


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