Happy New Year everyone! I’m kicking 2016 off as I mean to go on – by flailing about incredibly upsetting books that I enjoyed. Story of my life. So anyway, I’m a massive fan of Code Name Verity. It wasn’t a perfect read for me, but it came pretty damn close and I am still broken over Julie and Maddie. OTP, guys, OTP. I had to wait a while before I could pick Rose Under Fire up because I was still pretty upset about the whole situation. But once I did, I was captivated, and I read this book in a matter of hours.
Rose Under Fire is very different to its predecessor. Firstly, there’s no Julie. Obviously. But there is a little bit of Maddie and that made me both happy and distraught. It also introduces a new protagonist, Rose, who I actually really, really liked, despite going into this book a little bit worried that I wouldn’t love her.
This book is also different in the sense that it takes place mostly in one setting: a concentration camp. Whereas with Code Name Verity, we got both Maddie’s and Julie’s points of view and thus a broader setting, Rose Under Fire is very much smaller and more focused. And the setting was an upsetting one, to say the least. You read about the people who were being tested on in the concentration camps – this particular one being Ravensbrück in northern Germany. It’s disturbing, off-putting, and incredibly real.
I pretty much sobbed throughout the last fifty pages, wherein certain characters are trying to find their voices to talk about the events at the concentration camp in the Hamburg Ravensbrück trials. It was difficult to read, and I’m almost crying right now just thinking about it because the women of Ravensbrück went through so fucking much, it’s almost unbelievable.
Read this book, guys. Read Code Name Verity first, of course, but then read this one. You (probably) won’t regret it.