Friday, April 18, 2014

P is for Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman [Tour Stop and Giveaway]

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Prisoner of Night and Fog (Prisoner of Night and Fog #1)  
by Anne Blankman
416 pages
Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins
Release Date: April 22nd 2014


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.

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This book combines two of my favorite things - fiction and history. And it had World War II history at that. So I was already pretty excited to read this. I was not disappointed.

1. Characters
Gretchen. The main female protagonist. Common enough in YA, but if you know me, you know it's a hit or miss most of the time. I think this was a hit. I was thrown off by the third person point of view at first. But once I got into, I was INTO it. I thought Gretchen was totally believable. While she had her faults, I understood. I don't think there were any moments where I was pissed off at her. Which is quite an accomplishment. I loved her desire to learn the truth, and the way she handled herself in dangerous situations.
Daniel. The Jew who opens up her eyes. Brave reporter? I think that's an understatement. He's do just about ANYTHING to get the story. Very admirable, but definitely dangerous. I did love him though. I was shipping him and Gretchen from the beginning. I mean seriously. I couldn't help it.

2. Plot
This is not a love story. Daniel's part is actually more fact-seeking than romantic. He helps Gretchen out because he needs the info for his story. So he helped move the story along. Very fast-paced. Very dangerous. So amazing. I loved every second.
Most of the plot does revolve around the mystery of her father's death. But there's side plots with the Final Solution (though it never calls it that in the book) and Geli. Hitler is obviously everywhere. Speaking of...

3. Psychology
Mainly involving Hitler and Gretchen's brother. This is something I personally love because HELLO. How is it not interesting learning about how/why people think? Hint: it is interesting. To me. So I loved reading about the whole diagnosis thing. I won't give anything away!

4. World War II
Ah yes. The other half of the historical fiction. Also know as: the other part I loved! Now, I'm no expert with German or WWII. But I loved how she handled the subjects. Plus, in the back, she had a little section detailing the events that inspired the novel. So that was fun. It gave you some more perspective and an idea of how she changed it to fit her plot/character additions.

Overall, I loved this. Fast-paced. Good history. Awesome how she made her plot and real events work. So! I recommend. And I'm so glad there's more. Can't wait for the next book!

Rating: 4 stars

Recommendation: for those who love historical fiction. And WWII stuff

"Debut novelist Blankman’s account of life in Munich prior to Hitler’s 1933 elevation to the chancellorship is completely engrossing....Blankman creates riveting tension for her heroine and pulls readers through with an irresistible subplot featuring forbidden love."
-- Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"I'm in awed envy of the daring with which Anne Blankman plunges into her difficult and sensitive subject matter. To read Prisoner of Night and Fog is to be immersed in a breathtaking evocation of Munich in the 1930s, where life is ordinary and skin-crawling by turns, and in the painful, hopeful story of one young girl's awakening conscience. It’s terrifying and incredible to think how much of this story is true."
-- Elizabeth Wein, award-winning author of Code Name Verity

"Prisoner of Night and Fog seamlessly blends the fascinating, terrifying facts of Hitler's rise to power with a gripping murder mystery. Gretchen is a brave and believable protagonist, and readers will become engrossed in her struggle to uncover the truth. I can't wait for the sequel."
-- Michelle Cooper, award-winning author of the Montmaray Journal series

"Prisoner of Night and Fog is a nail-biting visit to Adolf Hitler's inner circle in the early days of the Nazi party's rise to power. Gretchen Müller's reluctant transformation from star-struck protege to clear-eyed "race traitor" is poignant and believable, while the echoing tramp of jackboots grows louder and louder through the streets of old Munich."
-- Jennifer Armstrong, coauthor of In My Hands: Memories of a Holocaust Rescuer (with Irene Gut Opdyke)

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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