So, last week’s video was made of some rather unpopular opinions, as I discussed the Top 10 series I would never finish. On the heels of that, I boomeranged back the other way this week with a MUCH more positive (but no less expressive) video about the top 10 series I could have finished … but haven’t. Ergo, I need to get on finishing these series RIGHT THE HELL NOW. Ahem. Anyways, enjoy!
It’s another episode of Bibliomancers, and today is my pick for books you should ALL READ! I chose Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, which I have talked about over and over again. (For kickers, check out Marina’s review of the follow up book Rose Under Fire.)
Oct. 11th, 1943-A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it’s barely begun.
When “Verity” is arrested by the Gestapo, she’s sure she doesn’t stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she’s living a spy’s worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution.
As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage, failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy?
A Michael L. Printz Award Honor book that was called “a fiendishly-plotted mind game of a novel” in The New York Times, Code Name Verity is a visceral read of danger, resolve, and survival that shows just how far true friends will go to save each other.
Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
So, it’s actually really hard for books to make me cry. And honestly, often I don’t read the kind of book that does. I have to be in a very specific mood to intentionally put myself in the way of a thing that will make me THAT miserable. So this is a very specific list of books that have made ME cry, instead of the more general ‘you’ mentioned in the meme.
1. Code Name Verity, by Elizabeth Wein: seriously, how do you NOT cry when reading this book? Verity is so beautiful and so brave and Maddie is so stubborn and courageous and FRIENDSHIP and TRAGEDY and EVERYTHING IS HARD OKAY.
2. Rose Under Fire, also by Elizabeth Wein: in case Code Name Verity didn’t make me cry hard enough, the exact same author turned around and came out with a book that was even harder to read.
3. The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver: one of these days I’m going to get around to talking about why this is NOT the middle-aged mom book that everyone thinks it is, and why it was perfect for my fifteen-year-old angst-ridden self, and why I love it so dearly. But in the meantime, know that her descriptions of grief and mourning, especially the numb few days after a death, are spot-on, and made me cry.
4. Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson: this book broke my heart the first time I read it and I ended up crying in the backseat on the way home from the bookstore. (The bookstore was an hour away, I had a while to read it.) Then I read it again, a few years later, when I’d been much closer to similarly horrible events, and my heart broke all over again.
5. Flowers for Algernon, by Daniel Keyes: did they make you read this one in school? Apparently they do that, but I read it on my own. Fun fact: losing my mental facilities is one of the deepest, most poignant fears I have. Yeah.
6. Shiver, by Maggie Stiefvater: okay, this one’s not quite fair, but I don’t read a lot of books that make me cry! I read it after a breakup and the genuine sweetness of the romance in this book was beautiful and hopeful and incredibly hard to take.
7. Linger, by Maggie Stiefvater: this one IS fair. There is a scene in this book in which Grace is sick–maybe dying–and her parents, because they don’t like or trust her boyfriend, won’t let him see her. Hospitals have a deep sort of horror for me–I’ve spent too much time in them, not as a patient but as a loved one–and the fear of not being able to be close to someone I love when they’re dying, to lose out on what could be their last moments, is something I absolutely would have had to face, if my parents hadn’t been so understanding about my desire to stay close. Other people’s parents made it abundantly clear to me that they wouldn’t have let me stay, and that terrified and saddened me. The utter powerlessness of a hospital is incredibly hard to take.
So yeah that scene made me cry.
8. Last Night I Sang To The Monster, by Benjamin Alire Saenz: wow, it’s been forever since I’ve read this book. I don’t know if it’s as good, or as sad, as I remember it being. But it’s another book that had me crying on the way home from the bookstore.
10. The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupery: I reread this recently, after my boyfriend, who gets very literary when he’s tired, read some pieces of it to me in French. I originally read it when I was extremely little, and although I didn’t remember much of it, the feeling of it stayed with me.
I have no idea why it made me cry, but it did. Maybe it’s the clash of childhood and adulthood, maybe it’s the simple childlike sadness. I know the themes of regret really do me in–and I know it wouldn’t hit me so hard if it didn’t carry associations from my very, very early days of reading, when I was too little to have a barrier between my feelings and the page. But it’s as beautiful as I remember it being, more like a poem, really, than a story.
Rose Under Fire, by Elizabeth Wein
While flying an Allied fighter plane from Paris to England, American ATA pilot and amateur poet, Rose Justice, is captured by the Nazis and sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious women’s concentration camp. Trapped in horrific circumstances, Rose finds hope in the impossible through the loyalty, bravery and friendship of her fellow prisoners. But will that be enough to endure the fate that’s in store for her?
Elizabeth Wein, author of the critically-acclaimed and best-selling Code Name Verity, delivers another stunning WWII thriller. The unforgettable story of Rose Justice is forged from heart-wrenching courage, resolve, and the slim, bright chance of survival.
Thanks to Netgalley and Disney Hyperion for this eARC. This title will be released September 10th, 2013.
As of typing this paragraph, I finished Rose Under Fire about five hours ago and I still feel…humbled. I’m not quite sure how to review this book. How do you even begin to review something this important?
I don’t know if this is for myself or you guys, but I’m going to start doing weekly wrap up posts along with my Stacking the Shelves videos. So if you want to watch the video…go! If you don’t, here’s a summary of what’s happening: