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The Wartime Book Club by Kate Thompson #Review

  The Wartime Book Club is a marvellous historical novel set on Jersey in World War Two. Written by Kate Thompson , it was published by Hodder $ Stoughton on February 13th. Jersey, 1943. Once a warm and neighbourly community, now German soldiers patrol the cobbled streets, imposing a harsh rule on the people of the island. Grace La Mottée, the island's only librarian, is ordered to destroy books which threaten the new regime. Instead, she hides the stories away in secret. Along with her headstrong best friend, postwoman Bea Rose, she wants to fight back. So she forms the wartime book club: a lifeline, offering fearful islanders the joy and escapism of reading. But as the occupation drags on, the women's quiet acts of bravery become more perilous - and more important - than ever before. And, when tensions turn to violence, they are forced to face the true, terrible cost of resistance . . . Based on astonishing real events, The Wartime Book Club is a love letter

This Savage Song by V E Schwab

    This Savage Song is the first of two fantasy novels and is from the YA or Young Adult genre. Despite the fact that I'm not in that demographic, I read and thoroughly enjoyed it! Set in a dystopian future, the story centres on two teenage protagonists who come from opposing sides of a divided metropolis. Real Monsters have emerged from the violence which has become endemic in the city.  Kate Harker is the impetuous and courageous daughter of a ruthless father who controls the North of the City of Verity by levying a charge to keep the humans safe. August Flynn, from the South of Verity, just wants to work to protect the innocents but cannot deny his Monster heritage. Thrown together, their struggle for survival begins.

    I think it was the pace of the book which was the most impressive as it gained momentum throughout the book.  It was skilfully plotted and sprang a few surprises, setting up the second book nicely at the end. I loved Kate's determined personality and her backstory concerning the death of her mother, together with her complex relationship with her father which rounded out her character nicely. August, too, was a complicated being, with a web of family relationships to unravel.

    V. E. Schwab has created a believable society and showed us the layers of society from the political ruling elite down to the monsters they fear, but always through the eyes of August and Kate. The reader is led to question the differences between the humans and the monsters. It is quite a dark read, but I will be looking out for the follow up with anticipation.

In short: a dark, dystopian world, swirling with danger. 

Thanks to the publishers, Titan Books for a copy of the book.  

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