I am so happy that Mariam (@mariamthekid), one of the bloggers over at Flying Through Fiction, decided to host the Wolf by Wolf Read-Along because it means I got to push the book up on my TBR pile. And it was my first read along! YAY!
Synopsis: Yael survived Hitler’s concentration camp, but she lost friends and family along the way. Now, 1956, it’s time to get revenge and kill Hitler. But in order to do that, she needs to impersonate Adele Wolfe in the Axis motor race. And win.
I fawned over this book while fearing it as well. A world where Hitler still exists absolutely terrifies me. I’m Jewish, so I feel like I wouldn’t be safe in Yael’s world, even though most of it takes place after the Holocaust, especially because I’m not as tough as she is. It makes me much more appreciative of the life I live.
The book was split into “before” and “after” sections. All of the “before” parts gave me chills, and the “after” parts were super intriguing.
I enjoyed reading about almost all of the characters. I just didn’t connect with Aaron-Klaus or Vlad. I could have done without their involvement. I understand these people influenced Yael’s character development, but they just didn’t pop for me like the others.
Romance is definitely NOT a major aspect of this book, though Ryan seemed to set the stage to up the romance for the sequel. I wouldn’t consider there to be a love triangle, because of the conintual emphasis placed on Felix as a brother, but I ship Felix with Yael nonetheless. I don’t care if I’m the only one. He is so sweet and deserves love!
Speaking of love, I fell in love with Ryan Graudin’s writing style. (This doesn’t surprise me because I saw her at the Miami Book Fair International and she spoke so eloquently.) She uses a lot of short sentences and fragments, and I think that’s very brave of her to go with what she felt was right. And I think it was executed well. I read a few passages aloud just to hear how the staccato-ness would sound, and I think this book would read wonderfully as an audiobook. Another thing I noticed with the writing that stuck out to me was her descriptions with color. I could actually see everything clearly in my head. It just sounded so beautiful (or beautifully horrendous, depending on the scene). Bonus: I also learned some German words. I can now successfully curse in German: Schiesse!
Ryan constructed a killer plot. (Makes sense given that the whole point of the story is to kill someone.) There’s such a strong message about coming to terms with your identity, right and wrong and the gray bits in between, and individuality. It really resonated with me, and I’m sure it (will) resonate(s) with others as well. Also: OH MAN, PLOT TWIST/MINI-CLIFFHANGER AT THE END. I totally did not see it coming.
This book gets 4.75 out of 5 stars.