September 2019 Reading Wrap Up

I read six books this month. Now, I know that it’s not a huge number, but I’m very proud of my progress!

‘Tunnel of Bones’ by Victoria Schwab
Length: 304 pages
Genre: Middle Grade
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: September 3, 2019

I rated ‘Tunnel of Bones’ 5 stars. It was very exciting to revisit Cassidy Blake’s world, as she explored Paris in order to vanquish a restless spirit. Having a best friend who’s a ghost is an extra bonus! I’m already anticipating the next book in the series!

Sweet Melody by Heidi McCahan
Length: 217 pages
Publisher: Snug Corner Cove Press
Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance
September 13, 2019

I rated ‘Sweet Melody‘ 5 Stars. This story was read and reviewed for a tour stop on Prism Book Tours. This was an endearing novel that covers the issue of struggle after heartbreak. The message expressed that with a strong support network, and with a little faith, one is never truly alone!

‘Kingdom Cold’ Trilogy by Brittni Chenelle
Length: 622 pages
Genre: YA/Fantasy
Release Date: February 14, 2019

I gave the ‘Kingdom Cold’ series 5 stars. I read and reviewed these stories through Caffiene Book Tours. Truthfully, I went into this series not expecting to be absorbed, but I was pleasantly surprised. Chenelle displays strong female characters and a steady pace throughout the books. I’m thankful that I gave these stories a chance!

‘The Lost Girls of Paris’ by Pam Jenoff
Length: 384 pages
Publisher: Park Row Books
Genre: Historical Fiction
Release Date: March 1, 2019

I gave ‘The Lost Girls of Paris’ 4 Stars. Learning about a female secret agent unit in London during World War II was truly eye-opening. Genoff artfully created fictionalized accounts of the three female leads in the book, while enlightening readers of the reality that women faced while operating behind enemy lines. It reveals that women played a greater role in war than originally thought!

‘The Lost Girls of Paris’ by Pam Jenoff/A Review

The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Genoff
Length: 384 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Park Row Books
Release Date: January 29, 2019

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

1946, Manhattan

Gace Healey is rebuilding her life after losing her husband during the war. One morning while passing through Grand Central Terminal on her way to work, she finds an abandoned suitcase tucked beneath a bench. Unable to resist her own curiosity, Grace opens the suitcase, where she discovers a dozen photographs—each of a different woman. In a moment of impulse, Grace takes the photographs and quickly leaves the station.

Grace soon learns that the suitcase belonged to a woman named Eleanor Trigg, leader of a ring of female secret agents who were deployed out of London during the war. Twelve of these women were sent to Occupied Europe as couriers and radio operators to aid the resistance, but they never returned home, their fates a mystery. Setting out to learn the truth behind the women in the photographs, Grace finds herself drawn to a young mother turned agent named Marie, whose daring mission overseas reveals a remarkable story of friendship, valor and betrayal.

Vividly rendered and inspired by true events, New York Times bestselling author Pam Jenoff shines a light on the incredible heroics of the brave women of the war, and weaves a mesmerizing tale of courage, sisterhood and the great strength of women to survive in the hardest of circumstances.

My Review:
   
I discovered The Lost Girls of Paris fairly recently, at a book club held at my local library. Within the first couple chapters, I was swept up instantly.

The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff was inspired by true events during World War II, describing the pro-active role women played in order to take down Nazi Germany. We begin the story following Grace in post-war New York, a young war widow starting her life over in Hells Kitchen. While commuting to work, Grace discovers a suitcase with the photos of 12 women, and she goes on a search to discover the truth behind their origin. We are then taken back to 1944, following Eleanor (a secretary in charge of the women’s secret agent unit in London), and Marie (a recruit placed into Occupied France to conduct radio transmissions for the British). Throughout the book, we venture back and forth in time as Grace slowly discovers the truth behind these mysterious women’s origins, and during the period of the war, when Eleanor and Marie are faced with difficult choices in the extreme hardships.

     I found myself emotionally invested in each woman’s struggle, as they all found themselves having to make choices that would effect the lives of those around them. Marie and Eleanor had extremely difficult upbringings, which molded them later in life to hold great strength in the face of difficult circumstances. While Grace’s experiences in the story were those of a curious investigator (her timeline occurs roughly two years after the war ended), she is also faced with a choice that could effect the outcome of her life.

     The Lost Girls of Paris also takes place in a time where a woman’s role in the war was unheard of. Women were expected to wait for their men to return from the war, working just to simply bide their time. The thought of women leading and working in military roles was considered ridiculous and threatening to many. The act of women living and working independently was also highly discouraged. Grace, Eleanor and Marie were all living their lives in the face of extreme opposition (and this book described many harrowing details of wartime Europe), and they all made it a point to persevere within the struggles.

     I was thoroughly moved by The Lost Girls of Paris, as it was an intense novel describing women being resilient during the hardships of war. If you are someone who enjoys historical fiction while learning about World War II, then this book is for you!

Rating: 4/5 Stars  

My Library Haul

Last weekend I picked up some exciting reads from my local library! These titles are ones that I’ve been anxiously awaiting to start!

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Back in my college years, I began reading Anna Karenina since I was intrigued by the love story. At the time I only knew that Tolstoy wrote War and Peace, so I was curious. Alas, I eventually placed the book to the side…not because I was disinterested, but my focus was placed toward my studies!
Let’s see how much I can absorb this time around!

A Kiss of Shadows by Laurell K. Hamilton
Laurell K. Hamilton is known for her Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series,enthralling readers with Anita’s fearlessness and sexual escapades. A Kiss of Shadows follows the story of Meredith Gentry, a P.I. in Los Angeles whose true identity is Princess of the high court of Faerie. I’ve always been intrigued by this steamy world of the Fae, so I’m looking forward to reading it!

The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff
I received The Lost Girls of Paris yesterday at my local library’s monthly book club. It was my first meeting with this wonderful group, and although I didn’t have time to read up on the book club pick, I really wanted to attend. One of the club members was nice enough to lend me her copy of the book. I was very grateful!
This is a Historical Fiction novel, set around the time of World War II. Since Historical Fiction is one of my favorite genres, I’m going to dive right in!