Tag Archives: Crown Publishing

Book Review | Wunderland by Jennifer Cody Epstein

BOOK REVIEW | WUNDERLAND

TITLE: Wunderland

AUTHOR: Jennifer Cody Epstein

PUBLISHER: Crown Publishing Group

RELEASE DATE: April 23, 2019

GENRE: Historical Fiction

BUY LINKS: AMAZON | B&N | INDIEBOUND

East Village, 1989
Things had never been easy between Ava Fisher and her estranged mother Ilse. Too many questions hovered between them: Who was Ava’s father? Where had Ilse been during the war? Why had she left her only child in a German orphanage during the war’s final months? But now Ilse’s ashes have arrived from Germany, and with them, a trove of unsent letters addressed to someone else unknown to Ava: Renate Bauer, a childhood friend. As her mother’s letters unfurl a dark past, Ava spirals deep into the shocking history of a woman she never truly knew.

Berlin, 1933
As the Nazi party tightens its grip on the city, Ilse and Renate find their friendship under siege–and Ilse’s increasing involvement in the Hitler Youth movement leaves them on opposing sides of the gathering storm. Then the Nuremburg Laws force Renate to confront a long-buried past, and a catastrophic betrayal is set in motion…

An unflinching exploration of Nazi Germany and its legacy, Wunderland is a at once a powerful portrait of an unspeakable crime history and a page-turning contemplation of womanhood, wartime, and just how far we might go in order to belong. (Description from Goodreads)

MY THOUGHTS

(Before reading, please be aware that this review may contain spoilers)

Where to begin…lets start with I LOVED THIS BOOK! It has history, love, lies, and tragedy. I also really like the cover and was happy it gave me a sense of what the two main characters might look like. I never wanted to put it down.

Now, to dive right into it…

I’m always drawn to historical fiction that specifically surrounds World War II. It was such a sad and devastating time that I believe it should be written about. We should never forget how terrible this point in history was and should always be reminded of it with books like Wunderland.

It reminded me of a much sadder female focused version of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. Wunderland delve more into the details of what it was like when Jewish families and businesses were being destroyed. With Renate’s story, it gave detailed descriptions of how Jewish children were treated in school by both their full German blooded peers and teachers. You can get a sense of how hard and confusing it must have been for children when the friends they were so close to turned on them or when teachers (adults) that are supposed to teach and guide you start treating you like dirt. Then seeing your family and everything around you fall apart.

On the flip side, the character Ilse was a young German girl who got sucked into the Nazi party. Ilse was part of the BDM (Band of German Maidens) which was “the girls’ wing of the Nazi Party youth movement.” So as we follow Ilse’s story we get a sense of what was going through their minds as they wrote about Jewish people and were punishing them. Ilse herself had done some unspeakable things in the name of the Nazi party, but lived with the guilt of all that she’d done. Even though she’s a fictional character, I believe that there were so many young German girls and boys corrupted and their minds manipulated by the Nazi party making them believe what they were doing was right even though it was awful.

Overall, Wunderland is an incredible depiction of the terrors that came from the Nazi party and World War II. I would highly recommend reading this amazing book. As a side note, I feel Wunderland is worthy of becoming a movie one day. I certainly would watch it and probably cry my eyes out.

OVERALL RATING

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS | TWITTER

I am the author of the forthcoming Wunderland, out April 23 with Crown Publishing. My prior works include The Gods of Heavenly Punishment, winner of the 2014 Asian Pacific Association of Librarians Honor award for outstanding fiction, as well as the international bestseller The Painter from Shanghai. I have also written for The Wall Street Journal, The Asian Wall Street Journal, The Nation (Thailand), Self and Mademoiselle magazines, and the NBC and HBO networks, working in Kyoto, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Bangkok as well as Washington D.C. and New York. I’ve taught at Columbia University in New York and Doshisha University in Kyoto, and have an MFA from Columbia, a Masters of International Relations from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and a BA in Asian Studies/English from Amherst College.

I currently live in Brooklyn, NY with my husband, filmmaker Michael Epstein, my two amazing daughters and an exceptionally needy Springer Spaniel. (Bio from Author’s Website)

Thank you to Crown Publishing Group for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Friday Finds | New NetGalley Auto Approval

I’m very excited to say that I’ve been Auto Approved by another publisher on NeGalley.com. For those of your who are not familiar with NetGalley, it’s a site that brings together reviewers and publishers.  The reviewers request books and the publishers can either approve or deny the request.  If they approve then the reviewer can read the book and provide feedback.

When a publisher Auto Approves a reviewer that means they can download any book that publisher has on the site without waiting for approval. It’s a big deal in the NetGalley world if you get Auto Approved.

So I’m happy to say that Crown Publishing recently gave me Auto Approved status and I wanted to share a few of the books I downloaded as a result of this. (Thank you Crown Publishing!)

cover58330-mediumTITLE: The Little Paris Bookshop

AUTHOR: Nina George

PUBLISHER: Crown Publishing

RELEASE DATE: June 23, 2015

GENRE: Literary Fiction / Contemporary Romance

Monsieur Perdu calls himself a literary apothecary. From his floating bookstore in a barge on the Seine, he prescribes novels for the hardships of life. Using his intuitive feel for the exact book a reader needs, Perdu mends broken hearts and souls. The only person he can’t seem to heal through literature is himself; he’s still haunted by heartbreak after his great love disappeared. She left him with only a letter, which he has never opened.

After Perdu is finally tempted to read the letter, he hauls anchor and departs on a mission to the south of France, hoping to make peace with his loss and discover the end of the story. Joined by a bestselling but blocked author and a lovelorn Italian chef, Perdu travels along the country’s rivers, dispensing his wisdom and his books, showing that the literary world can take the human soul on a journey to heal itself.

Internationally bestselling and filled with warmth and adventure, The Little Paris Bookshop is a love letter to books, meant for anyone who believes in the power of stories to shape people’s lives. (Description from NetGalley.com)

 PRE-ORDER LINKS

AMAZON | ITUNES | B&N | BAM! | GOOGLE PLAY | KOBO

cover53690-mediumTITLE: What You Left Behind

AUTHOR: Samantha Hayes

PUBLISHER: Crown Publishing

RELEASE DATE: April 14, 2015

GENRE: Suspense & Thriller

A mesmerizing new thriller from the author of Until You’re Mine

Two years after a terrifying spate of teenage suicides, the remote village of Radcote has just begun to heal. Then a young man is killed in a freak motorcycle accident and a suicide note is found among his belongings. When a second boy is found dead shortly thereafter, the nightmare of repeat suicides once again threatens the community.

Desperate for a vacation, Detective Inspector Lorraine Fisher has just come to Radcote for a stay with her sister, Jo, but the atmosphere of the country house is unusually tense. Freddie, Jo’s son, seems troubled and uncommunicative, and Jo is struggling to reach out to him. Meanwhile, Lorraine becomes determined to discover the truth behind these deaths. Are they suicides, or is there something more sinister at work? Finding answers might help Freddie, but they’ll also lead to a shocking truth: whatever it is–or whoever it is–that’s killing these young people is far more disturbing than she ever could have imagined, and unraveling the secret is just as dangerous as the secret itself.

Wicked, intense, and utterly compulsive, What You Left Behind confirms Samantha Hayes as a top thriller writer. (Description from NetGalley.com)

 BUY LINKS

AMAZON | B&N | BAM! | INDIEBOUNDPOWELL’S | WALMART

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