Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Review: The War within These Walls

Title: The War within These Walls
Author: Aline Sax
Rating: 5/5

Summary: It's World War II, and Misha's family, like the rest of the Jews living in Warsaw, has been moved by the Nazis into a single crowded ghetto. Conditions are appalling: every day more people die from disease, starvation, and deportations. Misha does his best to help his family survive, even crawling through the sewers to smuggle food. When conditions worsen, Misha joins a handful of other Jews who decide to make a final, desperate stand against the Nazis.Heavily illustrated with sober blue-and-white drawings, this powerful novel dramatically captures the brutal reality of a tragic historical event.


There's a special place in my book reading heart for World War II novels.  Actually, it's one of the only pieces of 20th century history I care to study in any detail.  I think it's the part of me that has a deep-seated, strange fascination with human horrors and the great deal of pain we as a race can inflict upon one another.

My morbid fascination aside, this book was unique in it's structure from the general shape of the book to the drawings and text within.  The book is at least an inch taller than a usual hardcover book and the cover colors are mimicked throughout the text.

The protagonist was loosely drawn, which I found allowed for a more generalized experience.  I mean by this, that you could see the faces of history (more than just the character) in him and thus lends the character their pain and hardship on top of his own.

Plot-wise there were little to no surprises because it all fits with the time period and events of the Warsaw Ghetto, even if it is not perfect (it is fiction after all).

I would recommend this book to history book lovers, as well as those who do not like history but are looking for a stepping stone to get into the subject or an easy historical read.


Sunday, February 2, 2014

In My Mailbox [1]

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme created by The Story Siren

I get my books from a number of sources including buying, ARC copies, and the library.  This week I struck gold with a library book sale!


From left to right the books are:

The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
Possession by Elana Johnson
Before I Die by Jenny Downham
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
Illuminated by Erica Orloff
Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
Sticky Fingers by Niki Burnham
Pretend You Love Me by Julie Anne Peters
The Prophecy by Dawn Miller
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Matilda by Roald Dahl
Bonus DVD:  Cloverfield

Borrowed from the Library

Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano
The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor by Robert Kirkman

What did you get this week?