By: Melanie | December 15, 2013 | (27) Comments

Review: Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth WeinRose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein
Series: Code Name Verity, #2
Publisher: Hardie Grant Egmont Australia
Release Date: June 3, 2013
Genres: Historical, War, YA
Pages: 471
Source: Received in exchange for review
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I can write again. Oh God! All those months of not being able to write! Of not being allowed to write. Knowing I'd be shot if I were caught. It seems like I have been a prisoner for so long.

Rose Justice is a young American ATA pilot, delivering planes and taxiing pilots for the RAF in the UK during the summer of 1944. A budding poet who feels vividly alive while flying, she is forced to confront the hidden atrocities of war--and the most fearsome.

An unforgettable journey from innocence to experience from the author of the best-selling, multi-award-nominated Code Name Verity. From the exhilaration of being the youngest pilot in the British air transport auxiliary, to the aftermath of surviving the notorious Ravensbruck women's concentration camp, Rose's story is one of courage in the face of adversity. Code Name Verity is shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal.

I don’t normally review books the same day I read them. Especially not one hour after I’ve read them. But Rose Under Fire is a certain exception because I fear that if I wait any longer, I won’t be able connect words to form coherent and meaningful sentences. Rose Under Fire is an imperative read, certainly emotionally draining and brutal and is practically scintillating in its own brilliance.

Hope is treacherous, but how can you live without it?

Rose Justice is a young American ATA pilot during the World War II with big ambitions. Her love for flying becomes her greatest fall when she crosses over enemy territory. Wrong place, wrong time. Soon, Rose is taken to Ravensbrück concentration camp where her world crumbles and collapses in front of her. Rose Under Fire is split into three sections, all equally vivid and touching but section two shattered me. Bloody heartbreaking. Elizabeth Wein does no sugar coating, some of the things that happen in here are absolutely horrid, and to think that these things actually happened in our world’s history. Just. Ugh. Shivers ran up and down my spine the whole time. My hands, numb. Pure disgust.

Like Code Name Verity, the book is told in first person, journal narration. While the ending wasn’t as incalculable like Code Name Verity, the journey itself was exhilarating. I really love Rose Justice, I really really do. She’s got an ambitious and brave character, not just wanting to sit there and do everything she’s told. She made me laugh in appalling situations, always brightening the bleak atmosphere of the concentration camp. Not only does Rose love flying but we also learn she has a love for reciting poems, and making them. Her personality in general was contagious, her poems and little songs affecting those around her.

Rose Under Fire shows effectively, though not like a lecture what World War II was like. Elizabeth Wein once again nails the atmosphere and blighted-ness of the main character’s standing point, her writing deserves all, if more acknowledgements. I’d also like to point how fantastic the friendships were portrayed in Rose Under Fire. I love them all. Maddie, Elodie, Karolina, Irina, Roza, Lisette and Anna etc. It shows how easy people can grow relationships during this time and help each other. Trust and hope. It’s more powerful than anything.

While Rose Under Fire does not really follow Code Name Verity, and can be read as a stand-alone I still highly recommend you read Code Name Verity first. These are pretty slow reads in my opinion, because you need to savour every little bit of its beauty and brute. All of it.

Survival means more than just staying alive.

Tell the world.

~Thank you Hardie Grant Egmont Australia for sending me this copy!~

4.5 Stars
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Owner (and crazy nut) at YA Midnight Reads
Melanie is one of the totally fabulous bloggers at YA Midnight Reads. She's a 16 year old student from Melbourne, Australia. She is normally found binge watching TV series, reading , blogging, procrastinating or fangirling about how Percabeth is the best ship ever. She's also a lover of caps lock and uses it excessively.

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27 Responses to Review: Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein

  1. There are a few books that tackle or show fantastic connections with other people. I do like books, where the support characters are great friends. It seems like this is a great book to read based on your review. Wow, an hour after reading and there’s a review? Fab review, Mel!
    Dre @ Sporadic Reads recently posted…Book Meme : Stacking The Shelves #011My Profile

  2. Charlotte says:

    I’ve heard a lot of good things about this book but I never got tempted to put it on my TBR list since I am not really a fan of historical books much more about the World War. Maybe, it’s high time for me to tread on unfamiliar territory and give this book a try. I love my heroines ambitious and brave. And wow to her friendship with the other characters. I always love it when a book is also driven by wonderful character relationships. 😀

    And I remember that Megan once recommended this book to me.

    Great review, Mel!
    Charlotte recently posted…Stacking The Shelves {21}My Profile

  3. Desnica Kumar says:

    I have been meaning to read Code Name Verity for so long now…I just never seem to get to it…
    This seems like another great book from Elizabeth Wein and now I definitely have to get round to reading Code Name Verity.
    Thanks for the review!

  4. I’m so glad this impressed you Mel! It’s one of my favourite books of the year, and I really can’t stop thinking about it. I loved the friendships that developed between the girls too. I hope we’ll get more from Elizabeth Wein in the future. She’s a fantastic writer. 🙂
    Sam @ Realm of Fiction recently posted…Mini-Reviews: Cracked by Eliza Crewe & Crash Into You by Katie McGarryMy Profile

  5. I have book one and after 90 pages I just didn’t connect, it seems that I need to revisit this series and that maybe it was just my mood. Wonderful and beautifully written review!
    kimbacaffeinate recently posted…Sunday Post #86 sharing blog news and book haulMy Profile

  6. These two books are all over the map when it comes to reviews. I still have my copy of Code Verity that needs to be read. I love WWII books but they are always hard for me to read. I am certainly moving both books up on my list after reading your review. I cannot wait to experience it for myself.
    Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings recently posted…The Sunday Post 69th EditionMy Profile

  7. This was such a cool review! I loved how many points you brought up. It certainly seems like one of the more serious books that I read. I don’t actually like His Fic that much, but I’m willing to give this a shot (from the review). I don’t know if I’ll be able to connect to it, but it’s something that’s been on my TBR for a while!

    Kick-butt review!

    – Nova
    Nova Lee @ Musings of a Blogder recently posted…Book Review: From Bad to Cursed – Katie AlenderMy Profile

  8. Andrea says:

    I’ve been meaning to read Code Name Verity for ages now but wasn’t able to pick it up as I don’t normally read historical fiction books, but after reading your review of Rose Under Fire I cant wait to read it! thanks for an amazing book review

  9. Alise says:

    Gorgeous review, Melanie. I think your first paragraph sold me “Rose Under Fire is an imperative read, certainly emotionally draining and brutal and is practically scintillating in its own brilliance.” Even if I really disliked Code Name Verity, I think this one will be a much better read. You are right about the slow reads, I’ve read books that you just need to really slow down on. Like The Night Circus.
    Alise recently posted…December Book Haul Part OneMy Profile

  10. Rose Under Fire is sitting on my bookshelf right now and I’m thinking I should really start it now. I’m really interested in books that took place during the Holocaust and World War II, but I think I would be equally touched with Rose’s character and how brutally she was treated in the concentration camp. Feelsy books like this one are always a must!

    Fantastic review, Melanie! <33
    Eileen @ Singing and Reading in the Rain recently posted…Revelations by JA SoudersMy Profile

  11. Nara says:

    Wow, I really need to read these books. A lot of people have been recommending Code Name Verity and it sounds like this one is amazing too! I haven’t read a lot of historical YA, but I think that’s because there actually aren’t too many of them out there…or maybe I just haven’t heard of them. Who knows!
    Nara recently posted…Review: How to Keep a Boy from Kissing You by Tara EglingtonMy Profile

  12. Lexa Cain says:

    The novel sounds stunning. Since you obviously loved it and think it’s an imperative read, I’m surprised it didn’t get 5-stars (or rowboats! lol). I hadn’t heard of this novel, so I’m very glad you reviewed it and introduced it to me. 🙂
    Lexa Cain recently posted…SWAY Release, Interview & Snow in EgyptMy Profile

  13. Tori Dipple says:

    Now I must read these books! Love the review!

  14. OMG Mel you just wrote the most awesome review ever. I need to read this book, it sounds amazing and beautiful and just so emotional. I haven’t read any of these books yet but I need to!
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales Review: For anyone who ever felt out of placeMy Profile

  15. Emily says:

    I have Code Name Verity which I was reading, but it’s a little slow I suppose, yet there were points when she was sarcastic that made me really laugh… But I think there’s much more to that. I really like this sort of Historical novels that really explore events in a very emotional manner! I’m going to continue reading Code Name Verity (because of YOUUUU) and then I’ll get into Rose Under Fire 😀 Fantastic review, as always Mel!! <33
    Emily recently posted…Review: The Secret IngredientMy Profile

  16. I love how you wrote this review as soon as you finished reading! I used to do that a long time ago so I could get my feelings out fresh but I’ve gotten lax on that. I so need to check this series out!
    sarabara081 @ Forever 17 Books recently posted…Blog Tour Review: Sempre: Redemption (Forever Series #2) by J.M. DarhowerMy Profile

  17. キルティング の 革は 他のすべての 署名スタイル に割り当てられている 彼女の発明。 全体バッグ たろう 完全に作った とも 1 つのワーカー。 プラダ hangbag のカップル 並べ替えは 実際に ファッショナブルなと 誘惑。
    はるかに多く簡単にも 過渡 を無駄にする 時間 十分に
    シャネル 歳末セール recently posted…シャネル 歳末セールMy Profile

  18. I think my book club is reading this next month, so I guess I better get Code Name Verity soon!! I didn’t realize this was a series! It sounds really good and intense though, so now I’m excited to read both 🙂
    Michelle (Pink Polka Dot Book Blog) recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday- New to Me Authors in 2013My Profile

  19. Rashika says:

    I’ve been avoiding reading Code Name Verity but you seriously make me want to pick it up. I know without a doubt that both books will be emotionally draining but to put in the horrors of that time kind of scares the living daylights out of me. I don’t like reading books about wars. All that death breaks my heart.

    I am glad you enjoyed the book Melanie.

    Lovely review <3
    Rashika recently posted…ARC Review: Into the Still Blue by Veronica RossiMy Profile

  20. Zoe N. says:

    I LOVED Code Name Verity, so I’m really excited to know that Rose Under Fire meets the high expectations Elizabeth Wein has already set for the series! I definitely agree with you – I love how Elizabeth shows and doesn’t tell through her writing. It’s phenomenal – I felt like I was with her characters, standing alongside them, witnessing their tragedies. I think it’s her wonderful writing ability that makes her books so special for me – and lots of other readers as well.

    I’ve been a little hesitant on reading book 2, but after reading your review I’m definitely going to get a copy ASAP! Thanks for yet another fantastic review Melanie! 🙂
    Zoe N. recently posted…SpeechlessMy Profile

  21. Stephanie B says:

    I just bought Rose Under Fire last week! I was already planning on it but then I read your review (while at B&N) and was like, okay, Mel said it was good. Then I bought it. The best part, it’s freakin’ autographed.
    Stephanie B recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #2My Profile

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