Short, Simple, No Spoilers
Josie Moraine, the 17 year old daughter of a harlett, cleans a brothel while living above her employer's bookshop. She dares to dream of a better life, attending Smith College and leaving behind New Orleans' seedy underworld. Caught in the middle of a mysterious murder investigation, Jo's allegiance to her trollep mother, friends, and Willie (the madam who has been more of a mother-figure) is called into question. She must make difficult decisions, putting her in precarious situations in hopes of escaping with her innocence and livliehood.
This YA novel is a wonderful ride through resourceful and bright, Josie, Jo, Josephine's tale. Interesting, entertaining, and just dangerous enough to appeal to adults and no curse words or explicit sex to recommend to my daughter. Wonderful, straight forward writing style. Will definitely check out her first book, Between Shades of Gray.
Lina is a 15 year old Lithunian girl who is transported with her family and other intellectuals like cattle on a train to Siberia. The beginning starts like many of the heart-wrenching novels about the atrocities of Hitler during WWII, however, veers on a diferent course of the untold horrors of what happened when Stalin's Russia marched in. Lina and family fight to stay alive in the biting cold, working on a beet farm berated by soldiers and treated like trash.
Despite the unbearable conditions, Lina finds strength and draws and documents the events and details of their condition in secret; manages to make a friend in Andress; and fights each day to save her family and persevere. This is a tale of the determination of the human spirit as told through the eyes of a young girl.
Ruta Sepetys delved into her own Lithuanian roots and discovered much of what she uses in this work of historical fiction. Truly breathtaking and frighteningly real, this novel transcends the bounds of your typical YA novel. Just when you thought you knew everything about 1941, a story like this sweeps in to shed light on another untold tale. Be sure to keep listening to the prologue and interview with the author; simply amazing.