Orphan monster spy was sent to me by Usborne. I did not know what to expect but it sounded very intriguing! It hooked me from the very beginning and the further it went on, the better and more addictive it got.
Upon fleeing from Nazis after her mothers horrific death, you meet Sarah: a young orphan jew in the time of the second world war. From the very beggining, it was an incredibly fast paced book which you were caught into the action. Saraw was taught about acting when she was young by her mother, (which comes in to use in the book!) and you soon get to know her clever, quick and sly character. When she comes across a British spy who takes her under his wing she has a mission to go to a nazi school and befriend the horrible daughter of a top scientist who the british spy has his eye on.
Throughout her time at the school, she has to be cautious at all times not to say anything that would give the smallest of hints that she is not a faithfull German Nazi. The girls and teachers are equally toxic, but as you watch sarah lie her way through befriending those she has to, you see her remarkable character develop. I think this was something that made the book so special, her character went through so much yet was incredibly inspring and strong. The book was narrated in third person but there were snippets of her thoughts, and her imagining what her 'mutti' would tell her to do, giving you more insight to what shes thinking and how shes reacting to the horrible situations.
After a lot of effort (including an incredibly vicious school race) she befriends the 'ice queen' and get's invited to her house for christmas (mission complete). This leads to an exceptionally nail biting second half of the book - packed of plot twists, drama and incredibly unpredictable situations.
Throughout the book, you really get to know all the characters in the book and learn there manarisms and characteristics, including their weekest and strongest points in their characters. Sarah was a very heroic brave character and how she was described outlined how awful that time in history was. Her bravery was incredibly inspiring and as the book went on, I felt I got incredibly connected to her and this magnified the emotion and tension in the book. What stood out for me the most was how there was a frequent repetition of her thought: 'commit to the move.' I thought this was very effective and it wasn't only referring to her current situation and action, but the whole of her lie of being someone she was not.
The novel was written so well and this made it even more realistic and the descriptions created it to feel like you were there. The snippets of German gave it even more reality and this added some history to the novel, without making it unclear on the plot if you are unsure with the history of the second world war.
One critisism I would have is in the middle of the book some of the small characters got a little confusing and overlooked. I think it was positive meeting alot of different characters at the school she attendend - but somehow it was a little confusing on who is who and why they were included in the book. Having said that, by the end of the book the main characters in the novel was clear and the descriptions were nothing less than outstanding: giving all aspects of there personality and what they did, creating you to have a sort of connection with the writer feeling like they were introducing you to people and subtelly showing there oppinion of them without giving too much away.
The writer succesfully achieved the reader (for me, anyway!) to have exactly opinions that Sarah had on people, without it being in 1st person. I think this is a demonstration of how great it was written by creating so much emotion and tone without having the book completley narrated by the first person. Instead, you felt more like a fly on the wall and I think this added to the books individuality and uniquenss. You felt like you were being told a story but also there, watching the action unfold, with all the characters.
I absoloutely loved the book theif so when I heard about this and that fans of the book theif would like it I was incredibly exited. I think that the book gave you a great historical insight to what the divide and the incredibly intensive harsh life was in the late 1930's, but also adding so many genres to the book. I have never read any 'spy' novels, so it was a new thing for me and I absoloutely enjoyed it. Having the book about something such a core topic in our history but also adding another genre to it which has not been seen often before in that point in time (especially in YA) was such a great idea and made it so thrilling but still realistic. If you like book theif, you will definitley enjoy this, with even more tension and nail biting moments, without losing any of the meaning and emotion.
Overall, this book was amazing and I will not be forgetting it for a very long time! It is quite grafic in the violence of the book so I would't recommend to young teens, but it will be one of those books which everyone should read in their life! It is a young adult book being released in MARCH. I would recommend it to ages 13+