Wednesday, December 2, 2015

A Night Divided by Jennifer A. Nielsen

A Night Divided

Author: Jennifer A. Nielsen

Publisher: Scholastic

Published: August 2015

ISBN13: 9780545682428

Hardcover: 317 pages

FTC FYI: I received a hardcover copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads Summary

From New York Times bestselling author Jennifer A. Nielsen comes a stunning thriller about a girl who must escape to freedom after the Berlin Wall divides her family between east and west.

With the rise of the Berlin Wall, twelve-year-old Gerta finds her family divided overnight. She, her mother, and her brother Fritz live on the eastern side, controlled by the Soviets. Her father and middle brother, who had gone west in search of work, cannot return home. Gerta knows it is dangerous to watch the wall, to think forbidden thoughts of freedom, yet she can't help herself. She sees the East German soldiers with their guns trained on their own citizens; she, her family, her neighbors and friends are prisoners in their own city.

But one day, while on her way to school, Gerta spots her father on a viewing platform on the western side, pantomiming a peculiar dance. Then, when she receives a mysterious drawing, Gerta puts two and two together and concludes that her father wants Gerta and Fritz to tunnel beneath the wall, out of East Berlin. However, if they are caught, the consequences will be deadly. No one can be trusted. Will Gerta and her family find their way to freedom?

My Review

My tears have finally cleared so I can write this review.  This book was probably one of the best, if not the best, book I've read all year.  I read it as fast as the pages would turn.  Every turn of the page brought a new struggle for Gerta and her family.  I couldn't imagine living life like they had to.  No one to trust, for fear of being arrested, and to be separated from your family would be heartbreaking. I can't summarize a thing for you because one sentence would give it away.  I can say this, I instantly cared for the characters and their efforts to not accept living their lives behind a wall.  Greta was amazing.  One of the strongest, most inspiring characters I've read.  Her strength was uplifting.  She was so brave.  I loved Fritz too.  He was just as strong as Gerta was.  A couple more characters, who I can't name, really shined at the end too.  At one part, I was screaming for joy!  Well, many parts, but honestly, while reading the last couple chapters, I was barely breathing thinking I was going to be heard by the Grenzers.

5 out of 5 stars.  This is the perfect book for any reader.  It truly made me appreciate the struggles the people of that time had to endure.

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