I literally need to read something light, uplifting, and absolutely happy after finishing Orphan, Monster, Spy. I read through it with horror and trepidation in my throat, kind of the same way I read through Lord of the Flies every time I read it. However, I couldn’t put it down. But now I just need to follow it up with something light and fluffy.
It’s 1939 and Sarah and her mother are on the run, a Jewish mother and daughter in Nazi Germany. When Sarah’s mother is shot at a road block, Sarah escapes and meets a man who will change her life. She becomes a 15 year old spy, hiding in broad daylight in a German boarding school, looking for the secret that might make or break the Nazis.
I think I held my breath through most of the book, wondering when Sarah would get caught and if she would make it. There were a LOT of triggers throughout the narrative, including brutal descriptions of murder, sexual abuse, extreme bullying, and violence. Nothing surprising when it comes to Nazi Germany, but Orphan, Monster, Spy isn’t an easy read at all.
I liked how the narrative was broken up with Sarah’s memories, as well as the voice of her mother in her head, even if you kind of wanted her to tell the voice to shut the eff up. Mother isn’t really a good word for the person who she was...
Definitely a winner for those who love dystopian fiction in the vein of The Hunger Games or Divergent, spy novels, and historical fiction that focuses on WW2.
As a side note I loved the author’s note at the end of the novel. He brings up so many important points, issues that are still widespread today (poverty, alcoholism, children caring for parents, sexual abuse, corporal punishment...).