Rose Under Fire

Title: Rose Under Fire
Author: Elizabeth Wein
Rating: ★★★★★
Synopsis: While flying an Allied fighter plane from Paris to England, American ATA pilot and amateur poet, Rose Justice, is captured by the Nazis and sent to Ravensbr ck, the notorious women’s concentration camp. Trapped in horrific circumstances, Rose finds hope in the impossible through the loyalty, bravery and friendship of her fellow prisoners. But will that be enough to endure the fate that’s in store for her?

Elizabeth Wein, author of the critically-acclaimed and best-selling Code Name Verity, delivers another stunning WWII thriller. The unforgettable story of Rose Justice is forged from heart-wrenching courage, resolve, and the slim, bright chance of survival.

Sam’s review:

Huge thank you to Disney-Hyperion and Netgalley for an advance reader copy of this book!


Elizabeth Wein wowed me with Code Name Verity last year. It was so refreshing to read a young adult novel that focused on friendships over the stereotypical girls-need-boys mentality. It was hard not to love a novel about female pilots during World War II.

Wein returns to form, and to me for the better, with Rose Under Fire. This book is in no way for the faint of heart, as it’s a very difficult and disturbing read. When Rose is caught by the Nazi’s and sent to a concentration camp wherein she is tortured. However, despite the evils and tribulations Rose face, she makes some valuable friendships that keep her somewhat sane throughout the experience.

Despite a lot of the disturbing imagery, this book is beautifully written. Outside of her friendships, Rose uses poetry as a means to keep herself alive, and they are so pretty. Much like Code Name Verity the book is written as journal, with some some difficultly in terms of understanding the order of events and ideas. It’s a challenging read in this respect as in some instances keep track of the events can be a bit tough.

I really connected to the characters in this story, especially Rose. I feel like she means well in a lot of situations, but she’s so determined to ensure everyone else’s survival over her own. It’s heroic, but also stubborn, and somewhat foolish. She’s very bull-headed, but I think that’s what makes me appealing. I also loved Roz’a, and I thought her story was so haunting and creepy that it makes perfect sense why she behaved the way she did throughout the story. The relationships forged between the Rabbits was interesting, touching, and you really do feel like you want them to survive, make it through everything, and live to tell the tale.

Rose Under Fire is a book with big emotions. It will play with your feelings, sucker-punch you a few times until you understand a lot of what the story demands of you. I was so absorbed that I couldn’t stop reading and when I did, I was still thinking about a lot of the events in the novel. The amount of research that went into this novel is quite impeccable, and just adds to the level of emotion. I highly recommend this story if you loved Code Name Verity, and I’ll definitely continue to have Elizabeth Wein on my reading radar.


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