I do not know how I finished this book. Not because it wasn't good. Because it was that good.
Honestly, I only started this book because Malissa told me I had to. She did the same thing with The Hunger Games (and by that I mean she bought me a copy so I was forced to read it out of guilt... lol), and I had absolutely no regrets. She has yet to steer me wrong in any other recommendations. Yet. And we can keep saying yet as I have no regrets with reading this one either. It was a slow start, though. I lacked the time to devote to simply reading. But once I was able to dive into it properly, I wanted to devour it. So much so that I had to place something (hand, bookmark) below where I was reading so I wouldn't try to read ahead!
The story begins with a female character narrating and she has been captured and tortured. But her attitude, her snarkiness, her determination and strength, fight, was amazing. She was giving them information in exchange for prolonging her life (no spoilers yet, I promise). The writing, the character (who shall remain nameless to prevent any spoilage) development - superbly done. Beautiful, haunting, heartbreaking... It felt like she was talking to me rather than writing her story for someone else. Then the first part ends. And by ends I mean, just cut off mid-sentence. What the hell just happened? Really? Who does that? And makes it work!? Elizabeth Wein, apparently. ;)
Begin part two. We meet Kittyhawk, another female character (I'm really trying for no spoilers, so I'm stealing a codename... lol). Different from character number one in personality traits, but just as strong. I swear I could feel her panic, her desperateness. Which is just another kudo for Wein. There was one part, I'm nearly crying as I write this, where I almost screamed out loud. Thank goodness for quick reflexes since my kids were napping, but... wow.
How hard this must have been to write. The routes chosen, the strength of friendship, love. Heartbreakingly good... I would recommend this to anyone who breathes... has a soul. Except maybe my children; they're not quite ready for that. ;) Seriously... read it. If you regret it you are dead inside. Okay, maybe not. But I really don't think you'll regret it. If you do, my apologies for steering you down the wrong path of reading happiness.