They Went Left by Monica Hesse

TOUR BANNER (23)

Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher and fantastic flying book club! Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: They Went Left

Author: Monica Hesse

Book Series: Standalone

Diversity: Jewish main characters!

Rating: 5/5

Publication Date: April 7, 2020

Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers

Pages: 384

Recommended Age: 16+ (romance, violence, death, TW for Holocaust mentioning)

Synopsis: Germany, 1945. The soldiers who liberated the Gross-Rosen concentration camp said the war was over, but nothing feels over to eighteen-year-old Zofia Lederman. Her body has barely begun to heal; her mind feels broken. And her life is completely shattered: Three years ago, she and her younger brother, Abek, were the only members of their family to be sent to the right, away from the gas chambers of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Everyone else–her parents, her grandmother, radiant Aunt Maja–they went left.

Zofia’s last words to her brother were a promise: Abek to Zofia, A to Z. When I find you again, we will fill our alphabet. Now her journey to fulfill that vow takes her through Poland and Germany, and into a displaced persons camp where everyone she meets is trying to piece together a future from a painful past: Miriam, desperately searching for the twin she was separated from after they survived medical experimentation. Breine, a former heiress, who now longs only for a simple wedding with her new fiancé. And Josef, who guards his past behind a wall of secrets, and is beautiful and strange and magnetic all at once.

But the deeper Zofia digs, the more impossible her search seems. How can she find one boy in a sea of the missing? In the rubble of a broken continent, Zofia must delve into a mystery whose answers could break her–or help her rebuild her world.

Review: This book is equal parts heartbreaking and equal parts inspiring. The character development is amazing, I absolutely loved our main character and I loved how she wasn’t cookie cutter, she had flaws as well. I loved the world building, it’s hard to realize how devastating a place can be after a war. I am fortunate enough to not live with destruction like that and to see life go on as normal. I think books like this are very important because we only learn about the during and we don’t get to hear a lot about the after.

However, I did think the pacing was hit or miss. Sometimes we were sailing through and others we were at a standstill.

Verdict: a marvelous book! Definitely recommend!

BOOK INFORMATION

They Went Left

by Monica Hesse
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: April 7th 2020

Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction
Synopsis:

Germany, 1945. The soldiers who liberated the Gross-Rosen concentration camp said the war was over, but nothing feels over to eighteen-year-old Zofia Lederman. Her body has barely begun to heal; her mind feels broken. And her life is completely shattered: Three years ago, she and her younger brother, Abek, were the only members of their family to be sent to the right, away from the gas chambers of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Everyone else–her parents, her grandmother, radiant Aunt Maja–they went left.

Zofia’s last words to her brother were a promise: Abek to Zofia, A to Z. When I find you again, we will fill our alphabet. Now her journey to fulfill that vow takes her through Poland and Germany, and into a displaced persons camp where everyone she meets is trying to piece together a future from a painful past: Miriam, desperately searching for the twin she was separated from after they survived medical experimentation. Breine, a former heiress, who now longs only for a simple wedding with her new fiancé. And Josef, who guards his past behind a wall of secrets, and is beautiful and strange and magnetic all at once.

But the deeper Zofia digs, the more impossible her search seems. How can she find one boy in a sea of the missing? In the rubble of a broken continent, Zofia must delve into a mystery whose answers could break her–or help her rebuild her world.

BOOK LINKS

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47539277-they-went-left

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2UBy7kn

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/they-went-left-monica-hesse/1132821504?ean=9780316500746

iTunes: https://books.apple.com/us/book/they-went-left/id1475457444

Bookdepository: https://www.bookdepository.com/They-Went-Left-Monica-Hesse/9781549131714?ref=grid-view&qid=1584711908355&sr=1-1

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Monica_Hesse_They_Went_Left?id=AKGnDwAAQBAJ&hl=en_US

Monica Hesse by Cassidy DuHon

AUTHOR INFORMATION

Monica Hesse is the New York Times bestselling author of Girl in the Blue Coat, American Fire, and The War Outside, as well as a columnist at The Washington Post writing about gender and its impact on society. She lives outside Washington, D.C. with her husband and their dog.

AUTHOR LINKS

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5768028.Monica_Hesse

Website: https://www.monicahesse.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MonicaHesse

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/monica.hesse.7