This book had been sitting on my shelf for forever, just waiting for me to finally pick it up. I kept pushing it aside as I was afraid it might be a little boring and push me into a reading slump. Luckily, one of my blogging besties, Britt @ Geronimo Reads had not read it as well so we decided to make it a buddy read. My first ever! I’m so glad that we chose Wolf by Wolf (Wolf by Wolf, #1) by Ryan Graudin as it turned out to be a pleasant surprise.
Code Name Verity meets Inglourious Basterds in this fast-paced novel from the author of The Walled City.
The year is 1956, and the Axis powers of the Third Reich and Imperial Japan rule the world. To commemorate their Great Victory over Britain and Russia, Hitler and Emperor Hirohito host the Axis Tour: an annual motorcycle race across their conjoined continents. The victor is awarded an audience with the highly reclusive Adolf Hitler at the Victor’s ball.
Yael, who escaped from a death camp, has one goal: Win the race and kill Hitler. A survivor of painful human experimentation, Yael has the power to skinshift and must complete her mission by impersonating last year’s only female victor, Adele Wolfe. This deception becomes more difficult when Felix, Adele twin’s brother, and Luka, her former love interest, enter the race and watch Yael’s every move. But as Yael begins to get closer to the other competitors, can she bring herself to be as ruthless as she needs to be to avoid discovery and complete her mission?
- Storyline – This book was incredibly unique. I’ll be honest, I didn’t really know a whole lot about the plot when I first picked it up, and it turned out to be so good! It was fun, interesting, heartbreaking, and completely unlike anything I had ever read. I loved how Graudin was able to rewrite history and make it so real and believable.
- Writing – I really enjoyed Graudin’s writing. It was nothing fancy or lyrical, but it flowed so well. I loved how she described everything, especially when talking about Yael’s emotional turmoil. It was simple but very profound.
- Side Characters – I really enjoyed all of the minor characters in this story. They each had their own distinctive personality and voice. I also loved how each of them were able to affect Yael in so many different ways through each interaction. Her character development was completely determined by these interactions and it showed. I loved that Graudin was able to show you how and why Yael was changing throughout the book, making it gradual and believable. And can we all give a little three cheers for sexy Luka?! I’m not gonna lie, I needed to be cooled down a bit every time he was mentioned wearing that old worn out leather jacket… 😉
- Yael – Yael is cool because she’s a badass independent girl, who has had to go through one of the most traumatic experiences ever. However, that girl has zero personality. I read through this whole book and learned about her entire life story, but by the end, I felt like I didn’t know her at all. There was no connection there, nothing that made me want to be her friend. I like my characters to have some life to them, to have a personality that’s either good or bad. But with Yael, there was nothing. It was almost to the point where I was kind of hoping she would die and so the sequel would follow another one of the characters instead. Maybe all of that will change in Blood for Blood and the real Yael will emerge, or may it won’t and I’ll still have the serious urge to smack some life into her. I guess only time will tell…
Overall, this was such a pleasant surprise. I enjoyed it all for the most part and was dying when it ended on that cliffhanger! I actually bought Blood for Blood this past weekend so I could read it during the upcoming holidays. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction or is looking for a unique story with a twist. Read it, and then fall in love with Luka and his leather jacket!
Final Verdict: 4/5 Stars
Have you read Wolf by Wolf? What did you think about this book? Have you read the sequel, Blood for Blood?