A Letter from Italy by Pamela Hart

 War is a terrible part of the worlds history but it’s a story that needed to be told. 
A beautiful heartbreaking story about the heroes of the war, the men and women who supported behind the scenes and the brave who reported it.
During a time when women’s rights were still a foreign concept in Italy Rebecca Quinn faced it all and all without her husband (who left her with little to no notice to go off chasing a story). I felt for her and cringed while she faced judgement from the men who still believed that women should just go tend their houses, my heart cried out for Sandro who I loved right until the final pages, my anger at Jack for leaving Rebecca to become so incredibly independent in a world that rejected such independence didn’t sit well with me and his betrayal of her trust was just the last straw. Rebecca showed that despite the fear and rejection she faced that she could still hold it together when it counted and could be courageous in the face of dangers that most women today wouldn’t imagine leaving themselves in a position to experience.
 An incredibly inspiring character and a story that melted my heart and gave me a new opinion of war themed books.
Many thanks to Hachette Publishers for the opportunity to read this Advanced Review Copy.
-Crystal
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The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski

An unforgettable, emotional epic ending

The Winner’s Trilogy # 3 …. 4.5 stars

“There is a difference between you and me. If I die, you’ll survive. If you die, it will destroy me.” -Arin

The Winner’s Kiss combined all the best parts of The Winner’s Curse (book 1) and The Winner’s Crime (book 2); there’s more character development, more tender moments for Arin and Kestrel, more plot twists, tension and strategy games between Herran, Valoria and Dacra. You’ll feel as if you’re reading a chess game, you’ll end up second guessing every choice made by the characters, and you’ll discover that trust is such a delicate, precious commodity in times of love, friendship and war. 

What I loved most about this book is what was left “unsaid”. Much of the feelings and emotions were inferred through simple actions and clipped dialogue between the characters e.g. a nod of acknowledgement, a tender look between characters, gestures of thanks and forgiveness, a sigh of resignation, a meaningful touch, or a perceptive remark. It makes the story heartfelt; the emotions delicate, exquisite and raw. It also added more depth to the characters. There’s not many YA books I would re-read but I would re-read this book as I loved the way it’s written. The Winner’s Trilogy is well worth the investment! Recommended for readers that love political intrigue, plot twists, love, ‘everything hanging on the balance’ moments and character development.

Other great quotes:

“She thought of her past. Her whole life. ‘I want better choices’
‘Then we must make a world that had them.'”

“‘It’s not like you to question someone’s friendship.’…
‘Maybe I should’
‘Maybe it would make you less yourself, if you did'”

“You don’t need to be gifted with a blade. You are your own best weapon.”

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Click here to read the book blurb on Goodreads.

– NJ