Thursday, July 20, 2017

Book Review: High As the Heavens {Kate Breslin}


HELLO, LOVELY PEOPLE! I am back from my road trip with the family! We got back Saturday night. The trip was amazing and I will hopefully be sharing lots of pictures on my other blog (yes, I have another blog, in case you didn't know ;)) this Sunday. I...kind of skipped my post there last week. *coughs*

Anywayyy. I have something very special for this week: a book review!! I know, I promised a Camp NaNo update...but sorry, that's not gonna happen this week. There's not much to update--except for the small fact that I abruptly changed projects in the middle of the month. Ahem. I'm also Very Behind at the moment. *grumbles*

Before I devote an entire post to my rambling, allow me to present the book High As the Heavens by Kate Breslin!

DAT COVER. *drools*

In 1917, Evelyn Marche is just one of many women who has been widowed by the war. A British nurse trapped in German-occupied Brussels, she spends her days working at a hospital and her nights as a waitress in her aunt and uncle's cafĂ©. Eve also has a carefully guarded secret keeping her in constant danger: She's a spy working for a Belgian resistance group in league with the British Secret Service. 

When a British plane crashes in Brussels Park, Eve is the first to reach the downed plane and is shocked to discover she recognizes the badly injured pilot. British RFC Captain Simon Forrester is now a prisoner of war, and Eve knows he could be shot as a spy at any time. She risks her own life to hide him from the Germans, but as the danger mounts and the secrets between them grow, their chance of survival looks grim. And even if they do make it out alive, the truth of what lies between them may be more than any love can overcome.

(Buy it on Amazon!)

Before anything else, can we just take a moment to admire that cover? *sighs happily* It's even more beautiful in person!

Now onto my long-awaited review of this lovely book. ;)

(You can also read my review here originally on Goodreads.)

// Lovely Things //

- The plot. It was so unique, as it focused on Belgium during WWI, which is actually the first of its kind that I've seen. The main character Eve works for a Belgian resistance group as a spy, and the romance revolves around a married couple rather than two people falling in love. SO YES. This was a super unique premise! There is a lot of suspense/intrigue throughout the story, and the stakes are set high. Like really high. I was on the edge of my seat at parts. o.o

- The characters. YESSSS. The characters in this story were the best. I loved Eve and Simon, both so very different yet so very perfect for each other. Eve was gentle and compassionate but also independent and spirited. AND YES, I'M ALL FOR THAT. It's so refreshing to find characters who aren't either a) wimps or b) superhumans with no emotions. Ahem. :P And Simon was rather wonderful, too...because hello, he's Scottish. That's enough reason to like him. *winks* I also loved the supporting cast of characters: Maddie, Eve's WONDERFUL friend; Father Francois, the best priest I've ever read about in fiction--he was probably one of my top characters; and Zoe, Eve's younger sister. AND THAT'S JUST THE START. I'm in love with this amazing cast of characters!

- The themes. Family plays a key role in this book. It's clear how much they all love each other, and Eve's devotion to them is really touching. There are also beautiful themes of redemption and forgiveness, as well as conquering the imprisoning power of guilt. GAH. It was all so splendidly done. <3

- The excitement. As I mentioned earlier, Eve is a spy. There are also double-agents, secretive messages, some brilliant spy tactics, and looooots of intrigue. THIS IS MY KIND OF BOOK, PEOPLE. I just loved the mysterious aspect of the plot.

- The writing. Oh my, the writing was lovely. The descriptions were so well-done, and the writing was emotionally raw. And believe me, this is a BIG deal. If I don't have an emotional attachment to the characters, forget it. I'm just not going to properly enjoy the book. Thankfully, High as the Heavens does a marvelous job of pricking my emotions. LIKE CONSTANTLY.

- The flashbacks. They were so heartbreaking yet so exquisitely managed. MY HEART. <3 I love when books have meaningful flashbacks like that! It's a glimpse at the characters before all the heartbreaking stuff happens and IT'S SO WONDERFULLY DONE.

// Not So Lovely Things //

You might be thinking, "So why four stars? It sounds like you love everything about this book."

Wellll, you're mostly correct. Unfortunately, I did have some issues with the book.

- The content. OKAY. I love Eve and Simon's relationship...BUT I felt uncomfortable at times reading about their romance. It was like spying on a married couple, and frankly, that made me feel Very Awkward. There wasn't anything over-the-top, but there were lots of kisses (some described), a bit of teasing between husband and wife (which is totally okay--I just don't feel comfortable with it seeing as I'm not married), and a couple scenes where they sleep together. They also long for each other at times, wishing they could kiss. Again, I know the characters are married, so there isn't anything wrong with their conduct. I just felt uncomfortable reading about it at times. This IS an adult book, so it's not really intended for younger audiences anyway. And thankfully, the stuff I described isn't dwelt on the entire book. The plot isn't bogged down by the romance, so I was able to keep reading it still.

On another note, there was also one chapter in particular that was EXTREMELY HARD to read. SPOILER [There was an attempted rape and lots of violence when the Germans invaded Belgium. That scene was unnerving and very disturbing. There were lots of dead bodies, violence, and even an unintentional murder by one of the characters. (Which they felt guilty about for years after.) On top of that, one character miscarries their child. VERY INTENSE STUFF. I understand a lot of it is necessary to the plot, but I still was horrified by things that happened in that chapter. It's a brutally honest look at the kinds of things that happened in World War I, which many people are unaware of.] END SPOILER

The content aside, I really loved this book! Due to the things I mentioned, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone unless they're at least 16+.

I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

4 stars!

There you have it! Another book review by yours truly. *winks* Does this book look interesting to you? What are your thoughts on historical fiction?


(P.S. If you haven't already seen it, I did another 10 Truths & 2 Lies post last week! You have until Wednesday, the 26th, to submit your guesses so you better hurry! ^_^)

2 comments:

  1. MARY DID A BOOK REVIEW!!! *flails* I looove your book reviews! And this one looks really good. o_o I'm not really even a historical fiction person, but this sounds so intense and epic. And you can never go wrong with a lovable cast of characters! It's also cool how the main characters are actually married, because you're right, that basically never happens. XD (Buuut yeah, that can lead to awkwardness as well. *cough*)

    Also, welcome back from your trip! I'm sooo glad it was an amazing one. I can't wait to see pictures! :D

    Also also, YOU SWITCHED CAMP NANO PROJECTS???? :O NOW I AM CURIOUS.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sounds like an interesting book! I'll keep an eye out for it :)

    How was your trip? (I'm guessing it didn't help your Camp project ;)

    Jem Jones

    ReplyDelete

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