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Friday, September 24, 2021

Birds of a Feather: Bluebird the Best World War II Novel I've Read Since The Nightingale

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

As World War II comes to a close, a German teenager arrives in America, ostensibly to start a new life away from the chaos in her homeland.  In order to flee, Eva Gerst has made a deal with the devil.  She and her mute best friend have been allowed to leave the country only because Eva knows an important secret.  She holds the key to Project Bluebird, a horrifying concentration camp experiment, the results of which are so powerful that both the Americans and the Germans would do anything to control it.  Eva's determination to keep it away from them is just as strong, but it's not power she's seeking.  She desires only one thing—justice.  No matter what it takes, she will track down the escaped Nazi who designed the horrific experiment.  And then, she'll kill him.

In an alternating storyline, Inge von Emmerich is living in war-torn Germany a year earlier.  The daughter of a powerful Nazi couple, she's been thoroughly indoctrinated.  It's not until her eyes are opened to the atrocities being committed by the regime that she realizes just how wrong her family's view is—and how involved her father is in appalling acts against their Jewish countrymen.   

As the girls' stories collide, they will come together to take down a monster in a desperate race to settle a score, get justice, and not just clip Bluebird's wings, but destroy it forever. 

Bluebird (available October 5, 2021), the newest YA historical from Sharon Cameron, is, quite simply, a stunner.  I'm a big Cameron fan, so I'm not surprised, just really, really pleased.  Bluebird features everything I love in a historical novel—a vivid, atmospheric setting; a tense, engrossing plot; sympathetic, interesting characters; and smooth, solid writing.  That the story is based on a real experiment that I'd never heard about just makes it all the more fascinating.  Not to mention eye-opening and thought-provoking.  All of these elements combine to create a book that is so immersive and propulsive that it is unputdownable.  Almost literally.  I would have read it in one day, but my eyes gave out at about 80% after staring at my Kindle for hours on end!  Yes, I saw the big plot twist coming, but that didn't really matter.  I still found myself totally absorbed by this novel.  It's the best World War II story I've read (and I've read a lot of them) since The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. If you love historical fiction, do yourself a favor and pre-order this one now.  It just might be the best book I've read this year.

(Readalikes:  Reminds me of The Light in Hidden Places by Sharon Cameron as well as novels by Ruta Sepetys and Monica Hesse)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for violence, blood/gore, and disturbing subject matter (including a rape scene, although the act is not described)

To the FTC, with love:  I received an e-ARC of Bluebird from the generous folks at Scholastic via those at Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you!


  1. Wow, I've read many WWII novels this year, but this sounds like another one I should read. Great Review!

  2. Ok. I am going to get access to a copy of this as soon as it comes out. Thank you for letting me know about this one.

  3. I just learned that Sharon Cameron is doing a virtual event with my local indie store on October 12 so I hope I can read the book then hear her speak. Cool!

  4. I got burned out on war books in general and haven’t read any for a long time. You’ve convinced me to put this one on my list.

  5. Sounds good! I'm a Cameron fan, too. I just enjoyed a Minnesota home-front story, Things We Didn't Say by Amy Lynn Green. It's lighter fare than Bluebird sounds like, but still thought-provoking and entertaining.

  6. This is sounds absolutely amazing! I definitely need to read this one it sounds amazing.

  7. This book sounds so interesting. I love reading historical fiction that also educates me.

  8. OMG! This one sounds like a must read, how compelling is that story? Off to add this one to my wish list and make a note of the author too.

  9. Excellent review, Susan. I definitely want to read this one and am adding it to my goodreads list right now. I will have to see if I can get my hands on a copy.


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