Thursday, October 21, 2010

Annexed (ARC)

Author: Sharon Dogar
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publication Date: October 4, 2010
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages:  320
Date Scoot Read: October 2010
: Galley from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
via NetGalley

Scoot's Rating: 8- Really good!

Synopsis (via Goodreads)
Everyone knows about Anne Frank and her life hidden in the secret annex – but what about the boy who was also trapped there with her?

In this powerful and gripping novel, Sharon Dogar explores what this might have been like from Peter’s point of view.  What was it like to be forced into hiding with Anne Frank, first to hate her and then to find yourself falling in love with her?   Especially with your parents and her parents all watching almost everything you do together.   To know you’re being written about in Anne’s diary, day after day?   What’s it like to start questioning your religion, wondering why simply being Jewish inspires such hatred and persecution?  Or to just sit and wait and watch while others die, and wish you were fighting.

As Peter and Anne become closer and closer in their confined quarters, how can they make sense of what they see happening around them?

Anne’s diary ends on August 4, 1944, but Peter’s story takes us on, beyond their betrayal and into the Nazi death camps.  He details with accuracy, clarity and compassion the reality of day to day survival in Auschwitz – and ultimately the horrific fates of the Annex’s occupants.

Scoot’s Review:
From the start of the story to its heartrending conclusion Annexed is a good blend of fiction and history. I love reading historical stories from alternate points of view, and I enjoyed reading about the tragic life of the van Pels and the Franks from Peter’s perspective as he reflected back on the last three years of his life. Peter who says so little, but has a mind full of racing thoughts.  Peter is the sole teenage boy hiding in an annex with five adults, two being his parents, and two teenage girls.  Entering the annex almost against his will Peter struggles with heartbreak and feelings of shame for not fighting back against their tormentors.  I feel the story depicted accurately what it would be like for a young teenage boy to come of age in a tightly cramped space while hiding from a war literally on his doorstep.  The writing style felt very journal like, each chapter marking another day or event as time passed in the Annex and beyond.  As the time drew nearer to their eventual discovery you are caught up in their fear and on the edge of your seat.  This story has moments that are uplifting and moments that are heartbreaking.  Annexed is a haunting tale of love, loss and the horror of the Holocaust. 


Emily said...

I keep seeing this at work, and I want to read it sooo bad! I've read Diary of Anne Frank several times and I love it... so I just know I'm gonna love this too.

Suzanne said...

I'm going to check this one out as well -- Anne Frank's diary is one of my favorite books of all time.

There was a novel out several years ago called The Boy Who Loved Anne Frank. In it, Peter survives the camps and emigrates to the US where he attempts to keep his past a secret during all of the hype about the play/movie based on Anne Frank's diary.

Kare said...

I can't wait read this! I'm glad you liked it and history! I gave your blog an award! check my blog for details

Jenny said...

Wow, this one sounds intense, I'd definitely have to be in the right mood as the Anne Frank story is one that always affects me. Great review Scoot, I look forward to reading this one when I'm emotionally prepared:)

okbolover said...

I really want to read this! great review and thx for the info.

Brenda said...

I have been seeing some great reviews for this book, The Diary Of Anne Frank was one of my favorite books as a teen, I am going to have to check this one out.


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