Good morning, folks! First off, I have the winners to my Beje
giveaway! Sarah M. will receive the book, In My Father’s House
and the rest of y’all will get the “Weaving” bookmarks. Thank you, everyone, for entering the giveaway! It was fun. 🙂
Sadly, this is one of those reviews I really wish I didn’t have to write because let’s face it: As a reader I find negative reviews very helpful, but as an author, negative reviews are hard to write. One of the hard things about getting books in exchange for reviewing them is that often there are no previous reviews to read, so therefore all I have to go by is the back cover blurb and that’s kinda hard to judge by (hence the reason for reviews…).
For Such a Time Back Cover Blurb:
In 1944, blonde and blue-eyed Jewess Hadassah Benjamin feels abandoned by God when she is saved from a firing squad only to be handed over to a new enemy. Pressed into service by SS-Kommandant Colonel Aric von Schmidt at the transit camp of Theresienstadt in Czechoslovakia, she is able to hide behind the false identity of Stella Muller. However, in order to survive and maintain her cover as Aric’s secretary, she is forced to stand by as her own people are sent to Auschwitz.
Suspecting her employer is a man of hidden depths and sympathies, Stella cautiously appeals to him on behalf of those in the camp. Aric’s compassion gives her hope, and she finds herself battling a growing attraction for this man she knows she should despise as an enemy.
Stella pours herself into her efforts to keep even some of the camp’s prisoners safe, but she risks the revelation of her true identity with every attempt. When her bravery brings her to the point of the ultimate sacrifice, she has only her faith to lean upon. Perhaps God has placed her there for such a time as this, but how can she save her people when she is unable to save herself?
The book is referred to as “a powerful retelling of the story of Esther” and it’s set in WW2. Since I love the story of Esther and WW2 history and since I was going to be in Europe, I thought it would be perfect.
Unfortunately, I don’t think there was anything except the premiss that I enjoyed about the book. Yeah, I know that was strong. It felt so promising, then I jumped right in to being confused and moved on to what seemed like a romance novel (which, after I thought about it, the story of Esther is kinda romantic so I should have put two and two together…).
I ended up skim reading though most of it because 1) I agreed to read it and 2) I did want to find out what happened. But… Even the ending left me with a “What is going on here?” feeling. The end didn’t seem very realistic at all, especially since I was in the middle of Europe where so much of WW2 took place and WW2 wasn’t full of ‘happily ever afters’.
It’s often helpful to point out what a reviewer didn’t like about a book to help other readers know if they would like it or not, so here’s quick list:
1. It was confusing to me a lot of the time. This is probably partly because I was reading it as an ebook and there were some formatting issues that I’m guessing most people didn’t have.
2. For a lot of the book it felt like Stella was all “Oh, I want to kiss this guy and I feel guilty about it because he’s killing all my people.” I was just like “Really?” I very much dislike when books are like that, hence the not really wanting to finish it and just skimming.This seemed like the biggest element in the book and it’s my biggest reason for not liking it.
3. It didn’t feel realistic. At all.
I’m giving it 2 stars.
Now with that said and done, people, just click on that ^ picture and read what it has to say. Yeppers, this book is a 4.6 star book. That’s pretty amazing. I would love it if my book had that high of ratings! 97 five star reviews out of 137! I can dream of writing a book that so many people love! Therefore, I happily acknowledge that it’s just not my style book and there are lots of people out there who love it. 🙂
What about you? Do you like books set during WW2? Do you find negative reviews helpful? What would you do if you had to write a review on a book you didn’t like? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!
* I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.