Hi! For this post, I’m going to review Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin, which I received in my subscription box from Uppercase (see previous post for a review on that). I have to say that this was super exciting to get. It was my first one and I couldn’t wait to see what was inside. This is one of the best books I’ve read all year, definitely up there with All the Bright Places and Mosquitoland (look under my name for respective reviews).
So this was an alternate history book. It’s set in the early 1950s and written as if the Axis powers had won World War II. Each year Hitler and Hirohito hold a cross-continental motorcycle race. It starts in what was previously known as Berlin and winds down through northern Africa and eventually ends in Tokyo. Ten of the best racers from each empire compete to win this harrowing race and the winner gets to attend the Victor’s Ball and has a private audience with Hitler himself. It’s told from the perspective of a death camp survivor, Yael. Yael was relentlessly experimented on and can now skinshift which allows her to take on the features of any other female she sees. The resistance wants her to enter the race under the charming and ruthless Adele Wolf. Adele raced under her twin brother’s name and won – revealing her true identity at the finish line. Yael must masquerade as Adele and win the race – ultimately to kill Hitler and allow the resistance to grow and overthrow his regime. A few curveballs enter when Adele’s brother Felix enters and a former love interest of Adele’s also competes.
This was an extremely gripping story. Right off the bat, the story opens with Yael entering the concentration camp with her mother. I love all the action and Yael’s fierce character. She has to navigate her way through Adele’s life without anyone suspecting her true identity. This is tough especially because Adele’s brother knows Adele so well. Yael herself struggles to find who she truly is. It has been years since she has seen her own face because of the years of skinshifting that has helped her survive. The whole idea of a motorcycle race was very unique and fun. I like how they have to rough it in between check in spots and that anything goes out in the open. Honestly, Yael is awesome. She’s extremely independent and strong but also isn’t afraid to show her soft side. I love her. I also liked the idea of Felix and Luka (the love interest) entering the mix. It just made the tension 10x higher. They also proved to be very dynamic characters, too. I also liked Adele herself. Adele is the fearless girl that seems like she’s up for any and every thing. Her spunk is something that is truly captivating. I couldn’t put this down (I finished in 2 days – oops!) it was super good. I can’t wait for the second book to come out!!
Alright, this is a pretty long-winded review so I’ll finish where I am. I’ve said my piece and I’m pretty satisfied with it.