|Taken from Goodreads|
Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin
Released: October 20th, 2015
Read: February 2016
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Format: Borrowed ARC, Paperback, 388 pages
Series: Wolf by Wolf #1
Source: Borrowed from the lovely Ohana Reads
Description from Goodreads:
The year is 1956, and the Axis powers of the Third Reich and Imperial Japan rule the world. To commemorate their Great Victory over Britain and Russia, Hitler and Emperor Hirohito host the Axis Tour: an annual motorcycle race across their conjoined continents. The victor is awarded an audience with the highly reclusive Adolf Hitler at the Victor's ball.
Yael, who escaped from a death camp, has one goal: Win the race and kill Hitler. A survivor of painful human experimentation, Yael has the power to skinshift and must complete her mission by impersonating last year's only female victor, Adele Wolfe. This deception becomes more difficult when Felix, Adele twin's brother, and Luka, her former love interest, enter the race and watch Yael's every move. But as Yael begins to get closer to the other competitors, can she bring herself to be as ruthless as she needs to be to avoid discovery and complete her mission?
I read this book, as it was literally forced on me by Laurens sister (who runs Ohana Reads). I'm soooooo glad she made me read it!! This book is everything I look for, be it fantasy, historical fiction or strong female characters. I can honestly say that I enjoyed every page of Wolf by Wolf. Yael is such an interesting character, and the "skinshift" quality of hers is just so cool. I kept worrying that she would accidentally reveal herself to Felix (the brother of Adele) or Luka (the former love interest of Adele). Both guys are eager to help Yael but are really suspicious of this "new" Adele. I have to say, I was more partial to Luka. He was just so.. so.. handsome? And suave? It's hard to describe but he was the epitome of an annoying bad boy, who just steals your heart. You hate to like him, that kind of thing. Whereas That aside, I loved how Yael was able to develop from a young girl (through flashbacks) to a powerful young woman right before our eyes. Although she is perceived by the other characters as someone who is "made of steel", she has her vulnerabilities. The tattoos of wolves (hence the name of the book) represent the people she lost, so her grief and loneliness is always with her. That is what drives her desire to get revenge, and make the leaders of the Third Reich pay for what they did. Because of this she gets drawn into this revolution, and it's the reason she enters the race. This book had a minor "Hunger Games" feel, what with the competition and all. It really moved the plot forward, and filled any parts that normally would've been too long and boring. Right until the very end there is the tension of "will she win or won't she??" It's a surprise ending, and I couldn't stop babbling about it. I won't give it away, but let's just say I CANNOT wait until the sequel is out (Blood for Blood)!
“So she traced and she named. She hurt and she raged. She remembered.”
― Ryan Graudin, Wolf By Wolf
Rating: 9/10 Stars
Recommended for people who enjoy: fantasy, historical fiction, alternate retellings, romance, strong female leads