Title: Wolf by Wolf
Author: Ryan Graudin
Published: October 20, 2015
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Rating: 5 Stars
Summary: 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?
This is the first book I have read by Ryan, and while it took a couple chapters for this story to really get going, once it did I couldn’t put it down. This was such an interesting story and I fell in love with Yael. She was badass! I love that there are so many great female YA characters who are badass and feminine. There doesn’t have to be one of the other and it’s really great to see. Yael is definitely a character I think deserves to be on the list of female YA characters who kick ass. I really liked the way this story was written as well. We go back and forth between past and present. We learn what happened to Yael after being taken to a death camp and what happens after she escapes. I thought the balance between the past and present was really well done. There are stories that are had to keep up with or they just take forever to reveal a characters past, but Ryan set this story and such an amazing pace. And with such a difficult topic. I still cringe when I hear about what Hitler did. And while this novel isn’t set in the real world and has some fantasy elements it was still such a scary to think what the world would be like if Hitler won WWII. It’s something that definitely makes you think. It was such an interesting story and I really couldn’t put it down.
We have characters like Felix, Adele’s brother, and Luka, Adele’s former flame. With a book like this, where the stakes are so high, you can’t trust anyone. And I really like both the boy characters. One who just wants to protect his sister, and one who just wants to win the race no matter the cost. And he definitely goes to great lengths to win the race. Honestly throughout this whole book I kept expecting Luka and/or Felix to betray Adele/Yael and yet when it happened I was shocked. SHOCKED I TELL YOU. I think that was the best part about this book is you really didn’t see it coming. I mean the end of the race, or the end of the book! I didn’t see either one coming until it was already happening. Which is awesome. Sometimes I have a problem of being really good at guessing the endings of books, but I couldn’t figure this one out. And also I was so busy focusing on the story, I didn’t even think about the ending of the book! I mean I figured I knew how it would end but I was dead wrong! Which is a good thing. That being said I can’t believe I have to wait so long for the next book to come out! I just want to read it right now! I want to know what happens to Yael and Felix and Luka! This book has made me such a Ryan fan! I will definitely be going out and picking up her other books to read while I wait for the sequel. And Does anyone know how many books this is going to be? I highly suggest going and getting this book if you haven’t already or reading it if you have it and just haven’t picked it up! It is seriously so worth it!