Simply Nicollette reviews - books, movies, television shows, etc. with slight spoilers. I try my best to review without giving away too much of the story.

Wolf By Wolf by Ryan Graudin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wolf by Wolf is such a unique story, and I'm really glad I began my 2016 with this brilliant read!

I absolutely loved this story. I've set myself a goal of reading more historical fiction this year, and I'm glad I began with this book. It's usually hard for me to read historical fiction just because I find it hard to separate actual history with what's going on in the book, but Ryan Graudin set up this alternate universe in a way where it was easy to understand the difference. I understood how this was something that wasn't real, yet could've easily been real in some ways. I enjoyed every aspect of this story, there was even a fantasy element throughout the story as well.

This time in history can be a bit hard for some people to go back and think about, but I loved the message this story made. Just like Graudin stated in her author's note, I appreciated that this book was able to show readers how easy we judge ourselves and the people around us based on looks, facts that are easy to look up about each other, and many other things.. but we are all so much more than what can only be seen through the outside.

All of the characters are strong and each are unique in their own way. Yael is amazing - she is the character I wish was in more YA books. She is a damaged soul thanks to her past, and every move she makes down to her personality is everything you would expect in someone who has been through the things that she has. Everything about her made sense - even how she felt when she had to build actual relationships with people she never thought she'd have to. She developed from a girl who didn't really know who she was into a girl who finally started to see herself outside of the many faces she took, because in the end it's what was in her heart that made her who she is.

"I decided I couldn't be afraid of my own life. My own reflection. So every morning I make myself look in a mirror for five minutes. Face it all."
Yael looked down at her lap, her trembling arm. "So I'm just supposed to make things better by staring?"
"Better?" Vlad choked on the word. "It never gets better. It just gets less. It becomes something you can face. If only for five minutes."

Overall, I really loved this book. I can't say in enough words how many feelings I had while reading. It made me appreciate the way I live my life now. It helped me to see myself in a different light, and learn more about myself and others around me. The writing was brilliant, and the world was set up great. I felt like I was on the motorcycle with Yael the whole time!

I can't wait for the sequel - the twist at the end of this book was so mind blowing that I honestly have no idea where this series is going to take us, but I'm really excited to find out!

I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to try reading more historical fiction stories (like me), or enjoys them already! It's a good one guys.


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