I am beginning to adore War Literature in a way I never thought I would following my A Level module on the topic. If we had studied stories like Cross My Heart and Rose Under Fire I would have had no problem picking up on the facts, the raw emotions and just how terrible war was. Cross My Heart was an incredibly moving book that had no qualms about showing the true terror of war and I couldn’t put it down.
Nicole is bloshy right from the start and I absolutely loved her. She has a strong sense of right and wrong and that is what moves the storty forward in Cross My Heart. If she wasn’t as opinionated or determined things would have turned out very different for her, but I am glad she was. The story starts with the Nazi invasion on Belgium then skips forward five months. I loved the way it did this as it kind of showed just how different things became in that short five month period. There were other smaller skips forward but not many, not until towards the end of the book anyway and each time they just re-cemented the horrors that faced the people of Belgium, and Nicole, during the war.
The story is based on true events with some artistic licence taken here and there. Nicole, her family, the members of the resistance group, all the soldiers and her friends were all fictional characters but what they went through was adapted from real life accounts of the War. The speech from Sir Winston Churchill and the newspaper sabotage were brought forward for the sake of the story, but they did happen and they did set in motion similar events to those that happened in the book. Again these things were fascinating to read about and they really make you see as a reader how dangerous the time was.
The characters were incredible to follow in this story and I loved them all. Nicole was never in a position where I didn’t like her and even when she was doing something stupid, which only happens once or twice, I still couldn’t help loving her for it. In many ways she was so much braver than any of the other characters, except maybe the Owl and the Hawk. Hope was another favourite too and the things she went through were terrifying. I would have loved to have known a little more about her at the end of the book.
This book was raw and I really did love it but it took a lot out of me reading it. I wanted to stop in places but I also needed to carry on. I will not delay reading more in this genre by this author because of the way her writing captures the true nightmares that the characters go through. It really is a must read and for anyone doing that stinky War Literature module at A Level, read this one along with your reading list!
Cross My Heart was published on August 1st by Corgi Children’s Books, a Random House imprint. My copy was sent from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
For more info or to buy the book please visit:
Amazon | Hive | Goodreads | Author Website