Girl in the Blue Coat is a really engaging YA read set during WWII. Here’s my full review!
I am always reading a few books at a time. With three or four different types of books on deck at all times, I always have something that I’m in the mood to read. Usually, I like one of my book picks to be something engaging and easy to read. Lately, Young Adult Fiction is the ticket.
I’ve also been picking up more YA reads because my avid reader tween is starting to head into the Teen section at the library more often. I want to know what’s there and what she should be reading. Girl in the Blue Coat was one of those books that she pulled off the shelf and I decided it needed to be previewed first. While my daughter may be at a YA reading level, there’s a lot of YA topics that just aren’t for an almost 12 year old.
Girl in the Blue Coat, however, was a lucky find. It can be hit or miss when you’re just pulling books off the library shelf, but I thoroughly enjoyed this one.
It’s set in Amsterdam in 1943 and the Nazis have occupied the country for a few years when the book opens. Hanneke, the main character, is an 18 year old girl who on paper works at a funeral home doing secretarial work. In reality, she’s delivering black market goods to people all around the city.
As she is making one of her top secret deliveries one day, a client confides that she has been hiding a young Jewish girl in her home. Hanneke does not want to get involved, but the Jewish girl has mysteriously disappeared and the woman who was hiding her has no one to turn to for help. Hanneke agrees to do what she can and the search for the girl in the blue coat begins.
The book is a real page turner. It’s an entertaining mix of mystery and history, with plot twists and moral issues that give it some depth.
At the end of the book, the author says that she “wanted to tell a story of small betrayals in the middle of a big war.” That is precisely what makes this a great read for teens, and an engaging read for me. The small betrayals are the sort that most teens would understand and relate to. However, with a World War as their backdrop, it’s interesting to see the greater implications of seemingly small betrayals. There’s nothing better than a war to remind all of us how easily we can hurt one another.
Of course there are also moments of bravery and kindness and understanding, because while everyone is flawed, most of us are trying our best.
I thought it was a great YA read. If you like World War II books, or missing person mysteries, or just want an easy, page turner, this is a good option.