Header Image

YA Review: Bluebird by Sharon Cameron

Title: Bluebird

Author: Sharon Cameron

Year Published: 2021

Category: YA fiction (historical)
Pages: 464
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Location (my 2021 Google Reading map)USA (NY, CA) and Germany

Summary (from Amazon): In 1946, Eva leaves behind the rubble of Berlin for the streets of New York City, stepping from the fiery aftermath of one war into another, far colder one, where power is more important than principles, and lies are more plentiful than the truth. Eva holds the key to a deadly secret: Project Bluebird -- a horrific experiment of the concentration camps, capable of tipping the balance of world power. Both the Americans and the Soviets want Bluebird, and it is something that neither should ever be allowed to possess.

But Eva hasn't come to America for secrets or power. She hasn't even come for a new life. She has come to America for one thing: justice. And the Nazi that has escaped its net.

Critically acclaimed author of The Light in Hidden Places Sharon Cameron weaves a taut and affecting thriller ripe with intrigue and romance in this alternately chilling and poignant portrait of the personal betrayals, terrifying injustices, and deadly secrets that seethe beneath the surface in the aftermath of World War II.

Review: I do love good historical fiction and this one came highly recommended. I also got a copy of her book In the Hidden Places, which is also supposed to be excellent.

The book tells two parallel stories at first (so, like a good YA, they merge). I cared about both storylines and was not surprised in the way they come together (can't tell you of course). Inge and Annemarie are privileged girls in Germany during WWII, this is a side of the war we don't often hear. Eva and Brigit are refugees arriving in America a year after the war ends. How will they adjust to life in a new country that is so very different from the one they have experienced?

The characters are flawed people who have experienced trauma that I cannot imagine and when they come to America, they are greeted by people who want to do good, want to help, and who will love them unconditionally, something that both girls need desperately.

In addition to the historical fiction aspect of the book, there are also typical YA elements: a budding romance, trauma in the friendship, and what feels like unrealistic events. How can one young woman have all these experiences? How can she be the center of a major international issue? I was thinking, "this novel is a good. Not great, but good." (I even talked to my daughter about the issues I was having).

Then I got to the end and read the author's After Word. Hold your horses, this book is based on real events! It's all true, especially the most unbelievable parts! Bump this book up in the ratings! The After Word is quite long and Cameron details her research, which is extensive. I learned so much from reading this book, stuff I hadn't heard anything about in all the other WWII books I've read. I even sent my daughter photographs of the After Word I was so impressed and amazed.

Challenges for which this counts: 
  • Children's historical fiction--WWII and post WWII
  • Cloak and Dagger
  • Historical fiction--WWII and post WWII
  • RIP

No comments