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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

*[Blog Tour Review] Gracianna by Trini Amador

The gripping story of Gracianna--a French-Basque girl forced to make impossible decisions after being recruited into the French Resistance in Nazi-occupied Paris.

Gracianna is inspired by true events in the life of Trini Amador's great-grandmother, Gracianna Lasaga. As an adult, Amador was haunted by the vivid memory of finding a loaded German Luger tucked away in a nightstand while wandering his great-grandmother's home in Southern California. He was only four years old at the time, but the memory remained and he knew he had to explore the story behind the gun.

Decades later, Amador would delve into the remarkable odyssey of his Gracianna's past, a road that led him to an incredible surprise. In Gracianna, Amador weaves fact and fiction to tell his great-grandmother's story.

Gracianna bravely sets off to Paris in the early 1940s--on her way to America, she hopes--but is soon swept into the escalation of the war and the Nazi occupation of Paris. After chilling life-and-death struggles, she discovers that her missing sister has surfaced as a laborer in Auschwitz. When she finds an opportunity to fight back against the Nazis to try to free her sister, she takes it--even if it means using lethal force.

As Amador tells the imagined story of how his great-grandmother risked it all, he delivers richly drawn characters and a heart-wrenching page-turner that readers won't soon forget.
Summary & Cover taken from
Length: 296 pages (Hardcover)
Source: NetGalley ARC
Available Formats: Print/E-book
Publication Date: July 23rd 2013 by Greenleaf Book Group Press
I know you don't often see me reviewing WWII historical fiction on the blog. It isn't because I don't appreciate the stories, or think that books set in that time are important to read because they remind us of the good and bad times but because I find that it still hits a little too close to home. However, I am so, so glad that I made an exception to read this novel because it was so worth it.
Gracianna is one of the most moving novels I've read not only this year, but one of the most moving novels I've read period. I love how the author was able to  make me feel everything that the characters were feeling. When they laughed, I laughed. When they cried, I cried and when they were angry so was I and their fear was palpable, I felt as it I were in the story so often I had to turn off my Kindle and snap back to reality every once in awhile when things got so intense.
The writing was beautiful. There's no other way to put it. I thought it was phenomenal and the author. It blew my mind away how descriptive and real the characters and the backdrop was for the story. I really felt like the author was able to bring everything to life which isn't something that every author can pull off the way Trini Amador did it.
However, the writing was not what really pulled me into the story. It was the passion that the author obviously had for his craft. Knowing that the character Gracianna is based on his great-grandmother I can see where the passion for the story comes from and since it's personal to me, it made the world of difference with how I viewed the book as a whole.
Overall, I thought this book was one of the best novels I've read all year and I am so glad that I decided to host it this time around. Gracianna is one of those rare gems where the characters are so fleshed out you can pretty much see them step out of the page and walk away. I enjoyed the fact that while the book was a beautiful read, it didn't shy away from the horrors of the time. There were both good guys and bad guys and guys in between just like there are in real life and I found that even the bad guys while they did horrid things, were well written and integral to the overall story. I really hope to see the author pen another novel because I'll be the first one signing up to read it.
I would recommend Gracianna to other fans of historical fiction. Even if you're like me and WWII historical fiction isn't your favourite sub-genre this is one you will not want to miss out. With an engaging plot, amazing characters and fantastic writing, Trini Amador did a wonderful job with his debut novel.
*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my free and honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are 100% my own.
I read this book for the following reading challenges:
2013 150+ Reading Challenge
2013 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

Loved it!

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  1. This sounds wonderful. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Great review, Kimberly!

    1. This one really surprised me Lark. I know you like HF too so I hope you read it soon!

  2. I am glad that you like this book so much! It is always wonderful to find a great book. :)

    1. Isn't it? Especially when it's a book that you were a little unsure about in the beginning :)

  3. Wow, now I'm super excited to start this! I'm starting it tomorrow my stop is next week :) I'm so glad you liked it so much. I like historical fiction, but I haven't read too much of it lately.

    Dee @ Dee's Reads

    1. OOOh I'll have to drop by your blog to see what you think of it! I hope you like it as much as I did :)


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