Five stars simply aren’t enough for this book.
Ryan Graudin has spun a creative tale about heartbreak, revenge, and what it means to find yourself, even if you feel you’ve been lost for a long time.
Yael has had her fair share of suffering. As a child, she was placed in a death camp with her mother, and was forced to undergo cruel genetic testing that gave her the ability to change her appearance to anyone she chose. After losing her mother and others she was close to, she managed to escape from the death camp and build herself a new life as part of the resistance against the government and Adolf Hitler.
While Yael grew up, she trained and awaited the day she would be given an assignment and chosen to do her part in the resistance. Because she had the ability to change her appearance, the task she is given would be impossible for anyone else, but is sure to make a change.
Yael’s task is to participate in the Axis Tour, which a popular motorcycle race that draws Adolf Hitler out in public to attend the Victor’s Ball – which is where Yael can get close enough to kill him.
In order to participate, Yael must study up on the previous year’s winner – Adele Wolfe, and learn as much about her as she can in order to impersonate her and join the race. After kidnapping Adele Wolfe, Yael uses her abilities to make herself look just like Adele, and takes her place in the race. Since this is only the first year that girls are permitted to race (Adele pretended to her her identical twin brother in order to win the previous year’s race), there is only one other girl for Yael to race against – and quite a few boys. During the race across multiple continents, Yael must act as though she is Adele Wolfe, even if it means something different than she herself had planned on. Struggling to win and complete her task the resistance has given her, Yael struggles to be Adele Wolfe, and herself at the same time.
The story mostly takes place during the race, but there are some chapters and sections of chapters that focus on Yael’s struggles while in the death camp and after she escaped. I enjoyed the flashbacks in this book, even though they were heartbreaking, because they allowed me to understand how Yael became the person that she is during the race.
Wolf by Wolf is a spectacular, original novel that will be different from any other book you’ve read. While there are so many dark, heartbreaking elements in this book, it has such an amazing, well thought out plot that is simply incredible. Ryan Graudin truly is a fantastic author and has such a talent for creating a well researched and yet imaginative story that will stick with you for a long time. I fell in love with this book from the very first page, and I couldn’t put it down until I had devoured this amazing story.
Note: This review is based on an ARC version of the book.