By: Ruta Sepetys
Genre: YFCB - Thrillers
Published by: Hachette Children's Books
Published: 8 Feb 2022
ISBN: 9781444967630


Trapped by an evil dictatorship, will Cristian be forced to betray his family or will he risk everything he loves to resist? A powerful YA thriller, inspired by real events, from a Carnegie Medal-winning author.

Cristian has lived his entire life in the grip of a repressive dictatorship. The country is governed by fear. When the secret police blackmail him, Cristian has an impossible choice. Save the life of his sick grandfather by informing on his family, or risk his life - and all of theirs - by resisting? At 17, Cristian dreams of being free but doesn't know where to turn. In this climate of constant suspicion, can he trust his best friend, his girlfriend or even his family?

Closely based on the real events of the Romanian Revolution of 1989, this is a powerful, heart-breaking thriller from the award-winning YA author of Salt to the Sea.

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Cristian is seventeen and lives in Romania. His life is ruled by fear, under the dictatorship of Nicolae Ceausescu.

Cristian and his grandfather listen to the Voice of America in secret on their radio and Cristian longs for freedom. He longs for enough food, for heat and electricity in the winter, and to have his own thoughts.

There are secret police everywhere, and so many informers. When the secret police approach Cristian and blackmail him, he must choose to become an informer or risk the lives of all his family and friends. Who can he trust and what choice will he make?

Based on true events in Romania prior to the revolution in 1989, this is an eye opening story of the brutal, daily reality of life in a dictatorship.

Cristian and his friends are wonderful characters, and it is an enthralling story that you will find hard to put down. The courage and resilience shown in their fight for freedom is truly inspiring.

A great read for students in Year 9 and up.

Reviewed by Michelle