Intense YA historical

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The Silent Unseen is a young adult historical novel about a teenager trying to navigate Poland in July 1944 after escaping from a Nazi labor camp.

When Maria returns to her home country of Poland after being forced into slave labor by the Nazis she finds her parents dead and the county torn between Soviet forces, Ukrainian nationalists and the Polish resistance. She impulsively saves a Ukrainian boy (Kostya) from being tortured by the Soviet army and turns to the Polish resistance for help. But alliances between the various factions are treacherous and Maria will have to play a dangerous game to save the people she cares about.

Silent Unseen shows a fascinating and dangerous time for the Polish people during World War II. They were torn between various military groups operating within their borders with children and teenagers serving as soldiers, couriers and spies. I found the backstory of Maria’s older brother Tomek and his role as a British trained secret agent (aka a “Silent Unseen”) fascinating and I’d love to see him starring in his own book. There is also an angsty enemies to lovers romance between Maria and Kostya.

I highly recommend this solid piece of World War 2 young adult fiction. I know it will stick with me for a long time.