Intense YA World War II Fiction Featuring Ukrainian Nationals and Polish Resistance

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I was immediately interested in The Silent Unseen by Amanda McCrina when I saw it was set in Poland since my husband is a first generation Polish American. This YA WWII novel is unlike others I've read as all main characters are young adults actively involved in acts of war.

This story features Maria and Tomek, sister and brother, whose home and family have been destroyed by fighting between Ukrainain nationalists and the Polish Resistance. When Tomek goes missing, Maria is desperate to find him and partners with someone very unlikely in her search.

It was surreal to read about Ukranian nationals fighting in 1944 at the very moment Ukranian citizens are fighting against Russian invasion in 2022 - the horror of art imitating life 80 years later. I rarely read YA and was surprised by the amount of violence in this novel.

At times I wasn't sure what was going on or who to trust, which felt authentic for the life-or-death situations the characters were facing. Reading this via audiobook helped me experience the emotions more intensely. The story ends quite abruptly so I assume there will be a sequel that continues where this novel ends.

Thank you to Macmillan Audio and NetGalley for a review copy of the audiobook narrated by Laura Jennings.