Friday, January 20, 2023

Review: The Undercover Secretary by Ellie Midwood

The Undercover Secretary
by Ellie Midwood

Publisher: Bookouture
Pages: 254
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  France, 1942. “I forced myself to hold his gaze. My heart thrashed inside my chest like a bird battering its wings. They knew who I was. They knew what I’d done.” This heartbreaking and unputdownable World War Two novel tells the incredible true story Dora Schaul, who risked her life by coming face-to-face with enemy—the monsters who killed her loved ones.

Dora has lost everything to the Nazis. Her dearest friends have disappeared into thin air. Her parents have been imprisoned in concentration camps and murdered for the crime of simply existing. She has no idea if her darling husband, the devoted and brave Alfred, is still alive.

Though her world is crashing and burning around her, Dora refuses to give in to Hitler’s tyranny. The Nazis may have broken her heart, but they will not break her spirit.

Secretly working for the underground network in France, Dora risks her life on the most dangerous mission in the history of the local resistance. She goes undercover as the secretary of the Head of Gestapo; a soldier with a brutal reputation. A cold-blooded killer.

She is tasked with leaking the names of the SS to the British press. Every day, she rubs shoulders with the enemy. She makes coffee for the people she despises. She types letters for the monsters who killed her family. At any second, she could be found out…

Can she survive, turning the tide of the war and saving thousands of lives? Or will those she loved the most in the world, and millions of other innocent people, have died in vain?

Kritters Thoughts:  While I feel as though I have read every book and every aspect of World War II, this book gave me a unique glimpse at another person's journey through this hard time in history.  When I read a historical fiction book, I typically rate my experience by my need to google and find out more and with this one I kept finding myself wanting to learn more than what was on the page.  

Dora a young woman who leaves her family in hopes of being able to create a life that they may join in the future takes a large leap of faith and the journey is epic.  I found myself holding my breath and while a chapter would end, I was "flipping the pages" (read on a kindle) quickly to get into the next chapter.  While at times it was difficult to read knowing there was truth underneath it all, Ellie Midwood wrote a story that needed to be shared and highlighted within this sub genre of World War II fiction.  

My third Ellie Midwood read and for sure will not be my last.  I love the way this author uses a story rooted in complete truth, but keeps me reading with plot and characters that I care about from early on in the book.  This author is quickly becoming a must read for me and I will wait not so patiently for her next one!  

Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Bookouture.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Monday, January 2, 2023

2023 Reading Goals


2022 ended up being the craziest of years with a new job and a major life change.  I was excited to see the calendar switch to a new year and I know that there are a lot of fun things coming up ahead, so hoping that 2023 will be full of more books and more ramblings!   

So with that here are my goals for my reading life for 2023.  

1. I want to read a minimum of 123 books.  I am taking my goal significantly down from the past just knowing what is coming, but hoping to increase my reading from 2022.  

2. I am switching up my order of my goals this year, and next I want to increase my Netgalley percentage and sadly it went down this past year, so I have a large hill to climb.  I want to keep this goal and challenge myself to aim high to get my percentage up to at least 25%.  

3.  While I said in goal 2, I would like to increase my Netgalley percentage, I would also love to increase my reading of my physical library this year.  I miss curling up with literal pages in my hand and I hope to do more of this in 2023!

And the challenge that I love to do each year is:

Where Are You Reading?
In this challenge, I keep a Google Map and place a pinpoint at each spot where a book takes place.  The link to my google map will also be in the sidebar all year round, so anyone can check out where I have been reading!

If you would like to participate - check out Book Journey.  She hosted this challenge in the past, not sure if she is hosting again, but as this is my favorite thing to do, I am continuing! 

Sunday, January 1, 2023

2022 Reading Wrap Up

    So this was probably my worst reading year in a very long time,   so while this will be a sad comparison, I am hoping to compare a   wonderful 2023 to this 2022.  

  Let's compare 2022 to 2021.  

Total number of books I read in 2022: 91 - my lowest number in a long time
Total number of books I read in 2021: 219 (just shy of 220!)

Total number of pages I flipped, clicked, and so on in 2022: 29,355
Total number of pages I flipped, clicked, and so on in 2021: 73,312

I have been keeping track of WHERE my books were taking place all year. Below is the outcome.  There are 18 states that I "visited," which is worse than last year, but probably partly due to the amount of books I completed.  I would like to travel more in 2023

States that made the list:
Maine                    Vermont            Pennsylvania
Massachusetts        New York          Washington, DC
North Carolina        Florida              South Carolina
Louisiana               Arkansas           Missouri
Texas                    Minnesota           Idaho
Nevada                 Washington        California

My country number went down from 13 to 9 this year, so I am sad that I didn't travel the world as much this year, but probably also again due to the amount that I read being down this year.

Countries accounted for:
Guyana            Canada            Australia
Ireland             UK                  France
Italy                Poland              Germany

Back to Top