Annexed by Sharon Dogar 5/10

If I were to sum up all my enthusiasm and love for this book in one word, it would be: meh. In all honesty, this book deserves about a 4 or 5 out of 10.  Now this opinion doesn’t mean I absolutely hated it, but it definitely felt like  one of the most rushed books I’ve ever read, which is unfortunate for historical fiction. Basically, the book takes place from the view of Peter Van Pels, the teenage boy who hid with Anne Frank in Amsterdam during the Holocaust. This premise may seem like a great idea, because it should allow a fresh POV about Anne Frank’s writing process. Sadly, this was not the case. Peter and Anne are portrayed as ungrateful, immature, and whiny, so you can’t really connect with them. Additionally, the author greatly exaggerated their “romance.” In her diary, Anne states that she kissed Peter once, and that was the end of it. However, hundreds of pages are spent with them gazing deeply into each others eyes, or making out, when they should be worrying about the problems outside. Sharon Dogar didn’t seem to spend much time editing the novel, so there were some annoying patches. Techniques are repeated a lot, like when the author states something, and then repeats it again. An example would be, “I cried like I was sad. And I was sad.” The book only really becomes interesting after they are discovered, and Peter, his father, and Otto Frank are held inside of a death camp, because that tragic part of history isn’t taught frequently. The Nazis constructed the camps so their prisoners had to lose their humanity in order to survive. It was a kind of backup plan, so that even if they won, the Jews were still tortured by the guilt of surviving. Peter has to trick other prisoners, steal supplies, and follow every order he is given. Eventually, after his father is executed, and he leaves Otto Frank behind, Peter dies on a death march to another camp. I felt odd after reading this book. It was a strange mix of extreme immaturity and gritty adulthood. I would only recommend this people who are very lonely or really romantic.

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