Cross My Heart by Carmen Reid was an inspirational adventure set in the Second World War. Following plucky bold Nicole as she joins the Belgian resistance, determined to do all she can to make it harder for the Nazi Germans who have stolen her city for them-selves, Reid tells a emotional heartbreaking story with vivid threads of truth sewn through it which gives it an edge over other fictional novels.
Brussels, 1940. Fifteen-year-old Nicole watches as the Nazis invade Belgium. Determined not to stand by as her country is brought to its knees, Nicole vows to fight back and joins the Belgian Resistance. Under her new alias - Coco - Nicole embarks on a dangerous new life as a spy, where the only question is not if you'll be caught, but when...
Cross My Heart was well written in that it managed to include scenarios where some warmth was instilled again - it wasn't an overly cold distressing desolate novel as many WWII novels are (it wasn't exactly a period where many good things happened). Reid's character creation was brilliant and her characters extremely real. I was completely invested in Nicole's life and actions and fell in love with kind strong Anton at the same time as her.
Reid also conveyed Nicole's steeled determination to resist but also the fear and guilt she felt at endangering her family excellently. Reid's imagery and description was spot on and the Ravensbruck part of the novel was real enough without being too real. Reid didn't need to overload the reader with horrific graphic descriptions as the dire atmosphere of the camps and the defeated scared feelings of the inhabitants was reinforced throughout her writing and didn't need the overload.
All in All Cross My Heart was a good historic fiction and was a welcome addition to the growing YA market. A solid 4 for Reid's novel and I'm definitely going to be on the lookout for her next novel for YA.
Published by Corgi, an imprint of Random House Childrens Publishers Cross My Heart can be bought from all decent book stores.