Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Blog Tour: Night Witches by Kathryn Lasky Review & Giveaway

Hi Everyone,
I'm really excited to be taking part in the blog tour for Night Witches. I actually first learned about this book when I got the email about the tour and my first thought was "HOW AM I JUST LEARNING ABOUT THIS BOOK!" I absolutely knew I needed to read it. So I was incredibly excited to be selected to be on the tour and for the opportunity to read and review the book. So, let's not waste any more time and tell you about the book and share my thoughts.
About the Book:
Author: Kathryn Lasky
Pub. Date: March 28, 2017
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pages: 224
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook

From bestselling and award-winning author Kathryn Lasky comes an explosive adventure following the teen girl fighter pilots who took on Hitler's army . . . and won.

Fifteen-year-old Valya knows what it feels like to fly. She's a pilot who's always felt more at home soaring through the sky than down on earth. But since the Germans surrounded Stalingrad, Valya's been forced to stay on the ground and watch her city crumble.

When her mother is killed during the siege, Valya is left with one burning desire: to join up with her older sister, a member of the famous and feared Night Witches -- a brigade of young female pilots.

Using all her wits, Valya manages to get past the German blockade and find the Night Witches' base . . . and that's when the REAL danger starts. The women have been assigned a critical mission. If they succeed, they'll inflict serious damage on the Nazis. If they fail, they'll face death . . . or even worse horrors.

Historical fiction master Lasky sheds light on the war's unsung heroes -- daredevil girls who took to the skies to fight for their country -- in an action-packed thrill ride that'll leave you electrified and breathless. 

My Review:

*** I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This fact has not changed my opinion. ****

When I first learned about this book I knew that I needed to read it. It's totally up my alley. I'm a huge fan of historical fiction and I love unique kinds of WWII stories and books set in Russia. I got all of these things in the course of this book. It was everything I hoped it would be and a really fantastic and engaging read.

Part of what I really liked about this book was the fact that it's a book about World War II that felt both unique and familiar. Most books I have read about WWII take place in Germany, France, or Poland. I don't think I've ever read one set in Russia and I really enjoyed that. It showed a different side of a familiar period in history. It felt exciting and new while adding complexity to something I feel like I know about. And that to me is exactly what I want in historical fiction. I learned something and I was entertained. The author did a great job in establishing the setting and immersing the reader in it.

But World War II wasn't just the setting for the book, it was also the plot. And I really enjoyed the plot as well. It's definitely a story about war as the character is taken from her home to become a soldier. It's a book about fighter pilots and soldiers. That in and of itself was interesting with plenty of action and daring battles. Plus this book doesn't hold back when it comes to portraying war. It definitely shows some of the more brutal aspects not only for those who are fighting but also for those on the homefront. There are some brutal moments in this book and they helped to establish the setting as well as the plot.

It's also a really fast-paced story. It's short and doesn't take long to read (I finished it in a day) because you do become invested in the story and don't want to stop reading. But you also can really power through it. I usually prefer my books to slowly build to a thrilling conclusion and while there was an exciting ending here it didn't slowly build. It had a handful of smaller climaxes that felt connected but still independent of one another. There is no specific plot and at times it does make for a story that felt a little disconnected but for the setting and plot that did kind of work. When you're dealing with a war, it's not just one thing, it's a one thing right after another.

I also enjoyed the characters here. The main character of Valya was incredibly likable and easy to connect with. For a lot of the book she is constantly underestimated and incredibly determined to fight for her homeland and to be useful in a way she knows she can be. I really liked that about her and it made her a great protagonist. There were also plenty of great secondary characters. I particularly liked the relationship Valya had with her sister Tatyana. You can tell they cared about one another but they still argued in a very sisterly way. I also liked some of the other Night Witches like Valya's friends Mara and Galya. Many of the characters weren't huge parts of the story but I still became emotionally attached to them and found myself concerned about what would and did happen to them. It's a good sign when you connect with a character without even realizing it. (Also, shout out to there not really being a romance!)

All in all, Night Witches was a really good historical fiction young adult novel. It had a setting that was engaging and interesting, a plot that was full of action and adventure, and characters you can connect with.

I give Night Witches by Kathryn Lasky 8.5 out of 10 stars

Buy/Borrow/Bypass: Buy. I would absolutely recommend this book to fans of historical fiction especially if you like books set during World War II. But even if you aren't a fan of the genre the book is still engaging and interesting.

About Kathryn:
Kathryn Lasky is the American author of many critically acclaimed books, including several Dear America books, several Royal Diaries books, 1984 Newbery Honor winning Sugaring Time, The Night Journey, and the Guardians of Ga'Hoole series.
She was born June 24, 1944, and grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana, and is married to Christopher Knight, with whom she lives in Massachusetts.

Book 15,  The War of the Ember, is currently the last book in the Ga'Hoole seriesThe Rise of a Legendis the 16th book but is a prequel to the series. Lasky has also written Guide Book To The Great Tree and Lost Tales Of Ga'Hoole which are companion books.

Giveaway Details:

3 winners will receive a finished copy of NIGHT WITCHES, US Only.

Rafflecopter code:

Rafflecopter Link:

Tour Schedule:

Week One:
3/20/2017- The Best Books Ever - Excerpt
3/21/2017- My Thoughts LiterallyReview
3/22/2017- Wandering Bark BooksGuest Post
3/23/2017- La La in the LibraryReview
3/24/2017- YA Books CentralInterview

Week Two:
3/27/2017- QuartzfeatherReview
3/28/2017- BookHounds YAGuest Post
3/29/2017- Under the Book CoverReview
3/30/2017- Bibliobibuli YAInterview

3/31/2017- History from a Woman's PerspectiveReview

Thank you to Rockstar Book Tours for having me on the Blog Tour for Night Witches. Have you read Night Witches? What did you think? What are your favorite books set during World War II. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!


  1. Wow does this sound so exciting to read. Teen GIRL fighter pilots!!! Yes, please! I love strong female characters and ones that also have brains and use them. This will be fun to read. Love the cover too.

  2. I loved it and I usually don't go for Historical Fiction about wartimes. I hadn't heard about it until I saw it in the tour email, either. My son read some of the author's Ga'Hoole (sp?) books, so I was only familiar with her as a Middle Grade author. Thanks for sharing your review. :)