The Girl with the Diary (Last Words Book series 1) – ARC Book Review

Title:- The Girl with the Diary

Author:- Shari J Ryan

Date published:- will be published on May 24th 2022

Publisher:- Bookouture

No. of pages:- 331 pages

Genre:- Historical Fiction


“What if you never come back?” I asked.
“I will find you, Amelia. I promise I will find you.”
“What if you die trying?”

Nazi-occupied Prague,1942: Amelia is hiding in her closet when flashlights blind her and she’s captured by the SS. Out on the cobblestone street, she is shoved onto a freight train with hundreds of others. Hours pass as they travel in darkness.

Arriving in Theresienstadt concentration camp, Amelia fears for her life when she is led to a block by a soldier. He is her enemy—but he risks everything to secretly pass her a piece of bread; an act that saves her.

They are meant to despise one another, but Amelia and Charlie are powerfully drawn to each other. Yet amongst so much tragedy, surviving feels impossible, and falling in love is a miracle…

Under the all-seeing gaze of the guards and endless watchtowers, there is only so long they can keep their secret—and the very act of loving each other endangers their lives. Will they remain loyal to each other in the face of death? And when they finally say goodbye, will it be by choice or by force?

Years later, a worn leather diary filled with faded yellow pages, unopened for decades, will reveal the devastating truth…

Fans of The Tattooist of Auschwitz, The Choice, and Orphan Train will be totally swept away by this World War Two heartbreaker which shows that, even in hell, love can bloom.

This is the first book of the Last Word series, the other two books, The Prison Child and The Soldier’s Letters, the reviews will come up soon.

The story starts with Emma, who is close to her grandmother takes her to the hospital, when her grandmother suffers from the stroke. While at the hospital, the grandmother starts asking for a Charlie and then asks Emma to read her diary. Emma starts reading her grandmother’s diary, with the diary starting in 1942, when Amelia, her grandmother, was taken as a prisoner to Terezin concentration camp, where she meets a Nazi soldier, Charlie, with whom she develops friendship and eventually a romantic relationship.

The story divides between Emma, the present day and Amelia starting from 1942, as excerpts from her diary. I actually did like the change in timelines which worked very well in the story and I was truly engaged into the story. The author has done a good job of drawing the reader into the story and allowing the reader to follow on the journey with Amelia and Emma. I simply couldn’t put this book as I wanted to know what was going to happen next? I do like how Emma and Jackson, the doctor who was looking after Amelia, how their relationship worked out. It was actually quite funny and engaging to read that relationship. However, reading about Amelia and her life in the concentration camp, which as we know how Holocaust affected so many Jewish lives was too brutal to read. Even the author’s own family members were survivors of Holocaust so I can udnerstand how this story was personal to her as well. Though it’s a work of fiction, nevertheless, it fell so realistic. I liked how Charlie, a Nazi helps Amelia to escape from the camp with a child. Those tense moments were actually scary to read. Overall, the ending was emotional and heartbreaking, with the twist that you did not expect. I truly enjoy reading this book.

If you like books, based on Holocaust, then I recommend reading this emotional and heartbreaking story of a girl and a boy who risked his own life and career to save the girl he loves. Truly worth five stars and will soon start reading the other two books of the series!

Many thanks to Netgalley and Bookouture for the ARC. The review is based on my honest opinion only.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s