Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
175 Pages
Reviewed on 03/14/2019
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Author Biography

AALIA LANIUS, a California native and convert to Islam in 1999, hails from a multi-cultural background, both German and Mediterranean, giving her first-hand knowledge of the topics addressed in her public speaking and creative works. Her debut novel, Tough Love, a biographical fiction novel, has sold in countries around the world.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Maria Victoria Beltran for Readers' Favorite

Jugend by Aalia Lanius is a historical fiction novel that is set in 1937 Europe juxtaposed with events unfolding in 2017 in the United States of America. Fourteen-year-old Ernst, an enthusiastic member of the Hitler Youth, is chosen to participate in what is made to look like a bicycle tour of London. But his real task is to spy on a wealthy British family of Jewish descent suspected of sheltering Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany in 1933. Clark, on the other hand, is a young American boy who lost his mother to cancer and his father to the Iraq war. Orphaned and living with his guardian, his dad's friend who is a rabid white supremacist, Clark finds himself spying on a Muslim family that are long-time residents of the US, but branded as terrorists.

Aalia Lanius' Jugend is a riveting tale of two boys innocently caught in historical events that have drastically changed their lives and enormously impacted the very history of the world. Ernst and Clark are two young boys who are forced to make a decision between good and evil when children their age should just be starting to learn the intricacies of life. Fast paced and gripping, Jugend successfully tells a complex and emotional story in a way that is easy to understand. Aalia Lanius' creative writing style is subtle, without a lot of frills, and the result is a novel that is informative, enjoyable and emotionally tugs at the reader's heart. The content of this book is universal and is relevant to any other time in history!

Raquel Rakovac

This book is a MUST read for everyone, it is highly relevant to the issues our world is facing. It is passionately written, beautifully unravelled and easily made me fall in love with both of the main characters. One of my favourite parts about the book was the past to present in the alternating chapters and how they connected back to one another in the end. So relevant as to the race frictions we are dealing with today. Aalia's writing is truthful, it speaks to your heart and mind while weaving together a story that captures you in the first few sentences. I am still filled with so many emotions when reflecting on this novel. I never wanted to put the book down and I look forward to what this talented writer will create in the future. Thank you for the gift of this book!