About My Book Reviews

Monday, April 19, 2021

My Real Name is Hanna by Tara Lynn Masih

Title: My Real Name is Hanna

Author: Tara Lynn Masih

Published: 2018

Genre: Historical Fiction

Grade Level: Young Adult

-Movie Rating: PG-13



Narrated by: Suzanna Toren

Length: 6hrs 31min

Recommend: Yes!


Blurb (from goodreads):

Hanna Slivka is on the cusp of fourteen when Hitler's army crosses the border into Soviet-occupied Ukraine. Soon, the Gestapo closes in, determined to make the shtetele she lives in “free of Jews.”

Until the German occupation, Hanna spent her time exploring Kwasova with her younger siblings, admiring the drawings of the handsome Leon Stadnick, and helping her neighbor dye decorative pysanky eggs. But now she, Leon, and their families are forced to flee and hide in the forest outside their shtetele—and then in the dark caves beneath the rolling meadows, rumored to harbor evil spirits. Underground, they battle sickness and starvation, while the hunt continues above.

When Hanna’s father disappears, suddenly it’s up to Hanna to find him—and to find a way to keep the rest of her family, and friends, alive.

My Scores:

Writing Style: Top Notch

The writing style of this novel is absolutely beautiful! Especially when reading the setting descriptions. Now, normally, I hate reading about the setting. I usually find it to be the most boring part of any novel. However, in this case the surrounding nature holds the same kind of magic as in The Secret Garden.

I could easily tell that this novel is well-researched by the significant number of foreign words and religious practices that were incorporated. It was fascinating to me, and I was glad for the audiobook (so I could really hear how the words were meant to be said).

I also loved how the writing style held me in the moment. That even though it’s historical fiction, it made me feel like the truths of this story still mattered.


Characters: Memorable

I feel in love with these characters. Even though I couldn’t relate to their religious practices, I felt such compassion for them and felt such frustration for their pointless suffering. And it’s through these works of historical fiction that the facts and figures of history are given the human element and become more meaningful through the truths they present.

What really stood out about this novel was the powerful family dynamic that gave the individual characters strength, courage, and perseverance. This is missing from so many young adult/middle grade books that it really stands out when you have an MC with parents that are present and younger siblings that are relying on their strength.


Plot: Absolute Page-Tuner

As it goes with the best of books, it was too short! I was heart-broken when it ended. It was so well-paced, I didn’t notice how fast the book was going by. It’s possible I was holding my breath throughout some parts because I was so full of suspense.


Overall: Totally Obsessed

I am totally obsessed with this book! The writing style is beautiful, the characters are so relatable, and the plot is wonderfully well-paced. It’s an amazing historical fiction novel that gives truth to the emotional states of the real people who went through this terrible time in history.


Goodreads Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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