Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Violins of Autumn” as Want to Read:
Violins of Autumn
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Violins of Autumn

3.78  ·  Rating Details  ·  665 Ratings  ·  116 Reviews
When the Germans begin bombing London in World War II, Betty is determined to do her part. Instead of running air raid drills like most girls her age, she lies about her age and trains to become a spy. Now known by her secret agent persona, Adele Blanchard, she finds herself parachuting over German-occupied France under the cover of darkness to join the secret Resistance m ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published June 19th 2012 by Walker Childrens
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Violins of Autumn, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Violins of Autumn

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFeversScarlet by A.C. GaughenCode Name Verity by Elizabeth WeinClockwork Prince by Cassandra ClareThe Book Thief by Markus Zusak
YA Historical Fiction 2012
31st out of 126 books — 800 voters
The Golden Lily by Richelle MeadThis is Not a Test by Courtney SummersRapture by Lauren KateFor Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana PeterfreundShadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
June 2012
32nd out of 46 books — 127 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Naomi Sarah
Sep 24, 2015 Naomi Sarah rated it it was amazing
Shelves: war-books
Violins of Autumn

First of all, is not the cover GORGEOUS?!! I can't get over it. (Although it's a pity the girl on the cover's wearing bright red lipstick, because the book mentions that Adele hates wearing lipstick. But never mind.) My copy is an old hard-cover library copy, but yet it's so gorgeous. I LOVE the purple violet sky. I love violet skies - I saw one yesterday and I'm obsessed with the beauty of violet sunsets.

The inside of the book is gorgeous too. A lovely font.

This book is like a TRAIN. Seriously.
Mar 27, 2016 Ashley rated it it was amazing
SECOND TIME: I love it even more!!! I think it may be my favorite book! The friendship was so delicious!!! (The love triangle was still awkward, but I understood Adele's decisions even though they were wrong and immature) And the whole spy thing!! And then Robby!!! Do I want a sequel? Ummm idk cuz what if bad stuff happens!!!!! Anyway, read this. Please.

Um wow!!!! This was...amazing, thought-provoking, and deliciously educational! I learned so much about the SOE and being a spy in Paris during W
Clare Cannon
Jul 05, 2012 Clare Cannon rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
It was interesting to read this alongside Code Name Verity. Both stories recount the life of a courageous female Allied spy in France during WWII, but if one were to compare them Verity is a brutal, worst-case-scenario account of the spy's interrogation and collapse, while Violins is a heroic story seen through teen-romance tinted glasses.

Undoubtedly some research has nourished the plot: we learn about part of the Resistance movement in France, the conditions of civilians and spies in Paris, and
Feb 25, 2016 Emily rated it it was amazing
This book was amazing! I don't have too terribly much to say about it, but it was heartwarming and powerful, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. World War II has always been a time period that's fascinated me (Molly of the American Girl series, anyone?), so I just had a feeling going in that I would like this book. And I wasn't disappointed. :)

(view spoiler)
Aug 25, 2015 Emily rated it it was amazing
Jun 20, 2012 Liviania rated it really liked it
A young spy is captured in Nazi-occupied France and interrogated about her mission. No, this isn't CODE NAME VERITY. It's VIOLINS OF AUTUMN, and the book may begin with a flash forward to Adele's interrogation, but her story begins a little over a month before in May 1944.

The Allies are poised to invade France at any moment. Meanwhile, their spies must arm and train the French Resistance in preparation for D-Day. Plain, unassuming Betty, now known as Adele Blanchard, is a courier. Trustworthy an
Aug 02, 2012 Leila rated it it was amazing
*This is a Goodreads First Reads Book that I won. Thank you!*

I actually thoroughly enjoyed this book. A 16 yr old American girl who's been living with her aunt and uncle in London lies about her age in order to train and then work as a British spy in France during World War II.

Despite the significant time gap between reader and character, Adele (the 16 yr old main character) is fairly easy to identify with. What teenager doesn't go through the "Who am I? What am I doing? Where am I going?" phas
Jun 08, 2012 Chelsey rated it it was amazing
Adele Blanchard is a secret agent or spy for an organization known as Special Operations Executive which was aligned with the resistance against Nazi occupied France. The book starts off in a plane flying high above the streets of France where Adele and her partner, Denise Langford, are about to parachute out in order to begin their assignments for the resistance. This book drops the reader right in the middle of the action. One reason why I loved it so much was because from page one until page ...more
Mar 02, 2015 Amanda rated it it was amazing
One of those amazing discoveries when browsing in the library, this book is staged in World War 2 in France with a special young lady working in espionage with the Resistance. The author expertly leads you through the intricate story-line, and the characters are so exquisitely constructed that they seem more real than you and I. The characters experience real dangers, real emotions, and real thoughts and dialogues... it's too perfect to be fictional. One of the best books I have read in a long t ...more
Nov 18, 2011 Elizabeth marked it as to-read
SOE teenage spy. What could be better?
Eva Schon
Aug 26, 2015 Eva Schon rated it it was amazing
Shelves: novels, 2015-books
I discovered Violins of Autumn in the library one day while I browsed through the YA section. The WWII-ish font on the spine caught my interest, along with the title itself, which I half-recognized from my recent viewing of The Longest Day (‘…the long sobs of the violins of autumn…’). The synopsis on the inside flap sounded intriguing enough and I took the book home with me, though without many expectations, since it is YA fiction and most of that tends to be pretty awful (quality or content iss ...more
3.5 stars.

Where Code Name Verity is grit and pain; hard choices and mistakes; unbreakable friendship and bravery, Violins of Autumn is a WWII adventure, essentially. Lighter and comparatively "fluffier", for a WWII story. It still holds many of the same ideas and aspects, though written in different lights.

For me, Adele was a bit of a hard character to connect with. It was odd, I liked her well enough, but she didn't draw me into her story like I wish she would have. Perhaps it didn't help that
Kris Irvin
Apr 24, 2013 Kris Irvin rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2013
I'd give this a 2.5 star rating. I feel bad for doing that, because it's clear the author worked really hard on the research for this novel. but...

The characters didn't interest me at all. I didn't get the "best friend" vibe from the two girls in the slightest until about 3/4ths through the book - up till then it was like barely concealed but civil dislike for each other. So weird.

All the tiny characters kept cycling back but they were so insignificant that I would forget their names and then b
Allison (The Allure of Books)
Y’all, I picked up Violins of Autumn by Amy McAuley despite hearing little to no buzz about its release. I love historical YA, and seeing the magic word spy got my reader senses all a-tingle. The WWII backdrop definitely came to life and I found myself very much enjoying most aspects of this story.

Our intrepid heroine, Betty (code name: Adele), isn’t satisfied sitting on the sidelines. She lies about her age so she can train to become a spy. Along the way she makes an unlikely best friend, falls
Jul 05, 2012 Allyssa rated it it was amazing
May I first say that I really loved this book? It felt authentic, and I could really imagine myself right there with Adele throughout the whole thing. Set in Paris, right before D-Day, Adele, and American spy for the Allies, has to courier messages, be a lookout for her friend and partner Denise, smuggle important itimes, and sabotage anything and everything that could help the German effort once D-Day has arrived.

My one problem with it was the romance part. The author portrayed Robbie, a downed
Read some of the other reviews... Did we read the same book??? Good grief, I must have missed the wonderful book this was! I admit, I was a tad biased, because when I find 2 or 3 things in the beginning of a book, I start nit-picking the work apart. Sometimes the book gets better and I don't have to rip it up in my review.

This is Not one of those books.

What I noticed first about this book that I did not like was the historical accuracy. I do not really think it is correct. A). The Germans were
This book had so much potential! It's a rarely tapped topic in fiction: British agents in occupied France during WW2. But this book fell flat for me. I had a hard time figuring out who Betty was; she's written one way but acts another. I also found it difficult to pinpoint the plot; there was never a clearly defined goal for Betty and her friends. There was also a lot of expository dialogue about historical facts. Not only did it feel forced, but so did Betty's reactions. However, I absolutely s ...more
Aug 17, 2013 Far rated it it was amazing
After reading Code Name Verity (which was intense! and amazing!), I was so excited to read this one, another book about girls and their role in WWII, and it did not disappoint. I honestly didn't want to finish it because it was that good: it literally makes me so happy!!

The book starts with Betty's interrogation, and then goes back to the start, where she, as Adele, parachutes into France with Denise. Throughout the book, we follow her on her adventures through France, leaving messages and suppl
Sep 17, 2013 Grace rated it it was amazing
This is one the best stories on the second World War that is more light hearted than others. Some of the world war books are very depression and graphic but this was only slightly so. This is an amzing book to read, especially in Autumn and I feel it really captures the emotions of the world war and of France.

This is set in France, both in the country side and Paris. The characters mostly speak French which is translated, but there are French phrases scattered in there which I love. The whole am
Bakshree Mishra
Jan 02, 2013 Bakshree Mishra rated it really liked it
just love the cover...

Read the complete review here:


Loved the book too.

I can't say why, exactly, I fell in love with this book. I have read many accounts of the Nazi invasion - both fictional and non fictional. I can't even say this book really stood out from among them - that honour remains with 'The Diary of Anne Frank'. But the glimpse this book offered into young people drafted and expected to serve as spies... was laudable and very convincing.
SERIESous Book Reviews
I randomly picked up this book from the library after seeing the cover. The plot summary grabbed my attention (I had recently started watching the TV series 'Bomb Girls' and really enjoyed it) so I decided to take it.

I'm glad I did! I really enjoyed it and appreciated it. It's obvious that the author has done her research and the atmosphere she creates is amazing. So if you enjoy WWII young adult novels/settings then I recommend this.

The book started a little slow for me but it really picked up.
Alexandria Brim
In 1944, a seventeen-years-old American girl living with her relatives in London named Betty becomes Adele Blanchard and parachutes into Nazi-held France. Part of the British operation helping the French Resistance, she is to become a courrier in Paris while her friend Denise is to become a radio operator. They are first taken in by a welcoming French woman and her less-welcoming son, Pierre. For reasons unknown to Adele, she feels the need to prove herself to Pierre and volunteers to spy on a n ...more
Mar 10, 2013 Maria rated it it was amazing
Guys. It's on my favorites shelf. This is intense.
Sooooooooo gooooooooooood! I'm freakin' out!
Okay. Breath. The awesome things about this book:
- awesome heroine who be awesome!
- fantastic sidekick / best friend who be fantastic!
- lovable love interest who be lovable!
- "last line zingers" be zingery!
- WWII era with AMAZING historical details
- incredible characterization and development
- fantastic beginning and end
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Caution spoilers below. Proceed at
Amanda McCrina
Two and a half stars. I liked it more than I thought I would; I was afraid the characters would be too obviously modern teens written into a WWII story, and for the most part that wasn't the case. There were some nice period details. But the plot felt thin and disjointed (more on that in a moment), predictable in places, lacking closure in others. The love triangle felt forced, shoehorned in to meet YA genre conventions; Adele conveniently forgets about Pierre when Robbie's around, and vice-vers ...more
Jan 05, 2016 Celeste rated it it was amazing
I can never get enough stories about girls and women set during WWII, and I absolutely loved this one from start to finish. Even the inclusion of a love triangle didn't bother me since it's not at all the focus of the story, and Adele's female friendships are given just as much (if not more) attention. Adele herself is smart and spunky and totally likable. If you like Code Name Verity or Agent Carter, you'll probably like this.
Aug 17, 2014 Lillian rated it it was amazing
I absolutely enjoyed Violins of Autumn! I'm so glad I picked it up at the library. at first I was a little apprehensive about reading it but I'm glad I powered through. It's not often I read non-contemporary YA but I think I should look more into it. :) the characters are awesome and the plot was fast paced! I had trouble putting it down.
Every aspect of this book was amazing! The main character wasn't some stereotype of a woman, and it was so realistic! I found that I could relate to the character, and made me feel as if I could do anything I set my mind too! I really needed that. The book was easy to understand, and helped me understand more of the world war and how it must have been like. I love history, and this book certainly will not fail to impress you. I also love romance, and I don't think that was overdone, it was a per ...more
Mar 14, 2013 Ifahh rated it really liked it
"There were ringing telephones, playing radios, children running past open windows. A dog barked or a neighbor's car pulled up to the curb. Ordinary everyday connections I took for granted my whole life - I can't put into words how much I crave them now."

What can I say about this book? It was so beautifully written. It brought tears to my eyes, knowing this book would be almost realistic enough. Who knows? In this story we see the heroine (yes, heroine. I don't want to use protagonist as she des
Apr 29, 2014 Jennifer rated it really liked it
I LOVED this book except I felt it ended to soon. I wish it would have had a view a year down the road but it was excellent and I enjoyed it. Great WWII book!
Erin Wood
May 11, 2014 Erin Wood rated it it was amazing
Loved it!
Told the story of young adults wanting to do their part to free France during WWII.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
The Young Adult H...: Violins of Autumn, by Amy McAuley - May's Read 2 11 May 18, 2014 10:41AM  
  • Secret Letters
  • Ladies in Waiting
  • The Girl in the Mask
  • Spy for the Queen of Scots
  • Debutantes (Debutantes, #1)
  • Cross My Heart (Cross My Heart, #1)
  • The Académie
  • Cinders & Sapphires (At Somerton, #1)
  • Wentworth Hall
  • Prisoners in the Palace
  • The FitzOsbornes in Exile (The Montmaray Journals, #2)
  • The Unfailing Light (Katerina, #2)
  • The Traitor's Smile (Pimpernelles, #2)
  • Starstruck (Starstruck, #1)
  • Cate of the Lost Colony
  • The Girl is Murder (The Girl is Murder, #1)
  • Home Front Girl: A Diary of Love, Literature, and Growing Up in Wartime America
  • Belle Epoque
Amy McAuley grew up in Kincardine, Ontario, a small town on the shores of Lake Huron, where she read voraciously and dreamed of one day becoming an author like her idol, Judy Blume. She is the author of the historical YA, VIOLINS OF AUTUMN, published by Walker & Co, and OVER AND OVER YOU.

She now lives in London, Ontario, with her family and two cats.
More about Amy McAuley...

Share This Book

“While a kind man was working up the nerve to ask me on a date, I was working up the nerve to kill him with my bare hands” 3 likes
More quotes…