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Violins of Autumn

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  499 ratings  ·  90 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
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Community Reviews

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I love World War II. I love everything about it. If I was a character in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” I’d be one of those women working in the factories or be on the streets of London ducking for bombs. There are so many stories that are left untold. I was happy when I stumbled upon the book Violins of Autumn by Amy McAuley.

The book is beautifully written and takes you on through Adele’s journey. After witnessing a traumatic event, she’s determined to do her part in the war. She never knows
"In autumn
The long sobs
Of the violins
Wound my heart...- Verlaine Chanson d'Automne"

Regretfully DNF at 37%

Setting:Paris, France; 1944

Coverly Love?:Yes! I think the sky color is very pretty, and it just has an overall appeal to it.

Plot:World War II is well underway, and everyone is doing their part to help out with the war effort. That includes Betty Sweeney, a fresh faced seventeen year old just out of boarding school. But while most girls her age are going to college, working in factories,
Clare Cannon
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
Nov 18, 2011 Elizabeth marked it as to-read
SOE teenage spy. What could be better?
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
*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
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
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.
Amanda Kitz
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
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
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
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
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
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
Jisha Mishra
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.
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
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
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
"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
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
Loved it!
Told the story of young adults wanting to do their part to free France during WWII.
Madison Mcghie
Violins if autumn has everything romance,action ,history and of course friendship!!!!
I received "Violins of Autumn" by Amy McAuley as a free book from Goodreads First reads. What a wonderful gift! Not only is the book beautiful, so is the story. I've read a lot about WWII, and D-Day, but "Violins of Autumn" brings to light the role of women as spies sent to join the underground Resistance movement in preparing for D-Day. A great tribute to the women and men who gave all!
I absolutely loved this book! It was a great story, and was obviously well researched. I honestly could not put it down! And it's rare when I finish a book in less than a day. I got so attached to each character, and I loved every second of it. I really just wish I know what happens next with Robbie and Adele. But other than that, this is probably on my top 5 favorite books.
3.75 stars.
I came across this at the library and thought the synopsis sounded interesting. I love historical fiction set during WWII, and I'm glad I read this one. Some parts were slow and a little dense, but overall I really enjoyed it! The only thing I strongly disliked (borderline hated) was her love triangle situation with Pierre. I thought that was stupid; (view spoiler)
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The Young Adult H...: Violins of Autumn, by Amy McAuley - May's Read 2 10 May 18, 2014 10:41AM  
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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...
Over and Over You Violins of Autumn

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