The Forest of Vanishing Stars

a woman in a red coat

The Forest of Vanishing Stars

Published: 7/6/2021

Format: Hardcover

ISBN: 198215893X

Thank you to @NetGalley and @GalleryBooks for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. Following are my honest thoughts and opinions.

The Forest of Vanishing Stars is historical fiction at its best! I have read numerous books about the Holocaust, but none like this. No matter how much I learn about this horrendous period of time, I can’t wrap my mind around the fact that so many were willing to go along with the horrid treatment and murder of the Jewish people. 


At two years old, Yona was swept from her bed by Jerusza. She went on to live in the forest, learning how to survive and being told there were bad people out there who would try to harm her. Jerusza insisted she took Yona to protect her from her parents who were German and not good people.

Jerusza seemed to know things that she shouldn’t, and Yona picked up this unique characteristic. This helped her as she lost Jerusza and went on to help many of the Jewish people who were trying to escape the atrocities they faced. Yona learns much as well, as she has never been around other people. She teaches them to survive by hiding in the forest, and they teach her about emotions and family. 

My Thoughts

The Forest of Vanishing Stars gives an emotional look at the horrors of the Holocaust. Although fictional, the historical aspect of the story is real. Kristin Harmel wrote a bit about the actual history that relates to her book in an author’s note at the end of the story. Much of the story was based on real places and events. She did her research for this book.

The intuitiveness of Jerusza and Yona was an inventive way to add to a story that is so intense. This carries on throughout the book. The majority of the characters are likable, and I wanted them all to make it through to live a good life. Yona is amazing and I was behind her all the way. 

This is a sad story written in an eerily visual way. The author somehow adds bits and pieces of normal life and the ins and outs of relationships as Yona finds her way through life while helping those in need. The Forest of Vanishing Stars is a definite five-star read. It is the perfect mix of fact and fiction that makes a book stand out to readers. 

The release date for The Forest of Vanishing Stars is July 6, 2021.


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