I must betray you / Ruta Sepetys

Romania, 1989. Communist regimes are crumbling across Europe. Seventeen-year-old Cristian Florescu dreams of becoming a writer, but Romanians aren’t free to dream; they are bound by rules and force. Amidst the tyrannical dictatorship of Nicolae Ceau?escu in a country governed by isolation and fear, Cristian is blackmailed by the secret police to become an informer. He’s left with only two choices: betray everyone and everything he loves—or use his position to creatively undermine the most notoriously evil dictator in Eastern Europe. Cristian risks everything to unmask the truth behind the regime, give voice to fellow Romanians, and expose to the world what is happening in his country. He eagerly joins the revolution to fight for change when the time arrives. But what is the cost of freedom?

Why You’ll Love It: Set in 1980s Romania during the reign of communist dictator Nicolae Ceau?escu, a young boy will have to decide whether to betray his family or risk everything he loves to resist. Sepetys’ prose manages to walk a careful line between unbearable tension and fragile hope and doesn’t pull any punches about the stark historical realities of the time. A great work of diverse historical fiction.


Available in Teen Fiction.

JJ: April 11, 2022