City of Thieves by David Benioff

City of Thieves
272 pages; Viking
It has the bizarre logic of a fairy tale: Two mismatched companions embark on a perilous journey to perform a virtually impossible task. David Benioff's City of Thieves (Viking) is set during the Nazi siege of Leningrad, a time of desperation when the glue on the spine of a book takes the place of a meal, and cannibalistic ogres roam the streets. How Lev, a gawky Jewish teenager, and Kolya, his strutting sidekick, salvage their humanity—as elusive a treasure as the farm-fresh eggs that could ransom their lives—makes this novel, with all its wartime horrors, as heartening as survival itself.
— Cathleen Medwick