City of Thieves by David Benioff
It's World War II in Leningrad, Russia. 17 year old Lev elected to stay behind in the city when his mother and sister flee to the country. When an already dead German paratrooper lands in the street after curfew, Lev and his friends rush out to see what can be looted from the body. This is a crime punishable by execution and Lev is caught while helping the others escape.
His prison cell is a dark and lonely until the arrival of his cell mate, a soldier accused of desertion. Kolya vehemently denies any such thing. He's a man capable of talking himself out of a paper bag. So when the Colonel says he will spare them both in return for 10 eggs by Thursday to bake his daughter a wedding cake, Koyla agrees to the challenge.
The unlikely pair end up on a grueling journey through the countryside in search of the rare and elusive eggs. Koyla says what he thinks at all times in all situations. The naive and shy Lev learns many life lessons from him while trekking through the snow. Their banter is often funny and quite entertaining. There are many laugh out loud moments even though the backdrop is the death and destruction of war.
I liked this story alot. The writing is wonderful, characters engaging and lovable, the scenes authentic. City of Thieves will hold your interest whether you're laughing, crying or feel like throwing up while you're immersed in a very real tale of war and despair.