Wednesday, June 13, 2012

While He Was Away by Karen Schreck

While He Was Away
Young Adult: 249 Pages
Publisher: Sourcefire Books
Published: May 1st, 2012
Challenge: None
Source: From publisher for review
Buy the Book: Amazon
Find the Author: Website
This is just something I have to do, okay?" I hear David say. "The right thing."

He cradles my face in his hands. He kisses me hard. Then he lets go of me. His eyes dart from me to whatever's next.

All she wants is for him to stay. She's been doing pretty well, pretending he doesn't have to go. But one day, after one last night to remember, she wakes up and there's no denying it anymore. He's gone.

When Penna Weaver's boyfriend goes off to Iraq, she's left facing life without him. As summer sets in, Penna tries to distract herself with work and her art, but the not knowing is slowly driving her crazy. Especially when David stops writing.

She knows in her heart he will come home. But will he be the same boy she fell in love with?

The title, premise and cover for While He Was Away offers a lot. It looks like it is going to be a heart-wrenching, emotional novel. Unfortunately, it fell a little flat for me.

I don't know if it was because of the high hopes I had for this novel, but it didn't quite do it for me. While he was Away had so much room for greatness. An emotional premise, and a strong bond between characters, but there was something that never connected with me. I could not connect with the main character, Penna. I found her whiny and immature at times. I did, however, adore the rest of the character cast. Caitlin, Penna's mother, Ravi, and Jules were wonderful, strong additions to the novel.

Aside for the character cast, it was the story line that kept me reading. The author delivered a realistic look at what it is like for a "Army family". The fear and hurt that they go through, but also the pride and joy that they have for their solider.

Although I was hoping for something more, something a little more heart-rendering and powerful, I was still left satisfied at the overall outcome of the novel. There were parts that I loved, and part's that I didn't, but the book as a whole was a decent read.
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