Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Review: While He Was Away by Karen Schreck

While He Was Away
While He Was Away by Karen Schreck

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?
Tour Stop, part of The Teen Book Scene

Released in US: May 1st 2012

     I LOVE this cover. I think that the colors are beautiful and the couple embracing adds just the right touch for the story.
     While this story wasn't exactly what I was expecting, it was good. I liked the idea of exploring the ramifications of having a military boyfriend and how that effects you and your life. I also liked the glimpses into what David's life is like in Iraq. It seems really well researched and while I still can't imagine how our soldiers do it, I can relate with the emotions and with the vivid imagery.
    I think that Penna is a likable character, and I connected with her. I wish that I would have been shown more the relationship and how it built with David, but as is, I can still root for their love story to have a happy ending and understand how their emotions grew. I know that the story is more about him being away, and how he's changing as he's deployed. Ms. Schreck does a good job relaying Penna's emotions and it helps a bit to imagine what the wives and girlfriends are going through.
   The other secondary characters are well done in my opinion. I liked the mystery that unfolds between Penna's mom Linda and her grandma Justine. I can see Penna's intrigue with why Justine left and feeling that connection since she also had a loved one go to war. She doggedly searches down her grandma and I appreciate how they end up being there for one another. I also appreciated Tom's strength and character.
    I also wanted more of Ravi. I am not sure how else he could have played into the story except as the supporter and long lost friend that he was, but I appreciated his shyness and his ability to overcome.
    Somehow though, I wanted this story to be more complete, and if there is a sequel, then that is problem completely solved. I mean, things were wrapped up well enough I suppose, but I wanted more development and to know how my characters fared.
    That said, the plot is solid, the characters well done, and once I opened the book, I did not want to put it down.
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  1. I'll look into this! It sounds like something I would enjoy. Great review!

  2. This one sounds pretty good. Thanks for your review!

  3. Great review, Brandi! As usual! Thanks for sharing. :) I'll have to check it out soon.

    Riya (The Teen Book Guru)

  4. Thanks so much for the review, Brandi! I appreciate your insights . . . hoping for a sequel too! :)

  5. I always love your reviews.


  6. I was planing on reading this book but I dunno now don't feel like it.
    Great review, btw! :)


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