One year—he’ll be gone for one year and then we’ll be together again and everything will be back to the way it should be.
The day David left, I felt like my heart was breaking. Sure, any long–distance relationship is tough, but David was going to war—to fight, to protect, to put his life in danger. We can get through this, though. We’ll talk, we’ll email, we won’t let anything come between us.
I can be on army girlfriend for one year. But will my sweet, soulful, funny David be the same person when he comes home? Will I? And what if he doesn’t come home at all…?
I don’t often do this in reviews, but I HAVE to take a second to talk about the cover for While He was Away. I don’t know if it’s the gorgeous pink coloring of the sky, the fact that they’re holding hands or my strong desire to have those wedge shoes, but this cover caught my attention majorly. When the book arrived I was in the middle of reading another book, but kept going over to my desk to glance at it. I just I think it’s amazing.
And the inside of the book was just as fantastic and captivating as the cover. I felt a pretty strong connection to Penna from the beginning and didn’t wander too far from my box of Kleenex throughout the whole book. See, here’s something that some of you might not know: my husband doesn’t live with me full time. He works in another province for two week stints then comes home for six days. So while he isn’t a soldier and doesn’t leave for a year at a time, I could still empathize with what she was going through, all the emotions she was feeling before David left and after. And let me tell you, Schreck nailed that perfectly. PERFECTLY. Hence the Kleenex.
The blurb doesn’t give much away, so I don’t want to either, but I do want to let you guys know that there’s a lot more to this book than just Penna and David’s long-distance relationship. Penna has some serious family shit going down, and while it’s traumatic and stressful, it also helps keep her mind off of David (as much as that’s possible). I loved the layering of Penna’s stories and how everything was connected.
I was expecting a bit of a gooshy, romantic read and I was pleasantly surprised by the depth of the novel. I read it in one sitting and was moved by the beauty of the prose and the details of the story. Anyone who is a fan of YA contemp should absolutely run out and buy While He was Away, as should anyone who’s interested in the genre. Actually, all of you should go buy it. It was that good.
Thanks bunches and bunches to Source Books for the review copy.