You all know by now how I love World War II novels, especially historical romance. When I saw Wait for Me on Instagram a few months ago, I knew I had to give it a try. I had never before read a YA historical romance, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I mostly hoped it would not be a cheesy rendition of a love story.
Lorna Anderson is a young Scottish girl who helps with a variety of things on her father’s farm after her brothers leave for the war. When a previously injured German prisoner of war is assigned to work on their farm, Lorna is disgusted. How is she expected to work alongside the enemy her brothers are fighting? As Lorna reluctantly begins working with Paul, she comes to see him as a human instead of an enemy.
While this book did not have a lot of the grittiness of the WWII novels I’m used to, it still gave an accurate depiction of war affecting every aspect of people’s way of life. The food and clothing rations would be a challenge for our spoiled society of today, which allows readers to experience some of the difficulty of the unfamiliar situations. Caroline Leech’s strongest attribute in this story is showing readers the humanity in war. Just because someone was from Germany, even fighting for Germany, did not mean they believed in the cause they were fighting for. Sometimes the “enemy’s” actions are based solely upon survival. In Paul’s case, he was simply another man fighting for his life. When people abandon their humanity to be cruel to the other side, they show that hate is the true enemy in the war and world.
Wait for Me would be a great introduction to the genre of historical romance for young readers. It is a clean novel, an easy read, and allows readers to experience some of the conflicting feelings many would have felt during wartime without overwhelming with too much of the gore and evil of the era.
While the story was not quite as polished as I would hope for, it was still a solid and endearing novel worth reading. I would give this book 3.5 stars for the execution, leaning more towards 4 stars for the message the story conveyed. Overall, it was an enjoyable read (luckily, not cheesy at all) I would recommend to lovers of YA and historical fiction.
FUN FACT: Caroline Leech is from Scotland, but currently resides in Texas. Such a small world! There are so many authors in my home state.
I finally read The Bronze Horseman, people! That’s enough for a celebration in itself since it has been sitting on my Kindle app for almost a year now! Everyone raves about this book and I just knew I was going to love it intensely. You guys know how much I love a good World War II story. There’s a little part of me that is always anxious to read what I know will be an amazing book because I know I will only get to experience it for the first time, well, the first time. It’s incredible to fully live inside the pages of a book that one loves, but the pain of it being over is sometimes so devastating. It’s like having a friend move to the other side of the world to my empathetic brain. I don’t want to say goodbye. Luckily I have two more books to get me through my sorrows…at least until they are over. Continue reading “The Bronze Horseman – Review”
I have been drawn to books detailing the struggles of people during World War II since I have been a child. For that reason, I wanted a chance to read this book for years. Finally I was able to check it out through Overdrive from my library and was anxious to be transported back in time.
The story begins in Lithuania with Lina, her mother, and younger brother being deported by Soviet officers in a filthy train car to a place they had never experienced before – Siberia. Lina and her family, along with others that become family to her, are forced to work in cruel conditions at labor camps for Stalin’s regime. Lina uses her love for art as a tool to tell the story of the horrors she faced, despite the danger of her drawings being discovered. She hopes her art will help her father make his way back to her family after she finds him in a separate train car going to a different location.
In the first few pages of this story, I was confused about what was taking place because I had not seen the mention of the characters being Jewish. I even stopped reading to ask my husband, who happens to be a History major, if he could clear up my confusion. We were both stumped. Eventually I came to realize through my reading that only one of the characters was in fact, Jewish. The deportations were actually a result of “Sovietization” and the result of Communism in Russia. Citizens from the Baltic states were removed, murdered, or forced into labor camps to further the agenda of Stalin. This was an unfamiliar aspect of history to both my husband and me. Continue reading “Between Shades of Gray – Review”
Amy Harmon is unstoppable! Yet again, I am blown away by her talents for storytelling. I love WWII-era Historical Fiction to begin with, so I already knew Amy Harmon + the 1940s would = complete magic.
From Sand and Ash begins in the 1930s with young Eva and Angelo. Angelo is forced by his father to move from New Jersey to Italy with his family. There his grandparents work for a Jewish family who takes Angelo in like a son. Angelo’s path is aligned to become a Catholic priest and to ease his burden on society. However, when he connects with Eva, the daughter of his grandparents’ Jewish boss, though their mutual grief of losing their mothers, he finds himself at a crossroads. When war comes to Italy, Angelo is faced with the question of how to best protect Eva, while simultaneously being torn with his love and commitment to God. After all, can a human serve two masters?
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Continue reading “From Sand and Ash – Review”
Like certain songs and smells can trigger memories, I feel like the books I read can help me remember certain instances from my childhood or similar reading experiences I may have had years ago. This book was one of those welcome triggers for me. It made me feel almost childlike again, captivated by an exciting world I had yet to discover.
As I began reading, I wasn’t sure what to expect other than what I had read from the synopsis years prior and the clips I had seen on the previews for the new movie. It looked interesting, and I had heard it compared to Harry Potter. Of course, I was instantly sold.