Monday, April 23, 2012

Summer Lovin' Blog Tour: While He Was Away by Karen Schreck

Title: While He Was Away
Author: Karen Schreck
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Sourcebooks (May 1, 2012)
Source: ARC from Publisher
Genre: YA Realistic Fiction
My Rating: 4 Stars

Goodreads Description:
 "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?

My Review:

It is hard to write a review about a book that you still aren't too sure how you feel about.

Not expecting the unexpected with this one, I didn't imagine it to be different than what I thought it would be, a love story.

This wasn't exactly a love story, at least not the kind I was hoping it would be. Yes there is a soldier and yes there is a girl and yes he is away at war and they do correspond but yet...that is about the extent of the love story between them. I was over half way through the book and was still waiting on the love story I was hoping it would be.

When they correspond through email or through the phone, it is sweet and heartwarming and even a little sad as David's fear comes out little by little. But the rest? The rest of the story is a little slow and just felt a little confusing. The story wasn't confusing but the main character was. Her thoughts were all over the place at times and it was hard to keep up with her. It was hard to keep up with what was really going on.

Is this about fixing her mother and grandmother's relationship? Is this about Penna's relationship with David? Is this about Ravi? Is this about Penna finally fitting in somewhere and making friends and having a life outside of David?

What is this story about exactly? Because it was about all of those things, sometimes all at once.

And as the story progressed, well, it got sadder but it also got better.

I will say this, I cried. I truly did. I think my heart may have broken or at the very least cracked a little. For Penna. For David.

This was a good story. Not a happy story. But one that probably happens every day to someone, somewhere.

And I can appreciate that. I can. I can accept how true this probably is for a lot of people that know and love someone overseas. Someone fighting for our freedom. I can see how that can change a person. Make you grow up and see things in a new light. Make you fear. Make you scared.

But I can also see how it can give you hope and make you believe in good again too.

So for that, for that, I have to give this nothing less than the 4 stars it deserves. 


  1. Nicely done, Ali. I am curious to find out what made you cry so much, I hope that David doesn't die. Far too many of us take for granted the sacrificies our military people make sounds like this book is a good reminder. Thanks so much for sharing.

  2. @Heidi, I can't tell you, it would give too much away but, it definitely was moving and does make you realize that military life isn't only hard for the ones serving, but for the ones that love and care about them as well.