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While He Was Away by Karen Schreck

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

"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?

Goodreads Summary

How would you feel if your boyfriend or girlfriend was being deployed?  Penna Weaver is a high school student who recently fell in love with her boyfriend, David.  One might think that all should be perfect in paradise, but that isn't possible when David is sent to Iraq.  Penna begins to see from his standpoint; the war she could have cared less about suddenly became more personal.  She connects to a friend whose boyfriend is also in the Army and makes a few friends she never thought she'd have.  Over the course of this book, the reader will see Penna mature and grow, both in relationships and with herself. 

Penna is an interesting character.  She certainly isn't perfect, but she is easy enough to like.  The reader may find it interesting that it appears as though the author created Penna to make her seem more...oblivious in the beginning of the book.  Penna's awareness of everything that affects her country and her expands greatly, much to the readers' delight.  Penna's mother will also undergo several epiphanies as well as a few other characters in the book.  Sometimes the characters can be annoying, but more often than not they have insights to share. 

Overall, this book was well-written.  The plot was easy to follow and original, the scenes were detailed and the dialogue memorable.  The best part of the book, for me, was Penna's character.  I loved how she was a truly dynamic character.  This book is recommended to young adult/teen readers.

4 Stars

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This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.


  1. Great review! I really want to read this, I've seen a few books that seems to be written about the same topic. Well not the exact same, but you get what I'm saying. Anyways, whenever I get the chance I'll definitely be reading this book. Thanks! (: