Saturday, February 4, 2017

Review: Wait for Me (Leech)

If you are looking for a sweet historical romance set in Scotland during World War II, look no farther than Wait for Me. I loved this book for its strong characters and setting. This is YA that adults will also love!
AUTHOR: Caroline Leech
SERIES: none
PUBLISHER: HarperTeen
PUBLICATION DATE: January 31, 2017
ISBN: 9780062459886
PAGES: 384
SOURCE: Edelweiss
GENRE: historical fiction, romance
SETTING: Aberlady, Scotland; 1945
GIVE IT TO: upper-MS, HS
SUMMARY: Scotland, 1945. Seventeen-year old Lorna lives on a seaside farm with her father, housekeeper, a female farmhand, and her two older brothers, both of whom are off at war. To help with the farmwork, Lorna's father recruits a young German prisoner-of-war named Paul. At first Lorna is disgusted at the idea of having a filthy German with visible battle scars working on their farm. But as Lorna gets to know Paul, she starts to see the boy behind the captured German soldier.

REVIEW: Awwww...this was so sweet! I love that this is a WWII story that hardly has anything to do with the Holocaust or the plight of Jews, Poles, and others who were persecuted at that time. Instead, Wait for Me is set on the home front and features a farming family dealing with the many sacrifices expected during war time.

I love this time period and how the story made me feel I was right there. I love the big band music playing on the gramophone and the hangar dances and the clothing rationing. Maybe this is a romanticized view of the home front in 1945, but it seems like people back then had stronger character than they do today. They did what they had to do to support their troops and bring them home. I can't imagine what a world war would be like today. Would we be able to pull together as a country as people did back then, or would we continue to argue and protest and shout at each other, which it seems is all the news wants to show these days?

There's lots to love with this book--strong characters, beautiful Scottish setting, interesting time period. It was a touch predictable in parts, but I didn't really care so much about that. I did also like the author's notes at the end about German POWs working farms in Scotland. Historical fiction always teaches me something new!

THEMES: war, effects of war on soldiers, disfigurement, forbidden love, family, discrimination

THE BOTTOM LINE: A beautifully-told historical romance. I think teens who like historical romance will enjoy it, but I think adults will love it more than some of the teens do. Like Salt to the Sea, this YA title will have massive adult-appeal.

STATUS IN MY LIBRARY: We don't have it. While I loved it, I'm not sure if I will buy it for my library at this time. We have a HUGE historical fiction section, and despite lots of great titles, it's not really very popular with our students. Of our library's 20 genre sections, I would say Historical Fiction is among our largest and also our least popular with students.

READALIKES:

RATING BREAKDOWN:
  • Overall: 5/5
  • Creativity: 5/5
  • Characters: 5/5
  • Engrossing: 5/5
  • Writing: 5/5
  • Appeal to teens: 5/5
  • Appropriate length to tell the story: 5/5

CONTENT:
  • Language: mild; damn, hell
  • Sexuality: mild-medium; kissing, chest-lust, attempted rape, out-of-wedlock pregnancy
  • Violence: mild-medium; bombings, families lose their sons to war, fighting/punching, attempted rape
  • Drugs/Alcohol: mild; adults drink beer to celebrate and to deal with extreme stress

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