Well, I just realized that the next few reviews all have war time settings, my bad guys!
If it makes you feel any better, after my next review it will be pretty fantasy/sci-fi heavy, so if you’re more into those genre’s never fear!
Anyways, today’s review is on the WWII set Wait for Me by Caroline Leech.
Easily one of my most anticipated books of the year, Wait for Me is one of the only war novels I’ve read that is intended for a young adult audience.
Did Leech’s debut novel live up to my expectations? Keep on reading to find out my thoughts and opinions.
The perfect blend of sweet romance and historical flavor, Wait for Me, from debut author Caroline Leech, brings a fresh new voice to a much-loved genre.
It’s 1945, and Lorna Anderson’s life on her father’s farm in Scotland consists of endless chores and rationing, knitting Red Cross scarves, and praying for an Allied victory. So when Paul Vogel, a German prisoner of war, is assigned as the new farmhand, Lorna is appalled. How can she possibly work alongside the enemy when her own brothers are risking their lives for their country?
But as Lorna reluctantly spends time with Paul, she feels herself changing. The more she learns about him—from his time in the war to his life back home in Germany—the more she sees the boy behind the soldier. Soon Lorna is battling her own warring heart. Loving Paul could mean losing her family and the life she’s always known. With tensions rising all around them, Lorna must decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice before the end of the war determines their fate.
This book blew me away.
First and foremost you cannot tell just by reading this book that Leech is a debut author.
This book read like it was written by an author with years of experience both in the historical and young adult fiction worlds.
Another aspect of the novel that sparked an interest in me as a reader was its setting.
Wait for Me takes place on a farm in Scotland, and up until reading this book I had no idea that the Scots took prisoners of war and make them farmhands.
It was a piece of history that I’ve never read about before, which made it stand out in my mind.
The characters also had qualities that made them shine, both individually and as an ensemble.
Lorna knew what she wanted but was apprehensive about taking it.
Paul was independent but knew he needed someone to get him through.
Iris knew the boy she loved wasn’t good for her but couldn’t stand up for herself.
All of the characters were flawed and felt so real, and because of that, it added so much to the reading experience.
I also really enjoyed Mr. Anderson and Mrs. Mack, because while they were the ‘adults’ of the ensemble, they never portrayed as all-wise or all-knowing.
One thing I don’t think I’ve spoken about on this blog is my disdain for the ‘instant love’ trope in YA fiction.
While Leech’s characters do end up falling in love, whether it be in a platonic or romantic way, it is by no means ‘instant.’
She explores time and friendship first, and by the end of the novel, I knew that the characters that ended up together found themselves in that situation because they understood the other person.
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.