Sneak Peek Sunday: The War Outside by Moica Hesse

Hi there! I’m back again here (for once), and it’s with a review of a book due out this September. First and foremost, thank you to The Novl for sending me a copy in exchange for my honest review. This in no way affects the way I read and will review it.

Title: The War Outside

The War Outside
Goodreads | Amazon

Author: Monica Hesse

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Expected release: September 25, 2018

My rating: 3/5 Goodreads stars

It’s 1944, and World War II is raging across Europe and the Pacific. The war seemed far away from Margot in Iowa and Haruko in Colorado–until they were uprooted to dusty Texas, all because of the places their parents once called home: Germany and Japan.

Haruko and Margot meet at the high school in Crystal City, a “family internment camp” for those accused of colluding with the enemy. The teens discover that they are polar opposites in so many ways, except for one that seems to override all the others: the camp is changing them, day by day and piece by piece. Haruko finds herself consumed by fear for her soldier brother and distrust of her father, who she knows is keeping something from her. And Margot is doing everything she can to keep her family whole as her mother’s health deteriorates and her rational, patriotic father becomes a man who distrusts America and fraternizes with Nazis.

With everything around them falling apart, Margot and Haruko find solace in their growing, secret friendship. But in a prison the government has deemed full of spies, can they trust anyone–even each other?

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There were a lot of good things about this book, but it wasn’t quite the book for me. I really love historical fiction. History is something that always fascinated me, and it was one of my favorite subject in high school. That being said, there were some really cool things about this book that made me keep reading.

This is set in an internment camp that actually exists. The author’s note in the back of the ARC provided a lot of really cool facts about the camp and what it was used for. I love the amount of research and detail that went into this book. It shows through the writing how much labor went into ensuring historical accuracy. Not only that, but this is an internment camp that isn’t talked about often enough in American history. I like that Hesse decided to shed light onto something that is otherwise brushed aside. It gives space and exposure to something that needs it. I wanted to know more about Crystal City the more I read about it through Haruko and Margot, and it compelled me to look a little deeper.

Another part I liked about this book was the dual POV. The story is told from Haruko and Margot’s points of view. They guide the reader first hand through what it was like to experience the internment camp. I can only imagine the feelings they have are very real. It was interesting to see them come together despite their obvious differences. I think they came together because of their differences.

One thing I disliked about this book was that I didn’t feel too attached to either of the main characters. While their voices are strong and the emotion very real, I couldn’t quite buy into either of them.

Overall I recommend this to people looking for a change. I think this one is worth reading purely to learn more about the time period within America with a setting that isn’t explored often enough. This might not have worked too well for me, but it might for you!!

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

 

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Hi there! Checking in for the month because honestly, I can’t remember the last time I did this. I know for sure I missed June, but hey, we can’t all be perfect.

I’ve been super busy since leaving school in May, and pretty much hit the ground running. Work has consumed a lot of my life. I don’t mind it, but I don’t love it either. I work at a mini golf course, and while it’s entertaining sometimes, the customers can be a pain. I’ve mastered my customer service voice, and my introvert soul gets a little anxious when it gets too busy. Right now we’re at the peak of our season, soon to be finishing up after the first weekend of August when a big festival in my town wraps up. It’s exhausting really, and I don’t get much of a social life because of opposite schedules with friends.

I have made time for my friends though! We try to visit each other when we can, and I do have a few here in town that it’s nice to see more often now that we’re home.

It’s truly a privilege to have made so many new friends my first year of school. I’m so glad I get to see them often in the summer too! Shoutout to all of my friends I’ve missed because our work schedules are literally the opposite or you live too far for my broke a** to drive and visit. I still love you!!!

Reading is something that has truly kept me sane these past couple of months. Diving into a good book never fails to calm my anxious brain. Sometimes it feels like I’m going a million miles a minute and it’s hard to take a step back, but this is one trick that has always worked for me. I read 21 books since I got home in May, so that’s 7 books per month about. But that doesn’t count the books I read in the first weeks of May and what I’ll read in the last weeks of July. Needless to say, I’ve been quite busy, but unfortunately not very active here. I’m hoping with the coming school year I can get my blogging act together and write regularly. Until anything like that happens, it’ll be sporadic posting :/

ANYWAY

Here are a few of my current obsessions:

Books:

  •  The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang was excellent and I stayed up until 2 AM because I made the mistake of starting it late. I happened to have to work at 9:30 the next day but who cares. Y’all need to get your hands on a copy of it stat.
  • A Thousand Beginnings and Endings by Ellen Oh & Elsie Chapman is an anthology of Asian myths and legends. I  started this a few nights ago and I love it so much! This is something I wish I had when I was younger. There isn’t enough space for Asian stories in America.

Music:

  • BTS — you may or may not have heard of this kickass KPop group. Guys, I can’t stop listening to them. Love Yourself: Tear is a gift to humans everywhere and I can’t wait for Love Yourself: Answer this August!!!!!!!

TV:

  • KDramas — following my obsession with BTS my friend and I watched Hwarang because one of the members is in it. Cue my continued watching of other dramas. I love the stories and how intricate they become. There are, of course, some downfalls to the stories, but I’m obsessed either way. I’m always looking for recs if you have them!

 

See y’all next month! Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

 

My Bookish Life pt. ? vol. 3: July 2018