Wait for Me by Caroline Leech

9780062459886_b8b2dReview first appeared in School Library Journal, November 2016.

LEECH, Caroline. Wait for Me. 384p. Harper Teen. Jan. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062459886.

Gr 8 Up- In 1945 Scotland during WWII, Lorna Anderson is tending to the family farm alongside her father while her older brothers are fighting at war. Her mother passed away when she was young, leaving Lorna to grow up quickly, assuming some motherly responsibilities in the household. Lorna’s initial uneasiness upon meeting Paul, a German solder with a badly burned face assigned to work at Craigielaw Farm, turns into a mutual respect and friendship. Then, a forbidden romance begins: the daughter of a Scottish farmer and a German prisoner of war. Tension between Lorna and her best friend Iris increases as each grow into young women and fall in love for the first time. Lorna longs for an end to the war, but the end is bittersweet, as her future with Paul is uncertain. Though missing his mother and younger sister, Paul is unsure whether he will have a home to return to after Dresdyn was left in ruins. Even though the war moves slowly, the narrative flows quickly as readers are immersed in the innocent love of Lorna and Paul. Leech includes historically accurate details, and a helpful notes section as well. Fans of Ruta Sepetys and Laurie Halse Anderson will enjoy Leech’s debut novel. VERDICT Historical fiction, forbidden romance, and a coming-of-age tale combine into a memorable story perfect for young adults. Recommended as a first purchase for all libraries.


At the Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen

I absolutely loved this book. I will admit that the first few chapters started a bit slow for me, but then it picked up the pace very quickly. Maddie, the main character, is a wealthy American housewife and newlywed in a loveless marriage. She has an overbearing,  controlling, and at times verbally abusive husband. Her husband and his best friend Hank drag her across the country to Scotland right during the middle of World War II on a wild goose chase to find the Loch Ness monster, which they are convinced is real and will make them rich and famous. The historical setting and rich descriptive detail of the Scottish Highlands are key for such a beautiful story. I would highly suggest reading it, because I can’t give away the spoilers. The book reminded me a little bit of Sara’s other bestseller, Water for Elephants, as well as Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series (minus the sci-fi time portals and all of that).

The book will be published on March 31, 2015.