Book Review Of “The War Outside” By Monica Hesse @TheNovl @LittleBrownYR

A stunning novel of conviction, friendship, and betrayal from Monica Hesse, the Edgar Award-winning and bestselling author of Girl in the Blue Coat

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? (From Goodreads)

Thank you to The Novl and Little Brown Young Readers #Partner for gifting me a copy of this book, in exchange of an honest review. All opinions are my own. I rate this book a 4 out of 5 Stars.

I love Historical Fiction, and I love H.F. written about turmoil, friendship, love, and betrayal. Add in something as heart wrenching as a “family internment camp” and you have a book that is going to evoke so many emotions. They aren’t happy books, that’s for sure. What Margot and Haruko go through, the secrets they must keep, and the strength they have to keep their families safe, and intact, all the while trying to maintain a friendship that has to be kept a secret. Can you imagine?

The War Outside is written in alternating perspectives, giving you insight to both girls, and what they separately suffer from, and what they suffer from together. The writing was very flowing, and grabbing, and that is probably one of the best endings I’ve seen in a book for a while. I really enjoy books that you can tell the Author took a lot of time with, a lot of research was put into this book, and I for one appreciate that. And I really love a good Authors Note.

My heart ached reading this one, and my emotions were on a roller coaster ride. I want to thank The Novl for bringing this book to my attention in one of their Newsletters, if it hadn’t been for that, I may have never came across this gem.

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