It's kind of strange to think about how long war has been in the background of American teenagers' lives, and yet, there aren't that many books about it. I'm glad to see more YA novels exploring the topic, including this one - WHILE HE WAS AWAY. Isn't that cover just smoking hot?
Description from Goodreads:
All she wants is for him to stay. She's been doing pretty well, pretending he doesn't have to go. But one day, after one last night to remember, she wakes up and there's not denying it anymore. He's gone.
When Penna Weaver's boyfriend goes off to Iraq, she's left facing life without him. As summer sets in, Penna tries to distract herself with work and her art, but the not knowing is slowly driving her crazy. Especially when David stops writing.
She knows in her heart he will come home. But will he be the same boy she fell in love with?
Kirkus says: "Strong characterization, the vivid setting of a small Oklahoma town and the clear depiction of present life, with Skype, e-mail and phones with their inadequate promise of instant communication, strengthen the narrative and ground it in the present. A strong entry in the growing genre of fiction about the Iraq war."