Friday, December 21, 2012

A World Away Review

A World Away by Nancy Grossman
A summer of firsts

Sixteen-year-old Eliza Miller has never made a phone call, never tried on a pair of jeans, never sat in a darkened theater waiting for a movie to start. She’s never even talked to someone her age who isn’t Amish, like her.

A summer of good-byes

When she leaves her close-knit family to spend the summer as a nanny in suburban Chicago, a part of her can’t wait to leave behind everything she knows. She can’t imagine the secrets she will uncover, the friends she will make, the surprises and temptations of a way of life so different from her own.

A summer of impossible choice

Every minute Eliza spends with her new friend Josh feels as good as listening to music for the first time, and she wonders whether there might be a place for her in his world. But as summer wanes, she misses the people she has left behind, and the plain life she once took for granted. Eliza will have to decide for herself where she belongs. Whichever choice she makes, she knows she will lose someone she loves.
This book surprised me.  I wasn't expecting something quite like it.  I've been so busy with school that I haven't be able to read (let alone post), but this book made me want to review it. 
Eliza is a very conflicted young girl, who doesn't know what next year will mean for her life.  The first part of the book introduces the world she is used to and longing she has to escape it.  Then, we get to the real world, and its beautiful.  It really made me appreciate everything I have.  But, there is still that memory of the world left behind, a world we now see is also beautiful.  Eliza must now choose. 
This girl is a great character.  I always knew what she was thinking, and no matter what she was doing, even if it was washing the dishes, didn't bore me.  The characters Eliza meets aren't as fleshed out as she is.  They are really there to help move Eliza down the plot, but the story never lost my interest. 
Often in reviews you might see how the book was devoured in less than two days.  I read this book in three; however, I haven't been reading regularly since the summer and it now takes me two weeks to read one book.  For me and my busy schedule, three days is unbelievable. 
Although this book kept me reading it didn't surprise me, Eliza's real world experience brought teenagers who were as swallow and static as any other typical high school story.  I believe the reason for this was to sharply contrast Eliza's Amish home, but I didn't appreciate how these characters made sweet Amish Eliza seem stupid with no common sense.  However, that was only a portion of the book.  The rest was excellent, and, honestly, I would be on my way to the book store right now if it weren't for that one part--I don't buy books.
If you are looking for something out of the ordinary, don't get this, but if you are looking for a good read and some insight into the Amish world, I would reccommend this for you.

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