The day David left, I felt like my heart was breaking. Sure, any long-distance relationship is tough, but David was going to war--to fight, to protect, to put his life in danger. We can get through this, though. We'll talk, we'll email, we won't let anything come between us.
I can be on army girlfriend for one year. But will my sweet, soulful, funny David be the same person when he comes home? Will I? And what if he doesn't come home at all...?
While He Was Away was an utterly amazing novel about the effects of war, the girlfriends of soldiers, and, overall, how scary and insane it can be having someone you love in the war.
To be honest, I really didn't care for the character of David, because I felt like he was trying to prove something by enlisting, and that he didn't really believe in what he was fighting for. He was just along for the ride, and he made several choices in the book that made me dislike him. For one, he waves to his 'friend', Ravi, then simultaneously puts him down, where Ravi can hear him. That was just the tipping point for my dislike. It all went downhill from there.
On a different note, I loved Penna, and Ravi, but I wish that Ravi had gotten more character development. Penna wasn't really a strong character, even though they're the kind that I usually prefer, but in her own way, she was strong. Not traditionally, but in my mind, anyone that can live through their boyfriend being deployed to Iraq is strong.
That goes for anyone. If your boyfriend or husband is in Iraq, or Afghanistan (or deployed at all), I think your STRONG! Keep holding on, girls.
Ravi's character was really great, but he had so much untapped potential. He could have been amazing, if we'd gotten some more background information, or gotten to see him more in general, his development could have skyrocketed. But it didn't. So he stayed a mediocre kind of great.
Honestly, I thought that this was going to be a cute book, and I got that, but I also got a level emotion that I expected more of. I thought that this book would focus on David leaving for Iraq, and though it was a big part of it, the true story was in David and Penna's relationship. It was in how people change, and that we can't all be the same forever.
Sooner or later, we all have to grow up.
So, overall, I loved the story, and I loved the way it really made me think about the war, but it kind of fell a teensy bit short. Only one character really got developed, when the author could have made them all great characters. I still loved it though, and I'm glad I read it.