The Last Year of the War by Susan Meissner @SusanMeissner @BerkleyPub #bookreview #bookbestieslastyearofthewar #thelastyearofthewar

Happy hump day book lovers!

Excited to share with you today my review for this riveting story that definitely hurt my heart! Another wonderful group read with the Besties!🦋

My Thoughts

A heartbreaking tale about the atrocities of war, and one girl who never allowed the cruelty of war to break her spirit!

It never ceases to amaze me how tragic, horrifying, and devastating war is! This was my very first book from Susan Meissner, but will definitely not be my last! This book completely captivated me, I was fully invested in the lives of all these characters from first page to last. I did have prior knowledge of the Japanese internment camps during WWII, however I did not realize that we also sent Germans to these camps. I also did not realize that we sent German people living in America back to Germany in the midst of war, that is truly horrifying! This is really a part of our history that we as Americans seem to avoid acknowledging. It certainly does not appear to be in any history book I’ve ever seen? OK I just asked my kids and they do teach it now, however back in the day when I was in school this was not ever brought up, so that’s something. It is definitely a dark time in our country‘s history. This is one of the reasons why I love books so much, they always have something to teach you. More times than not they give you a little nugget of knowledge to walk away with that you didn’t already possess.

Elise is an American citizen, born in America and has lived in America her entire life. her parents are legal residence of the United States, however her father is falsely thought to be a Nazi sympathizer and ultimately the family is sent to an internment camp in Texas. While at the internment camp Elise befriends a Japanese American girl, Mariko. The girls form a tight bond and it is this friendship and the hopes and dreams that come from it that will help Elise through the toughest and darkest of days. When Elise‘s family is sent back to Germany to endure the last year of the war. It is the hope that she will one day be reunited with her friend in America that Elise clings to like a lifeline. And over 70 years later Elise still clings to the bond that ultimately leads to the friends reunion.

Elise really completely stole my heart in this book. She was a brave, smart, resourceful young lady, with a strong spirit. Her story was so disturbing and devastating, it definitely broke my spirit at times. I really loved the friendship between Elise and Mariko, but I have to say my one complaint about the book is that we did not see what happened to Mariko after the internment camp. Maybe this is in a future book? I guess I felt so much was made out of this friendship and then it just wasn’t there anymore? It was almost as though Elise was hanging onto a ghost. However this did not hinder my enjoyment of this book. Although it is hard to say I enjoyed a book that was so real and raw and at times depressing. War is brutal and this book really brought that to life.

A riveting story about an exceptional girl Who grows into a remarkable woman, who I will not soon forget! Absolutely recommend!

*** many thanks to Berkley for my copy of this book ***

About the Book

Elise Sontag is a typical Iowa fourteen-year-old in 1943–aware of the war but distanced from its reach. Then her father, a legal U.S. resident for nearly two decades, is suddenly arrested on suspicion of being a Nazi sympathizer. The family is sent to an internment camp in Texas, where, behind the armed guards and barbed wire, Elise feels stripped of everything beloved and familiar, including her own identity.

The only thing that makes the camp bearable is meeting fellow internee Mariko Inoue, a Japanese-American teen from Los Angeles, whose friendship empowers Elise to believe the life she knew before the war will again be hers. Together in the desert wilderness, Elise and Mariko hold tight the dream of being young American women with a future beyond the fences. 

The Besties

Mackenzie @ PhDiva

Jennifer @ Tarheel Reader

Holly @ Dressed to Read

💕💕 Be sure to check out all the Besties’ reviews!

Let’s Connect!




Have a lovely day!🦋


15 thoughts on “The Last Year of the War by Susan Meissner @SusanMeissner @BerkleyPub #bookreview #bookbestieslastyearofthewar #thelastyearofthewar

  1. Pingback: This Week’s New Book Releases And Reviews – 2019/12. – Swift Coffee

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