Emmi Rose (emmirosereads)'s Reviews > The War Outside

The War Outside by Monica Hesse
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it was amazing
bookshelves: five-star-reads

Thank you to TheNovl for sending me an advanced copy in exchange for a review

"I don't want you to ever forget where you are. You are a prisoner here. I don't care if you have a new friend, or if there's a school newspaper, or if there are books in the new library, or if there are community picnics. Or if there's a football team everyone comes out to cheer for. At the end of the day you're a prisoner in the only way that matters. If our family wanted to leave they wouldn't let you."

If this review makes little to no sense I'm apologizing in advance because I'm just filled with so much emotion after finishing this beautiful book. I don't have enough of the right words to express everything I feel. 😂

When I think back on my other five star reads and my feelings surrounding them they're so different compared to my feelings on The War Outside. I'm the type of person to pick up a book for simple entertainment and to relax, because of this I'm likely to rate more on my overall enjoyment and entertainment of the book. I feel like I have to approach this rating from a different angle as I don't feel this is a book that should be picked up unintentionally just for simple entertainment because it is so much more then that and it deserves so much more then that. It's raw, it's real, it's impactful. For about 80% of this book, all that was going through my head was simply just, wow. Giving this book anything less than five stars just feels wrong.

Monica Hesse's writing is absolutely incredible and so immersive. I never felt like I was pulled away from the story. It felt all too real and like I was right there living this life with Haruko and Margot. Monica managed to do what I feel is so hard to do right, and that's to write in multiple first person POV's that don't feel awkward or too similar to the other POVs. I think each POV was realistic and distinct and I cannot imagine this being written in any other kind of style. I believe that was part of why this book was so immersive.

Monica Hesse managed to tug along my emotions with each of these characters. I was holding my breath and tense when they were, shocked and hurt when they were, ect, ect.
I also loved the little, almost, side notes that are scattered throughout the story told from either one of the two characters. If you've read the book you'll know what I'm talking about. They really added another layer to the whole book and caused even more of an impact.
Also that ending, THAT ENDING!! That's all I want to say because I obviously don't want to spoil anything. I think it was so genuis and it really causes you to think.

I think there's just something about those authors who can write historical fiction in such a way that even causes you to think about current times and ask questions. Maybe even uncomfortable questions. The Historical events that this book was based off of didn't even happen 80 years ago and that's a strange thought.

I've marked so many areas of this book and that's something I don't often do. When I do it I usually mark my favorite quotes or lines but I have so many scenes marked that just hit me hard, and so many quotes and sayings that did the same thing. Something that really struck me were those moments where these characters have to be reminded that this was not normal or right. whether they truly believed that it was or it was simply a coping mechanism because thinking anything else would be too much.

This is not a story or side of World War II that gets told often or at all I feel like, and it's reminding me just how many sides there were to this war, just how many different believes people had in this time and how many stories that haven't been told yet. But long messy review in short this book is incredible and real and important! You must read it as soon as you can get your hands on it!
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Reading Progress

July 1, 2018 – Started Reading
July 2, 2018 – Shelved
July 2, 2018 –
page 183
54.46% "This book man. All I can say is wow so far."
July 3, 2018 –
page 336
100.0% "I'm literally left speechless after finishing this book."
July 3, 2018 – Shelved as: five-star-reads
July 3, 2018 – Finished Reading

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